Rand Building

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For the building in Huntsville, Alabama, see Rand Building (Huntsville, Alabama).
Rand Building
10 Lafayette Square and Rand Building 2.JPG
Rand Building to the right of the 10 Lafayette Square
General information
Type Office
Location 14 Lafayette Square
Buffalo, New York 14203
Coordinates 42°53′10.30″N 78°52′24.40″W / 42.8861944°N 78.8734444°W / 42.8861944; -78.8734444Coordinates: 42°53′10.30″N 78°52′24.40″W / 42.8861944°N 78.8734444°W / 42.8861944; -78.8734444
Completed 1929
Owner Priam Enterprises, LLC
Antenna spire 391 feet (119.2 m)
Roof 351 feet (107.0 m)
Technical details
Floor count 29
Design and construction
Architect James W. Kideney & Associates; Franklyn and William Kidd
Main contractor John W. Cowper Company

The Rand Building is a skyscraper and the third tallest building in Buffalo, New York. At the time it was built in 1929, it was the tallest in the city at a height of 391 feet (119 m).[1] Built on the site of the 1903 Olympic Theatre, it has been suggested that the Rand Building was the inspiration for the Empire State Building.[2]


The Olympic Theatre (1903) in Buffalo, New York

The building is named for George F. Rand Sr. (1864-1919),[3] former president and chairman of the board of directors of Marine Midland Bank, who was killed in a plane crash near Caterham in Surrey, England.[4]

The Buffalo Broadcasting Company moved its stations WGR and WKBW to the building in 1922; today, the stations in the Townsquare Media cluster (WMSX, WBLK, WBUF, and WYRK) broadcast from studios in the Rand Building and have their transmitting antennas located atop its beacon. The "GR" in WGR stands for George Rand. The station was founded by the Federal Telephone and Telegraph company in 1922, in which Rand was a major investor.[5]

Adjacent to the Rand Building is 10 Lafayette Square in Lafayette Square.

George F. Rand Jr. had a private dining room on the top floor of the building that he used for business lunches.[3] When the building opened, it featured an elaborate lighting system that highlighted its art deco stepped back style.[6]

In December 2014, the building was sold by real estate developer David L. Sweet to Paul J. Kolkmeyer, a developer and former CEO of First Niagara Bank, for $3.89 million. Kolkmeyer's firm, Amherst-based Priam Enterprises LLC, buys, manages and develops residential apartment buildings and student housing in Buffalo and the surrounding communities.[7] In addition to purchasing the Rand Building, Kolkmeyer purchased the Main Court Building at 43 Main St. (for $4.5 million), as well as the the Main Seneca Building, designed by Green & Wicks, at 237 Main St., the Roblin Building at 241 Main St., (together for $2.56 million) and The Stanton Building (also known as the Glenny Building), designed by Richard A. Waite, at 251 Main St. (for $646,569).[7]


The site of the present day Rand Building went through various iterations before the Rand Building was constructed in 1929.

  • 1830s - Lumber yard[4]
  • 1845 - Lafayette Presbyterian Church[4]
  • 1850 - Church destroyed in fire and rebuilt[4]
  • 1862 - A larger church was built to replace the previous structure[4]
  • 1901-1913 - Congregation moved and the church building was sold and remodeled into a burlesque house called Lafayette Theater[4]
  • 1908 - Private residence on corner demolished for new building by architects Seames and Zeitler called the Park Hof restaurant[4]
  • 1914 - Sold, remodeled, and reopened as the "Olympic Theater," which showed films and vaudeville[4]
  • 1929 - Rand Building constructed[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rand Building at library-towers.wikidot.com
  2. ^ Rand Building at emporis.com
  3. ^ a b Dunn, Edward T. (2003). Buffalo's Delaware Avenue : mansions and families. Buffalo, N.Y.: Canisius College Press. pp. 555–557. ISBN 0974093645. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i LaChiusa, Chuck. "Rand Building". buffaloah.com. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  5. ^ http://wnyheritagepress.org/photos_week_2011/rand_building/rand_building.htm
  6. ^ "Rand Building, Buffalo". forgottenbuffalo.com. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Christmann, Samantha (December 31, 2014). "Kolkmeyer completes purchase of 5 buildings". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
Preceded by
Liberty Building
Tallest Building in Buffalo
391 feet (119 m)
Succeeded by
Buffalo City Hall