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On the Market: The Dun Building

The Dun Building, downtown’s first high rise when it was constructed in 1895, is for sale.  The ten-story, 27,000 sq.ft. building is currently owned by Clover Management and is listed for sale through CBRE Buffalo with a $1.58 million asking price.  It is named for R.G. Dun & Co., a precursor to financial services firm Dun & Bradstreet and was designed by architects E.B. Green and W.S. Wicks.   The Pearl Street building is located within the Joseph Ellicott Historic District and is a designated city landmark.

It was purchased in 1999 by Dun Building LLC, an affiliate of Clover Management.  Each floor contains 2,600 square feet of space, ideal for smaller tenants desiring a full floor of offices. 

Picture 909.jpgThe Dun Building, with its fireproof steel skeleton, led a building boom which was to transform Buffalo in the succeeding ten years.  Preceding the Guaranty and Ellicott Square Buildings in high rise construction by a year, the Dun Building symbolized Buffalo’s progressive attitude and economic might.

Though steel frame technology was new, architects stretched existing styles to fit the new skyscrapers.  Green and Wicks, the dominant local firm of the period, applied the popular renaissance style (with its imperial Roman details) to their first steel frame design.

The verticality of the Dun Building found expression in the four-story-high arches which dominate the façade.  The arches are filled by tripartite windows with metal mullions.  The renaissance style is shown to best advantage, however, in the details, which have an academic exactitude.

These start with the yellow Roman brick of the cladding, long and thin, laid atop a foundation of ashlar masonry.  The courses of brick are regularly interrupted by bands of stone at the 3rd, 6th, 7th and 9th floors.  A dentil band tops the 10th story, and cornice of scrolled modillons caps the building with a flourish.

The entrances are especially rich in details.  The reveals have an elaborate foliate pattern and the surround has talon and bead and reel molding.  The entrances are topped by scrolled cornices supported by ancones and scroll modillions with acanthus leaves.

Above each entrance cornice is a round window surrounded by egg and dart molding and palmette, keystone and foliate carvings.  A frieze with swag carvings and egg and dart molding wraps around the third floor.

Source:  Buffalo’s Best. The Preservation Coalition of Erie County, edited by Tim Tielman. 1985.

Get Connected: CBRE Buffalo, 716.855.3700


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