Share, , , Google Plus, Reddit, Pinterest, StumbleUpon


Posted in:

McClelland Small Animal Hospital makes a statement

A week ago I was walking down Ellicott Street in Downtown Buffalo when I came across a fantastic new sign that presently graces the exterior of McClelland Small Animal Hospital. At first I thought that I was seeing things – coming across this after posting my “Signs of the Times” rant a couple of weeks back. But there I stood, standing in front of a larger-than-life sign that looked like something that might have been erected in Buffalo during its heyday.

Grooming-Buffalo-NY-2As good fortune would have it, today (out of the blue) I received an email from Matthew Souza, owner and director of McClelland Small Animal Hospital, who wanted to tell me about some of the work that he has embarked upon as of late. “We have recently undergone a renovation and expansion of our hospital by Buffalo based Johnson and Sons,” Matthew wrote to me. “The expansion includes moving onto the second floor of the hospital after a forty year abandonment of this space, creating an extensive boarding and grooming facility amongst other rooms. Our newly renovated lobby includes historical pictures of the hospital’s past. We have also added a 14′ marquee sign to the front of our building by Buffalo based Innovative Design, dramatically changing the streetscape of Ellicott Street especially at night.”

If this is the direction that we are collectively heading, I say full steam ahead. Not only is the city seeing all sorts of business and development activity with new coffee shops, restaurants and some retailers, some stalwart businesses such as McClelland are rallying behind the effort.

The hospital is the site of Buffalo and Western New York’s first and continuously running veterinary hospital circa 1880, and while the building has lost a lot of its original historic character, an effort is being made to instill some pride back into its bones.

Today the business (and the building) is making a statement that “the lights are still on and we’re open for business”. Even the top floor is active once more – something that Matthew pointed out by saying “The third floor has been developed into a loft apartment with beautiful views of The Electric Tower and Liberty building to the west, and St. Michael’s church, the banking district and Shea’s marquee sign to the north. Regarding our renovation/rehabilitation, we’re doing our part to add to the rebirth of Ellicott Street and our great city!”

McClelland Small Animal Hospital | 455 Ellicott St, Buffalo, NY 14203 | (716) 847-0181 | Facebook

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

View All Articles by queenseyes
Hide Comments
Show Comments
  • JSmith11

    Ah – an accidental throwback to Green Lightning’s dancing dog biscuits!
    I cautiously like these types of signs (Cantina Loco’s as well). As an occasional accent they add a lot to the visual interest of a street, but if every single shop on Elmwood had something like this, it would be garish and overwhelming at night. I’m not sure how the city can regulate “only a few of you are allowed to do this”, though.

  • BuffaloBoi

    Perfect touch since it’s in the ‘Theatre District’. Great improvement

  • texpat

    Great sign!  The awning needs work but the building and sign are great!

  • Very nice.

  • costrander08

    Looks awesome. This is the type of sign I’d like to see Liberty Hound go with instead of the basic banner they’re using now.

  • BuffaloAllStar

    Great addition..inagree with feh rest, you can’t beat a great sign. Buffalos a dog city, definite shortage of quality groomers and QUALITY BOARDING!
    I shouldn’t have to drive to east jahunga to find a safe, clean, trustworthy place to leave my dog while I am away. Definitely will check this place out!

  • VirginiaHolloway

    And Dr. Souza is a great vet too.

  • LouisTully

    costrander08  Except, how does it fit with the character of Canalside?

  • LouisTully

    Ugh!  This city has zero design sense or taste when it comes to signage…

  • EB_Blue

    Now they can rid of that internally illuminated awning.

  • BLoRisin


  • schvanstuchen

    Such a contrast, the awesome new projection sign and the horrid 1980’s backlit awning. Those awning should be outlawed!

  • costrander08

    Permanent sign > temporary banner. So I suppose the temporary sign fits the current character quite well.
    But to expand on the thought, it doesn’t necessarily need to be neon and eye catching. A wooden sign hung from the building would serve just as well. I assume that at some point modern touches will begin to grace the buildings that are supposed to fill Canalside’s parcels. While the buildings themselves will certainly be within the design standards (I hope) I think it’s a safe bet to say that at least a few will likely utilize fully lit signage similar to this or even Cantina Loco.

  • Bison716

    There’s probably going to be illuminated signs. One Canalside, Skyway plans, just saying…

  • LouisTully

    costrander08  Definitely agree with your wooden sign suggestion.  That would definitely be more appropriate.  I would imagine something like what I recall from Fells Point in B’more would be a nice fit.
    There should be some serious concern with the design in this area.  The Naval Museum/Liberty Hound building is reminiscent of the area’s history, with a modern twist on the slip side.  And that’s fine.  But between the dozens of variations of light standards, the Harborcenter design, and the One Canalside design – along with the renderings floated for the Aud Block – I’m not feeling too good about the direction this small section is heading in, design-wise.

  • GotAnyChange

    Kick ass. The building really has great bones. What a good bone to throw the city.

  • jazzfan

    I agree with most of the posters.  The sign looks great.  The backlit awning – not so much

    Maybe the owner is reading this and will consider changing it.

  • Rgeraci

    I have been bringing my four pets here for many years. What a great crew! They always treat my pets with such compassion and care. Truly a great place. The physical changes inside and out over the past year are significant but the professionalism has been constant.

  • Rustythedog

    Great job, wonderful staff and not to mention that will give more space in the practice for the terrific no-kill, all volunteer animal rescue organization that you work with, Second Chance Sheltering Network, Inc.

  • Captain Picard

    Maybe jazzfan will read this and get bent.

  • considering that we are the home of flex-lume, i’m surprised that we aren’t doing more to expand on our tradition of classic neon signage.

  • jazzfan

    Captain Picard  
    Maybe Captain Picard will read this and go fu….. oh never mind

    Make it so captain

  • LouisTully

    grad94  Flexlume on Main, right?  So they are still operating?  Whenever I’ve gone by I’ve wondered if they’re still open because it doesn’t ever look like much activity or any life at all.

  • WeAreTheNormal

    jazzfan Seriously, jazzfan? I agree with the good captain on this one. They shell out a bunch of money for renovating both the exterior and interior, and you have the coconuts to criticize the awning? Please, just let it go. To think they will change it simply because you don’t like it is, well, irrational. I’m trying to be as polite about it as possible, but your comments are just dumb.

  • jazzfan

    WeAreTheNormal jazzfan 
    First of all – There were several posts about the awning that preceded mine.  To not have seen those or even realized this from the context of my post is, well …..and very politely – not fair

    But, while I was agreeing with several others – that you chose to single me out for castigation is your prerogative.  

    I applaud the renovation of the building interior and the great new sign above.  I applaud the renovation of the second floor and utilization of the third.  That’s great stuff for downtown.

    If you were to take a second and look at the google earth street view of the site, you will notice that the blue awning was there at the time that the google earth view was captured.  I don’t know when the last google earth image was captured relative to the current  renovation but the text of the article speaks only of interior renovations and the addition of the sign.  It mentions nothing of an exterior renovation or the addition of a backlit blue awning so I’m going to assume that was there for some time.  Not that money wasn’t spent on it at some point.  But spending money on a renovation does not make one immune to critique.

    I’ll stand by my opinion – which I believe I am able to voice on this board. The backlit awning is a thing of the past to put it most kindly. Slowly but surely they are being removed and replaced with restorations of actual facades. Furthermore, I only voiced my hope that the owner would consider changing it and never implied that because I don’t like the owner SHOULD change it.  I’ll also say that voicing my honest opinion – which was that like the awning…”not so much” – does not entitle other to tell me to get bent or characterize me ever so politely as dumb.

    Having said all that – I’m letting it go – as you suggested. In the end,  it’s not my building.

  • costrander08

    I’m betting on the fact that the buildings built on the Canalside parcels will mimic the Naval Museum in look and design more than One Canalside. That building really doesn’t bother me all that much even though they didn’t build it out to the curb.
    I know they could have done more with it, but it will ultimately tie in well enough to the entire district based on what I’ve seen. Exactly when we see buildings go in is an entirely different story though…seems like it will never come at some points.

  • christopherbieda

    JSmith11, thank goodness I am not the only one old enough to remember Billie Lawless’s installation.  For the rest of you:

  • jazzfan

    christopherbieda JSmith11 
    Google Billy Lawless Green Lightning and click on images.
    If I’m not mistaken, Green Lightning was installed in Buffalo right where the Catholic Health System is erecting their “mothership”

  • WeAreTheNormal

    jazzfan WeAreTheNormal A couple things that I would like to add: 1. I merely suggest your comment was dumb, not you. Hell, I say dumb stuff everyday, but I don’t consider myself dumb in the very least. 2. Unfortunately, you are correct about not being the only one critical of the awning. It just so happened that your criticism was the first one I saw.

  • JaxWillis23

    Animal hospitals are some of the most amazing places in the world. I don’t know what I would do if my pets got hurt and I couldn’t do anything to help them. I think we need to value these places so much more. I hope that more places like this become common so that we can have more consistent help for these animals.

  • CaseyJones1

    That is cool they made a loft above that animal hospital.  It would be neat to live above an animal hospital.  Then my dog could get care right away whenever he needed it.

  • James Lisbon

    Wow, having a sign out front could help people notice the business more I would think.   Especially if there is an emergency, pet owners would probably want to find a place as quickly as possible.  Thankfully there seem to be different services out there that can help with pet care.