The Buffalo Forge plant at 490 Broadway is almost gone. Demolition crews have been busy tearing down the factory that has been vacant since 1994. Covering the full-block of Broadway, Sycamore, Spring and Mortimer streets, the buildingis owners, Howden Buffalo, applied for and received permission to demolish the building due to unsafe conditions and structural problems.
History was made at the site in July 1902 when engineer Willis Carrier invented air conditioning when he was tasked to improve air quality at the Sackett-Wilhelms printing plant in Brooklyn. Willis and six other engineers formed the Carrier Engineering Corporation in 1915 that moved to Syracuse in the 1930is. Carrier today is headquartered in Farmington, Connecticut, USA, with approximately 45,000 employees in 172 countries.
Buffalo Forge Company, a manufacturer of heaters, blowers, and air exhaust systems, was acquired by the Howden Group in 1993. The South Carolina-based firm changed its name to Howden Buffalo in 1999 and maintains a small office on Wehrle Drive in Williamsville. What the future holds for the 14-acre site within walking distance to downtown is uncertain.
Note: Pictures taken two weeks ago, building could very well be down by now.