Buffalo City Hall
Buffalo City Hall
Buffalo's City Hall from Niagara Square
|Area||less than one acre|
|Architect||Dietel, Wade & Jones|
|Architectural style||Art Deco|
|NRHP Reference #||98001611 |
|Added to NRHP||January 15, 1999|
At 378 ft (115.2 m) height or 398 feet (121.3 m) 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.
In 1851, the city bought the property at the northwest corner of Church and Franklin streets in Buffalo to be used for the Mayor's office and other city offices. On this site, and constructed between 1871 and 1875, the city built a monumental granite structure designed by Rochester architect Andrew Jackson Warner (1833–1910). The building, now known as the County and City Hall, featured three floors and a large, seven-story clock tower. It held offices for the City of Buffalo and Erie County.
In 1920, the Buffalo Common Council decided, in light of the fact that the population of the city had quadrupled since the construction of County and City Hall, that a new building was needed to house the government of Buffalo. Niagara Square was chosen as it is one of the central components of Joseph Ellicott's plan of 1804 for the city of Buffalo. From this location, one can see the waterways of Lake Erie and the shores of Canada as well as the rest of downtown Buffalo. On September 16, 1929, construction of City Hall began and the building was ultimately completed on November 10, 1931 with the dedication taking place on July 1, 1932, commemorating the city's Centennial.
When the new City Hall opened and the city offices moved to the present building, the former County and City Hall became Erie County court offices and was used to hold important city records. The former city hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
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 $6,851,546.85 ($94.4 million in 2016 dollars) including the architect's fees, making it one of the costliest city halls in the country.
City Hall was Buffalo's tallest building from its construction until 1970 when One Seneca Tower was built, 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.
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. Renovations were completed by 2009.
William de Leftwich Dodge mural in east side of main entrance hall.
- Staff (2006-03-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Buffalo City Hall at emporis.com
- City Hall History
- "Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS)" (Searchable database). New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2016-07-01. Note: This includes Claire L. Ross (October 1998). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Buffalo City Hall" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-01. and Accompanying six photographs
- Hitchcock, introductions by Reyner Banham, Charles Beveridge, Henry Russell (1982). Buffalo architecture : a guide (3. print. ed.). Cambridge, Mass.: MJJ Press. ISBN 0262021722.
- "Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS)" (Searchable database). New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2016-07-01. Note: This includes Raymond W. Smith (April 1976). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: County and City Hall" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-01. and Accompanying five photographs
- Conlin, John H. (1993). Buffalo City Hall: Americanesque Masterpiece. Buffalo, NY: Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier. p. 40. ISBN 1879201143. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
- Staff (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
- DiNatale, Tony. "City Hall History". City of Buffalo. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- Buffalo city tour
- "Buffalo City Hall". didonato.com. DiDonato Associates Engineering and Architecture, P.C. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Buffalo City Hall.|
- Buffalo City Hall history
- Buffalo City Hall photos
- Emporis listing
- City of Buffalo
- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. NY-6033, "Buffalo City Hall, 65 Niagara Square, Buffalo, Erie County, NY", 27 photos, 15 data pages, 2 photo caption pages
- Buffalo City Hall - U.S. National Register of Historic Places on Waymarking.com
- Buffalo As an Architectural Museum
|Tallest Building in Buffalo
398 feet (121 m)
One HSBC Center