America's Crossroads: The Spaulding Exchange The large hole in the ground, which will soon be developed to its former glory, where the Memorial Auditorium formerly stood, was once the most dynamic, most vibrant, most exciting public assembly place in Buffalo. Known as Spaulding's Exchange, it was the greatest center of commerce west of the Hudson River. Pay close attention to the "multiple vignettes": to the wealth of detail contained in this remarkable illustration. What does this painting by a long lost artist reveal about mid-19th century Buffalo? Elbridge Gerry Spaulding was a Buffalo attorney and banker who, as mayor of Buffalo, cleared the congested harbor of snarled shipping, constructed the first sewer system, and built a gas-light company that installed street lights. He served in Congress during the Civil War and helped Abraham Lincoln finance the war by sponsoring legislation that authorized the printing of paper money. Spaulding became known as "The Father of the Greenback Dollar"