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My favorite Buildings: Hertz Garage (Miller’s Livery Stable)

This solidly built structure is an unheralded masterpiece in Downtown Buffalo. It sits on Huron Street just east of Delaware with the word Hertz painted on its chimney. You might think it has been abandoned since its windows have long been boarded up. Though somewhat forlorn this building is not abandoned. It has long served as a parking garage (and perhaps a Hertz car rental center?). It may have started out life as a livery or possibly a manufacturing building. I don’t know much about this one but I love it and keep holding out hope that it some day might see a new and higher use.
It has an absolutely beautiful and very powerful facade composed of simple but finely crafted terra cotta and brick details. The brick is a rich red with the impossibly thin mortar joints – the kind that were common in the 1800’s but for some reason are impossible to obtain these days.

The deeply recessed windows create bold shadows emphasizing the massiveness of the masonry walls. At the same time slender masonry piers frame the vertically grouped windows giving the building a light almost lacy feeling. These kinds of contrasts make for a very rich but understated composition. My guess is that this is an E. B. Green designed structure, but I could not find anything written about this beauty which is too bad. A bright light needs to be shone on this one so that it gets the notice it deserves and perhaps receives a renovation in the tradition of the recently restored Webb Building.

Written by David Steele

David Steele

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of "Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land" ( ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste,
advocate for a better way of doing things.

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