Ellicott Square Building - Table of Contents

Exterior - Ellicott Square Building
295 Main St., Buffalo, New York

2002, 2015 photos

Erected:
1896
(One year total)
Architect:
D. H. Burnham & Co,
Charles Atwood, principal architect
Style: Italian Renaissance Revival   ... Beaux Arts Classical
Exterior materials:
Pressed brick and terra cotta. Painted gray in 1971
Status:
Contributing building in the Joseph Ellicott Local Historic District

In 1895, the Ellicott Company commissioned architect Daniel H. Burnham of Chicago to design what they referred to as an "office block" in downtown Buffalo. The result was a building occupying the entire space between Main, South Division, Washington, and Swan Streets. Its 10 stories, 60 offices, and 40 stores, along with its central court, made it the world's largest office structure of its time, at a cost of 3.5 million dollars. It was on May 30, 1896, only one year following its inception, that the Ellicott Square Building -- the largest, finest, and most complete office building in America -- took its place as a finished structure in the front rank of the notable features of the city of Buffalo.

Like Burnham and Root's Rookery in Chicago, it is constructed around a large interior court. The elaborate terra-cotta exterior, now painted gray, which in its essential lines follows Richardson's Marshall Field Wholesale Store in Chicago, was conceived by Charles B. Atwood (1849 - 1895), the designer-in-chief of the World's Columbian Exposition and master of "all artistic matters" in the Chicago-based firm of D. H. Burnham and Company.

The architecture of Ellicott Square may be termed "Italian Renaissance," with refined and classic ornamental features. To the top of the second story, the outer walls consist of granite, iron, and terra-cotta , with a veneer of pearl-gray brick and terra cotta trimmings above -- the whole being adequately crowned with a cornice of massive proportions and great beauty (removed in the 1970s). The effect was to reproduce the quiet dignity, repose, and impressive grandeur of the great palaces of Rome and Florence.

Sources:
  • "Ellicott Square: Celebrating 100 years of Excellence and Commitment to Buffalo 1896-1996" brochure

  • "Buffalo Architecture: A Guide." Cambridge: MIT Press, 1981

  • Classic Buffalo: A Heritage of Distinguished Architecture, by Richard O. Reisem


Joseph Ellicott




Daniel H. Burnham
Photo source: Chicago History Museum


Charles B. Atwood, principal designer of the Ellicott Square Building











Postcard.
Postcard. Note cornice on top of building





10 stories tall




Cornice, 9th, 10th stories.
Cornice removed in 1971 and partially restored. Corrugated steel was added in 1971 ...




Top: Terra cotta figures ... Anthemia feature Medusa superimposed on a palmette ... Egg-and-dart molding below








10th story.
Below the cornice:  Egg-and-dart molding  ... Bead-and-reel molding ... Dentils and bellflowers ... Putti flanking crowned cartouche and laurel leaf wreath ... Grotesque with pendant bellflowers below




Note laurel leaf  band course delineating the story above and below




10th story.





10th story.
  Egg-and-dart molding  ... Bead-and-reel molding ...  Dentil molding  and bellflowers  .. Grotesques with pendant bellflowers below ... Laurel leaf  band course




10th story.
Grotesque with pendant bellflower  ... Side panels with leaf-and-dart molding




9th story.
Laurel leaf  band course   ...  Ancone-shaped keystone in center of the arch decorated with Egg-and-dart molding
and rosettes





7th story.
Dentil molding ... Quoins ... Vermiculated ancone keystone ... Pendant bellflower





6th story.
Greek key molding  ...  Dentil molding ...  Vermiculated bands on  pilasters ... Vitruvian wave molding



6th story
Vermiculated band ... Vitruvian wave molding  features bellflowers  ...  Dentil molding










2nd story
Egg-and-dart molding ... Quoins





1st story.
Cast iron and glass ...  Detail of south elevation where the Statler Restaurant was located in the Ellicott Square Building ... Three details below:



1st story.
Cast iron and glass ... Guilloche molding ...  Bead-and-reel molding



1st story.
Cast iron and glass



1st story.
Guilloche molding ...  Bead-and-reel molding ... Acanthus leaf above dentils



Entrance Surround


Entrance surround - Drawing




Entrance surround.
Terra cotta ornamentation painted gray in the 1970s.




Entrance surround.
Terra cotta ornamentation




Entrance surround.
Terra cotta  ornamentation: Eagle ...  Anthemion ... Lion head ... Laurel leaf garland




Entrance surround
Acanthus leaves (top) ... Egg-and-dart ... Laurel leaves ... Leaf-and-dart ... Volutes ...  Putto




Entrance surround.
Three details below:



Entrance surround.
Terra cotta draped urn ... Rosette




Entrance surround.
Dentil molding ... Anthemions ... Bellflowers




Entrance surround.
Foliated panel at left ... Ionic capital on  banded column ... Guilloche ... Vermiculated bands ... Bellflowers




Entrance surround
Banded columns



Entrance surround
Frieze: Paterae ... Triglyphs and drops  ...  Eight details below:



Entrance surround.
Banded columns



Entrance surround.
Leaf-and-dart ... Putti and egg-and-dart ...  Laurel leaves ... Flutes



Entrance surround
Leaf-and-dart ... Putti and egg-and-dart ...  Laurel leaves



Entrance surround
Classical figure on keystone ... Banded column



Entrance surround
Banded columnC scrolls ... Bellflowers



Entrance surround
Banded columnC scrolls ... Bellflowers



Entrance surround
Classical figure keystone




Entrance surround.
Classical figure keystones ... Banded column




Entrance surround.
Classical figure keystone



Entrance surround.
Classical figure keystone ...  Flutes





Entrance surround
Banded columns ...   Cast iron lamppost... 3 details below:



Entrance surround
Banded columns ...   Cast iron lamppost: Corinthian column




Entrance surround
Cast iron lamppost



Entrance surround
Cast iron lamppost:  Torches ... Grotesque ... Ribbons ... Festoon





Entrance surround.
Nike ... Hermes / Mercury ... Fanlight ... Roman lattice



Entrance surround.



Entrance surround.
Nike



Entrance surround.
Anthemia on globe ... Guilloche on fanlight




Entrance surround.
Hermes / Mercury



Entrance surround.
Bead-and-reel





Photos and their arrangement 2002, 2015 Chuck LaChiusa
| ...Home Page ...| ..Buffalo Architecture Index...| ..Buffalo History Index... .|....E-Mail ...| ..

web site consulting by ingenious, inc.