Market Square

Market Square (HM1RLN)

Location: Buffalo, NY 14207 Erie County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 56.084', W 78° 54.103'

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Black Rock Historic District

The Market Square Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011. The district is representative of the period 1830-1912 as Lower Black Rock evolved from a small independent village to a small independent neighborhood in the City of Buffalo, New York. The district retains a collection of architecturally significant homes and buildings spanning almost a century of development. These include two extant examples of Federal Style homes as well as an extant public space of the same period (1830). Other significant examples include a large Eastlake Style home, a Gothic revival church, and Arts & Crafts Style firehouse, a Craftman Style bank, and the Romanesque Style St. Francis Xavier Church complex. The Market Square Historic District encompasses both sides of Amherst Street from Niagara Street to Tonawanda Street and also portions of East Street and Dearborn Street. The small area adjacent to the Market Square is the oldest section of Black Rock and contains the City of Buffalo's largest concentration of homes constructed prior to 1850. The area is unique in that there are homes dating from the earliest period of settlement tin [sic] Black Rock and the City of Buffalo. The area also retains fine examples of religious, civic, and commercial buildings that continue to be utilized and occupied. Even today, the area retains the look and feel of a village center. The green space of the Market Square still anchors both sides of Amherst Street at Niagara Street and remains unchanged since General Peter B. Porter donated the land in 1830. At Dearborn Street there is a pronounced rise that is an extension of the high bluff visible near the Peace Bridge. On this high ground, the Howell House and store were constructed about 1830, the stone house survives as a remaining example of the Federal Style. Across Amherst Street the old Black Rock Savings and Loan building has served the needs of generations of Black Rock residents since 1870. At the corner of Amherst and East Streets, the hose tower of Engine #15 commands a bird's eye view of the neighborhood and riverfront. The firehouse, built in 1912, has been restored and converted to loft apartments. For many years this building was the home of the poet Robert Creeley. Also at this corner the circa 1820-1835 Smith House and Tavern has been fully restored. The house is one of the oldest in the city and is a rare remaining example of the Federal Style. Further up Amherst Street, the church towers of St. Francis and St. John's rise high above the cluster of 19th century homes very much like a Eurpoean village. St. Francis has occupied this site since 1849 and is the city's second oldest Catholic parish. The congregation at St. John's dates back to 1847 and has been serving the Protestant community continually since that time. Finally, the green space at the northeast corner of Amherst and East Street is the original lawn of Public School #20. The school educated Black Rock residents for over 100 years beginning at about 1850. Although the building was demolished the lawn remains intact and in original form. The grassy area has (and continues) to serve as a playground for the children of Black Rock. Sporting events and other activities have been held here for well over 150 years. There has been a renewal of pride and investment in this long under-appreciated old neighborhood. Momentum is building as the neighborhood activists and preservation groups rediscover the rich history and architecture of Historic Black Rock. Black Rock Heritage Trail Sites / Market Square 1. Tour Orientation Sign, Black Rock History at Market Square. 2. Tour Orientation Sign, Market Square Historic District. 3. Market Square, 1830. Stephen W. Howell House and Store 1830. 5. Jacob Smith House and Tavern, 1830-1835. 6. St. John's Evangelical Church, Founded 1847. 7. St. Francis Xavier Church, Founded 1849. 8. Buffalo and Niagara Falls Railroad, 1836-1869. 9. Jubilee Springs, 1827-1898. 10. Porter Square, 1830. 11. Squaw Island [renamed Unity Island]. Please see the War of 1812 Tour Orientation Sign at Niagara & Tonawanda Streets for the War of 1812 Black Rock Heritage Trail.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, April 11th, 2016 at 9:05am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17T E 671211 N 4755703
Decimal Degrees42.93473333, -78.90171667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 56.084', W 78° 54.103'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 56' 5.04" N, 78° 54' 6.18" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)716
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1851 Niagara St, Buffalo NY 14207, US
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