Buffalo History Museum - Table of Contents

2002 Photos

Buffalo History Museum
Formerly Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Museum
1 Museum Court, Buffalo, NY

Buffalo History Museum - Official Home Page

TEXT Beneath Illustrations

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South elevation

South portico

Art, Husbandry


"Lincoln, the Emancipator"

Elmwood Ave. entrance -


Underground Railway

"The Centaur"

by Charles Cary Rumsey

"The Centaur"







25 Nottingham Court in Delaware Park, Buffalo, New York 14216



1901 (the only permanent building of the Pan-American Exposition)
Addition - east and west wings: 1929

Former President Millard Fillmore and his associates founded the Historical Society in 1862. Fillmore was elected the first president of the Society.

See also: Highlights of Buffalo's History, 1901


Neoclassical Revival (with Greek Doric details)


George Cary (40-year old Buffalo architect who was one of eight members of the Pan American Exposition's Board of Architects). Cary also designed the addition in 1929


The sculpture in the south facade pediment represents the forces of civilization and was carved by Edmund Amateis. Left to right: Philosophy, Industry, Art, Husbandry, History, Science, Mars, Religion, Law.

On the portico steps, the statue of "Lincoln, the Emancipator," carved by Charles N. Niehaus, was dedicated in 1902. It is a replica of the statue Niehaus sculpted for Muskegon, Michigan. For thirty years this statue was located in the Grand Court inside the Historical Building before being placed on the south portico steps.

Edmund R. Amateis carved the eleven relief sculptures around the building depicting scenes from Western New York history: the trial of Red Jacket, Commodore Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie, the burning of Buffalo in 1813, Gen. Daniel D. Bidwell at Spotsylvania, the Underground Railway, the reception of Marquis de Lafayette in Buffalo in 1825, Grover Cleveland, the formation of the Buffalo historical Society.

The statue of "The Centaur" was created by Charles Cary Rumsey, the architect's nephew.


Charles Berrick and Sons


The masterwork of architect George Cary (1859 - 1945), the Historical Society building was originally erected as the New York State pavilion for the Pan-American Exposition of 1901 at a cost of $375,000.

Built of Vermont marble (quarries located at Isle la Motte and Danby) in the style of a Grecian Temple, the building was the only permanent exposition structure (the others were constructed of plaster).

After the Exposition the building became the permanent home of the Buffalo Historical Society, whose large collection of pioneer relics it contains.

The north facade of the building is faced with three-quarter columns and the public entrance is through 2-ton bronze doors - the gift of Society president Andrew Langdon.

The Parthenon

A textbook example of the neoclassicism popular after the Chicago Fair of 1893, George Cary designed the building in the Neoclassical style with the eight-columned south portico representing a 3/4 scale version of the great Doric Parthenon in Athens, Greece overlooking "Gala Waters" (Olmsted's name for the lake in Delaware Park).

In 1925-1929 the building was enlarged by the addition of identical wings on the east and west sides, work that was also entrusted to Cary.

See also: Carl Zoschke's painting of the History Society Museum

Photos and their arrangement 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
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