Buffalo City Hall

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Buffalo City Hall
Buffalo City Hall HDR.jpg
Buffalo's City Hall from Niagara Square
Buffalo City Hall is located in New York
Buffalo City Hall
Location Buffalo, NY
Coordinates 42°53′11.73″N 78°52′45.49″W / 42.8865917°N 78.8793028°W / 42.8865917; -78.8793028Coordinates: 42°53′11.73″N 78°52′45.49″W / 42.8865917°N 78.8793028°W / 42.8865917; -78.8793028
Area less than one acre
Built 1932
Architectural style Art Deco
NRHP Reference # 98001611 [1]
Added to NRHP January 15, 1999

Buffalo City Hall is the seat for municipal government in the City of Buffalo, New York. Located at 65 Niagara Square, the 32 story Art Deco building was completed in 1931 by Dietel, Wade & Jones.

At 378 ft (115.2 m)[2] height or 398 feet (121.3 m)[3] from the street to the tip of the tower, it is one of the largest and tallest municipal buildings in the United States of America and is also one of the tallest buildings in Western New York. The design was by John Wade, chief architect, with the assistance of George Dietel. The friezes were sculpted by Albert Stewart and the sculpture executed by Rene Paul Chambellan.[4]

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.[1]


View of Niagara Square in the foreground and Lafayette Square in the background from Buffalo City Hall during a snow flurry

City Hall was built by the John W. Cowper Company, the same firm who built the Statler Hotel and the Buffalo Athletic Club, also on Niagara Square. The cost of building City Hall was US$6,851,546.85 ($94.4 million in 2016 dollars[5]) including the architect's fees, making it one of the costliest city halls in the country.[6]

Ground was broken on September 16, 1929 and the cornerstone was laid May 14, 1930. The building was completed on November 10, 1931, though parts of the building were occupied as early as September 1931. The building was dedicated in July 1932. City offices were previously located in County and City Hall.

In the summer of 2006, Buffalo City Hall started undergoing renovations from the 13th floor all the way to the top as the flood lights were replaced; three years later, it was the south wing that started undergoing renovations of its own.

Known as Buffalo's tallest building until 1970 when One Seneca Tower was built,[7] City Hall has 32 stories, 26 of which offer usable office space. The total floor area is 566,313 square feet (52,612.2 m2) and the footprint of the site on Niagara Square is 71,700 square feet (6,660 m2). There are 1,520 windows from the first to the 25th floor. A practical design feature is that all of them open inward, making window washers unnecessary. It takes approximately ten days to clean them all. There are eight elevators to the 13th floor and four to the 25th floor. Curtis Elevator Company furnished the first elevators, with additional elevators supplied later by Otis Elevator Company.

There are 5,000 electrical outlets, 5,400 electrical switches and 21 motor driven ventilation fans. One hundred and ten miles of copper wire weighing 43 tons, and 47 miles or 180 tons of conduit pipe, serve the building, as well as 26 miles or 5 car loads of underfoot conduit. There are either 138 or 143 clocks (counts vary) regulated by a master clock in the basement and 37 fire alarm stations distributed throughout the building.

It was originally equipped with 375 telephones and a master switchboard. External illumination was provided from dusk to midnight by 369 flood lights with an average candlepower of 350.

City Hall was designed and built with a non-powered air-conditioning system, taking advantage of strong prevailing winds from Lake Erie. Large vents were placed on the west side of the building to catch wind, which would then travel down ducts to beneath the basement, to be cooled by the ground. This cooled air was then vented throughout the building. Winds off the lake were usually strong enough to power air through this system.

Detail of tower


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Staff (2006-03-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Buffalo City Hall at emporis.com
  3. ^ City Hall History
  4. ^ Claire L. Ross (October 1998). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Buffalo City Hall". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved July 25, 2009.  See also: "Accompanying six photos". 
  5. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  6. ^ DiNatale, Tony. "City Hall History". City of Buffalo. Retrieved December 22, 2012. 
  7. ^ Buffalo city tour

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Rand Building
Tallest Building in Buffalo
398 feet (121 m)
Succeeded by
One HSBC Center