Our Legacy of Abundant Water

Our Legacy of Abundant Water (HM1QX0)

Location: Buffalo, NY 14202 Erie County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 53.17', W 78° 52.698'

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Buffalo History and Architecture

— Niagara Square South —

The presence of a vast inland sea and its wide river tributary in western New York soon attracted settlers. The tiny village of Black Rock, north of Ellicott's Niagara Square, was expected to flourish, however, not Buffalo. Black Rock already has an excellent harbor and monopolized the then infant commerce of the lake. Though both villages vied to provide the harbor for the western terminus of the proposd Erie Canal, Buffalo won. Water brought great prosperity to the city by way of the canal and later hydroelectric power. Just ten years after the canal's completeion (built 1817-1825), Buffalo, its population quadrupled to 20,000, was the most important city on the Great Lakes, the principal port for transshipment of goods from the Midwest. Water also brougt tragedy. On December 30, 1813, during the War of 1812, the British, crossing the river from Canada to Black Rock, set fire to both villages in retaliation for American;s burning of Newark, now Niagara-on-the-Lake. Toda, the Peace Bridge, a mile north of the Square, stands as a monument to 200 years of peace between the U.S. and Canada. By 1815, Buffalo had begun to rebuild. One of the earliest homes on Niagara Square was the elegant brick Federal style residence of Judge Herman B. Potter on the southwest corner at Delaware. Judge Potter, the area's first district attorney, conducted the murder trial of the three Thayer brothers, who in 1825 were convicted and hanged together in the Square before a crowd of 30,000. Master builder Benjamin Rathburn changed the face of the burgeoning community in the 1830s. In 1835 alone, he built 99 buildings, among them the home of Justice of the Peace Stephen G. Austin at the southeast corner of the Square at Delaware. Rathburn also operated numerous businesses that supported his enterprise, including his own bank. The scandal on $1.5 million in notes forged by his brother and nephew with his knowledge toppled Rathburn's empire, and he wound up a resident in the very jail he had built. Only one of his downtown buildings survives. A aandsome brick building designed by Richard A. Waite in 1892 for the Women's Educational & Industrial Union later occupied the Potter home site. Today, the site holds the 10-story City Court building. Designed during a turbulent political climate in the early 1970s by Phohl, Roberts & Biggie in a style called Brutalism, the 1974 windowless fortress was intended to protect courtrooms and judge's chambers from distraction. Another man who changed the face of Buffalo, but handsomely and lastingly, was the city's long-lived and most prolific architect, Edward Broadhead Green, who designed a small Venetian-style palazzo as his firm's offices in the southeast corner of the Square. Green's wealthy clients included John Albright, benefactor of the 1905 Albright Art Gallery, whichGren designed three miles north on Elmwood Avenue. Almost 200 of Green's designs still exist in the Buffalo area, including the 1924 Colonial Revival Buffalo Athetic Club next to his office, which echoes the architectural feeling of the Statler Hotel on the opposite side of Niagara Square. 1) Erie Canal in downtown Buffalo, c. 1908 2) Buffalo City Courthouse 3) E.B. Green 4) Buffalo Athletic Club
HM NumberHM1QX0
Series This marker is part of the Erie Canal series
Placed ByCommunity Foundation for Greater Buffalo 21st Century Fund in collaboration with Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier, et al
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, March 3rd, 2016 at 5:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17T E 673258 N 4750357
Decimal Degrees42.88616667, -78.87830000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 53.17', W 78° 52.698'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 53' 10.2" N, 78° 52' 41.88" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)716
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , Buffalo NY 14202, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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