Cheektowaga (town), New York

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For the census-designated place of the same name within this town, see Cheektowaga (CDP), New York.
Country United States
State New York
County Erie County
Elevation 662 ft (201.8 m)
Coordinates 42°54′14″N 78°44′38″W / 42.90389°N 78.74389°W / 42.90389; -78.74389Coordinates: 42°54′14″N 78°44′38″W / 42.90389°N 78.74389°W / 42.90389; -78.74389
Area 29.5 sq mi (76.4 km2)
 - land 29.5 sq mi (76 km2)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%
Population 88,226 (2010)
Density 3,187 / sq mi (1,230.5 / km2)
Incorporated 1839
Town Supervisor Mary F. Holtz (D)
 - Town Council
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 14225/14227
Area code 716
Location in Erie County and the state of New York.

Cheektowaga is a town (also a census-designated place, see below) in Erie County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 88,226.[1]

The town is located in the north-central part of the county. It is the second largest suburb of Buffalo, New York after the town of Amherst.[citation needed] contains a census-designated place also named Cheektowaga. Both the census-designated place and town are home to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, the principal airport of Erie County.[2]

Villa Maria College, Empire State College, and the Walden Galleria are located in Cheektowaga. The village of Sloan and a little of Depew are in the town of Cheektowaga.


Cheektowaga was first settled by the Seneca people of the Iroquois Confereacy, who named the location Chictawauga, meaning "land of the crabapples" in the Seneca language. Cheektowaga was formed from Amherst on March 22, 1839, and on the formation of West Seneca on October 16, 1851, was reduced to its present limits—about 33 square miles (85 km2). Throughout the 19th century, it was referred to by its original name, Chictawauga.

Originally a rural farming area, the town was extensively developed during the post-World War II subdivision boom of the 1950s. Factories, such as the Westinghouse Electric Corporation plant on Genesee Street (since demolished) generated employment to the area for many decades. The town continues to maintain a strong blue collar presence. Cheektowaga has a large Polish-American community, much of which relocated from Buffalo's East Side, and about 39.9% of population is of Polish heritage.[3]

The Walden Galleria opened in 1989, becoming the largest mall in the Buffalo Niagara region. In August of 2014, Cabela's opened their first store in New York across from Walden Galleria Mall.

Garrison Cemetery, Our Lady Help of Christians Chapel, and Villa Maria Motherhouse Complex are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[4]


Cheektowaga town hall, off Broadway (NY 130)

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 29.5 square miles (76.5 km²), all land.

The town borders Lancaster on the east, West Seneca on the south, the city of Buffalo on the west, and on the north by Amherst. The town includes the waterways of Scajaquada Creek, Cayuga Creek and Ellicott Creek.


  • Bellevue - A neighborhood in between Union Road and the Depew Border. Home to the Bellevue Fire Department and a portion of the Cayuga Creek. Also home to the historic "Bellevue Hotel", a local bar and restaurant which has been in existence since the 19th century.
  • Cheektowaga - A cdp within the town.
  • Cleveland Hill - A neighborhood located on the north town line, this community has its own school district.
  • Depew - The Village of Depew (shared with the Town of Lancaster) is in the eastern part of the town.
  • Doyle - A neighborhood near the western town line.
  • Forks - A location near Union Road (NY-277) and Broadway (NY-130).
  • Maryvale - A neighborhood located just west of the airport, this community is also a school district, containing Maryvale High School.
  • Pine Hill - A neighborhood on the border of Buffalo, the community features many cemeteries and Villa Maria College.
  • Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve – A conservation area in the south central part of the town.
  • Sloan - The Village of Sloan, near the Buffalo border. Sloan is the seat of the Cheekotowaga-Sloan school district.
  • South Cheektowaga - Neighborhood on the border of West Seneca border near French Road. Several apartment complexes are located in this area.
  • U-Crest - A neighborhood near Union Road (NY-277) and Genesee Street (NY-33).
  • Williamsville - A small part of the Village of Williamsville (shared with the Town of Amherst).


On July 30, 1987, an F1 tornado touched down in the Union Road and George Urban Boulevard area. It grew to an F2 before dissipating.[5] Homes and business suffered serious damage, but there were no fatalities or severe injuries. This tornado is locally memorable as the one which ripped the roof off the Holiday Showcase Restaurant.

Another F1 tornado touched down not far from the site of the 1987 tornado on June 30, 2006.[6] Again, homes and businesses - including the Holiday Showcase, which was remodeled soon after - were damaged, and a tractor trailer was knocked over on the NY State Thruway, but no one was killed.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 1,137
1850 3,042 167.5%
1860 2,743 −9.8%
1870 2,465 −10.1%
1880 2,327 −5.6%
1890 2,974 27.8%
1900 5,156 73.4%
1910 7,620 47.8%
1920 11,923 56.5%
1930 20,849 74.9%
1940 25,006 19.9%
1950 45,354 81.4%
1960 84,056 85.3%
1970 113,844 35.4%
1980 109,442 −3.9%
1990 99,314 −9.3%
2000 94,019 −5.3%
2010 88,226 −6.2%
Est. 2014 87,840 [7] −0.4%
Historical Population Figures
Cheektowaga (town)[8][9][10]
The Anna M. Reinstein Public Library on NY 240 in Cheektowaga

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 94,019 people, 40,045 households, and 25,869 families residing in the town. The population density was 3,183.8 people per square mile (1,229.3/km²). There were 41,901 housing units at an average density of 1,418.9 per square mile (547.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.94% White, 2.93% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.94% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.97% of the population.

There were 40,045 households out of which 25.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.5% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the town the population was spread out with 20.6% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 20.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 88.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $38,121, and the median income for a family was $46,646. Males had a median income of $34,538 versus $25,434 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,627. About 4.6% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.7% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.

Major ancestries in the town are Polish (39.9%), German (29.9%), Italian (16.0%), Irish (14.1%), English (5.8%), and French (2.7%).

Cheektowaga is located near many expressways, including the New York Thruway.


The east town line is marked by New York State Route 78 (Transit Road). New York State Route 240 (Harlem Road) and New York State Route 277 (Union Road) are major north-south routes through the town. New York State Route 33 (Kensington Expressway), Walden Avenue, and William Street access the New York State Thruway, which is also runs north-south through the town, traveling from the Amherst town line in the north, south to the West Seneca town line in the southwest corner of town. New York State Route 130 (Broadway) is an east-west roadway from the Buffalo city line to the Depew village line. Interstate 190, travels in the town from I-90 to Buffalo City Line and beyond into Downtown Buffalo and north to Niagara Falls. U.S. Route 20 (Transit Road) is a north-south roadway that runs concurrently with NY 78 along Cheektowaga's east border with Lancaster, south of Depew. New York State Route 354 (Clinton Street) is an east-west roadway through the extreme southwest corner of town, and provides the southern border with West Seneca.

Notable residents[edit]

Two of the above residents – professional bowlers Liz Johnson and Ryan Ciminelli – made history in 2015. Johnson won the U.S. Women's Open event in September of that year, and two months later, Ciminelli won the Men's U.S. Open. This marked the first time that bowlers from the same city won these two events in the same season.[12]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Cheektowaga is twinned with:


  1. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  2. ^ "Cheektowaga CDP, New York." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on May 25, 2009.
  3. ^ Polish communities, Epodunk. Accessed September 11, 2013.
  4. ^ Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  5. ^ National Weather Service report on the 1987 tornado (NOAA Website)
  6. ^ page at the National Weather Service Website discussing the 2006 tornado
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Town of Cheektowaga - History". Town of Cheektowaga.  (2009). Retrieved 2012-01-08
  9. ^ Twelfth census of the United States, taken in the year 1900. Department of Commerce and Labor.  (1900), page 278. Retrieved 2012-01-08
  10. ^ United States summary, 1980-2000 census of population. U.S. Census Bureau.  (2000), page 137. Retrieved 2012-01-08
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ Northrop, Milt (November 13, 2015). "Milt Northrop’s Bowling: Ciminelli on a roll with U.S. Open title". Buffalo News. Retrieved November 18, 2015. 

External links[edit]