Author: Explore Buffalo

Explore Buffalo

Explore Buffalo is a nonprofit organization with a mission of promoting Buffalo and Western New York history, architecture, and neighborhoods through quality education to learners of all ages. Explore Buffalo's volunteer docents lead a wide range of guided tours by foot, bike, bus, kayak, and boat to explore our city's history and architecture; in 2019, more than 25,000 people participated in an Explore Buffalo tour or program. Learn more at explorebuffalo.org

Explore Buffalo docent, Kathleen Brown, delves into the history of the fictional Phoebe Snow, who was part of an advertisement campaign for the cleanliness of railroads in the early 20th century.  Her travels on the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western rail line, more commonly referred to as the DL&W railroad, helped to put Buffalo on the map as a travel hub in the Northeastern U.S. As its western terminus city, the impact of the Erie Canal on Buffalo cannot be underestimated. But, by the late 1800s the Queen City owed much of its wealth and growth to the railroad. In 1897,…

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Explore Buffalo docent and board member Gary Szakmary takes us on a colorful tour of historic Hertel Avenue!  Our tours of Hertel will return in Spring of 2021. Be sure to check out our offerings of winter tours and online presentations at ExploreBuffalo.org. This holiday season, check out the Hertel Business Association’s Shop Local, Shop Hertel promotion at hertel-ave.com Although Hertel Avenue began its life in the mid-19th Century, most of the neighborhood we see today was built roughly 100 years ago – between 1915 and 1925.  This includes most of the commercial buildings along Hertel, as well as nearly…

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This week, Explore Buffalo docent David Rock provides an overview of Olmsted’s parkway system with a focus on Lincoln Parkway. The Lincoln Parkway tour of diversely styled homes and the interesting stories of the families who built them has wrapped up for the season, but we hope to see you on it in Spring 2021!  From Delaware Park to Soldiers Place, Lincoln Parkway lies at the heart of America’s first interconnected park and parkway system, envisioned by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1868, a decade after they designed Manhattan’s Central Park. Far from the battlefields of the Civil…

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Explore Buffalo docent, Janine Ortman, highlights some of the interesting history of the charming Village of Lancaster!  There’s still time to go on the Lancaster walking tour on November 6, 10 and 14 of 2020.  Reserve your spot for this tour at Explore Buffalo’s website and check the calendar section for other November walking tours! Lancaster NY is a lovely community 14 miles east of the city of Buffalo. The community dates back to the early 1800s. It was part of the Holland Land Company holdings which were surveyed by Joseph Ellicott and his crew in the early 1800s. Lancaster…

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This week, Explore Buffalo docent Kathleen Brown delves deeper into a story covered on our Ohio Street Resurgence tour.  The E & B Holmes Company, located at 59 Chicago Street, was a company that was revolutionary in more ways than one!  You can still catch our Ohio Street Resurgence Tour on Sunday October 25, 2020 and Thursday October 29, 2020.  Tickets are available at Explore Buffalo’s website.  If you’ve ever tried to get to, or from, Buffalo on Route 5 and found the Father Baker Bridge closed, then you’ve probably used Ohio Street as the alternative route. Until recently, this…

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As Explore Buffalo’s regular tour season will wind down at the end of October, we are happy to announce that you can still explore Buffalo’s history with us from the comfort of your own home!  Registration for our online Episodes in Buffalo History course is open now.  Explore Buffalo speaker and docent, Cheryl McDonald, who gives talks on Buffalo during World War II shares with us the story of Buffalo’s ‘Riveting Rosies.’ On Saturday, December 6, 1941, Buffalo women were planning their Christmas menus, ordering the turkey from the Broadway Market, or taking the children downtown to see the AM&A’s…

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The Larkin District is one of the shining examples of revitalization in the city of Buffalo.  Explore Buffalo docent, Patra Mangus, provides a bit of history of the neighborhood and the company for which it is named.  Explore Buffalo leads a tour of the Larkin District which we’ll be bringing back to you next Spring!  Explore Buffalo thanks the Zemsky Family Foundation for their support of tours in the Larkin District. Larkinville is a very intriguing neighborhood. It is the part of Buffalo where industry took root and the city expanded and grew. As the population of the City of Buffalo…

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September 15, 2020 marked the 119th anniversary of President William McKinley’s funeral in Buffalo.  Last week, Explore Buffalo included Old County Hall as one of the highlights of its Presidents in Buffalo Tour.  This week, Explore Buffalo staff member and docent, Suzanne Ernst, takes a closer look at the site of where McKinley lay in state after his assassination along with the building’s connection to other moments in national history. Old County Hall, originally known as City and County Hall and located at 92 Franklin Street, was built between 1871 and 1876.  The architect, Andrew Jackson Warner, was a Rochester,…

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This week, Explore Buffalo highlights its Presidents in Buffalo tour.  Buffalo Presidential Center Trustee and Explore Buffalo Master Docent, Bren Price, takes us on a virtual walk through many historic sites in the city where American Presidents visited. Be sure to catch our Presidents in Buffalo tour in September and October and pay a visit to the new Buffalo Presidential Center at the Central Library, opening this fall! If you pay close attention, a short stroll through the center of downtown Buffalo can reveal more about Buffalo’s unique Presidential History than your history classes in school or even college.  Let…

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Explore Buffalo’s Cottage District Tour features English style cottages built in the 1870s, making Little Summer Street a unique and charming area of Buffalo.  A much larger home once stood in this neighborhood belonging to William G. Fargo of Wells Fargo.  While the home is no longer there, photographs and stories of the home and family live on.  Explore Buffalo docent Cynthia Hammond shares a description of the home and the story of William G. Fargo, his family and the business that he co-founded.  A plaque at the corner of Pennsylvania and Fargo Avenue  is pictured below.  If you walk…

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