Sterling Engine Co. - Table of Contents ...........................  Niagara Street Industrial Heritage

Smith McDonald Corp.
270 Niagara St. at Auburn Avenue, Buffalo, NY

Contributing member in the Upper Black Rock Local Historic District

HISTORY Beneath Illustrations

1246-1270 Niagara Street
Built by
Sterling Engine Company 1907-1925    ...
Sometime in the late 1950s Sterling Engine was purchased by Phillips Petroleum Company of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Phillips Petroleum moved Sterling Engine’s production facilities to Paola, Kansas, and left a large gap on Niagara Street.   ...

Resurgence Brewing Co.'s address is #1250    ...   Love in Motion Yoga's address is #1250 (Website online September 2017)   ...    Bootleg Bucha's address is  #1250   (Website online September 2017)

Five Smith McDonald facade details below:

Smith McDonald facade detail #1   ...   Note entrance (photo below:)

Facade detail #2   ...   Entrance, including entablature above Tuscan pilasters

Facade detail #3   ...   Entrance entablature frieze

Facade detail #4

Rear of Sterling Engine Company/Smith McDonald building    ...   Street at right: Mason Street which is parallel to Niagara St.   ...   Street at bottom: Auburn Avenue

View from Auburn Avenue looking south   ...   Left:   Sterling Engine Company/Smith McDonald building,  ...   RightFormer Sterling Engine Company, 42 Breckenridge Street   ...   Center backgroundRich Products Corporation, 1200 Niagara Street  

View of Auburn Avenue from Niagara Street   ...   Building at left is the Sterling Engine Company/Smith McDonald building   ...   Building at right is the Buffalo Gasolene Motor  Co./Starks Associates

Sterling Engine north elevation (Auburn Ave.)

 Niagara Street on left   ...   Auburn Avenue at bottom of photo

Niagara Street Facade

Peter Porter   ...   Porter's house   ...   Cf., Robert "Frankie" Franklin plaque: Where Porter fled during the First Battle of Black Rock


Buffalo History: An Urban Battlefield?

By  Chris Brown
Buffalo Rising, August 20, 2009 (online July 2017)

It’s hard to believe that this nondescript two-story brick industrial building located at 1270 Niagara Street (at the corner of Auburn Avenue), sits at one of Buffalo’s most historic sites. It is, and it perfectly represents the challenge that volunteers face as they plan the commemoration of the War of 1812 in Buffalo and Erie County.

It was on this site where Peter Buell Porter lived, one of Black Rock’s most famous residents. While most people know that the British burned Buffalo to the ground in December 1813, fewer know that the British invaded in July 1813, but were successfully repelled during what is referred to as the First Battle of Black Rock.
Peter Porter was an American lawyer, soldier and politician, who served as Congressman, member of the Erie Canal Commission, and was U.S. Secretary of War. When Porter’s house was located on this site, it was set back from the street and had two entrances. The back of the house had grounds that extended all the way to the Niagara River. The front of the house faced the Niagara Street side.

The British landed near Squaw Island and invaded the military outpost located along the Scajaquada Creek. They continued to march south towards Buffalo. The British entered Porter’s house from the back, but Porter was able to escape through the Niagara Street side, wearing only his linen nightshirt. Porter, who was 40 years old at the time, ran down Niagara Street to the home of Robert Franklin near Connecticut Street. Franklin, an African American, loaned his horse to Porter, who then rode to Buffalo and assembled a militia of Buffalo citizens and Seneca Native Americans who fought along with army regulars. It was the first time that the Senecas fought alongside the Americans.

The U.S. assembled defense met the British on Niagara Street near Albany Street and drove them back before they could get to Buffalo. Heavy fighting took place on what is now Mason Street, just west of Niagara Street between Breckenridge Street and Auburn Avenue. The British retreated after suffering heavy losses (between 100 and 300 men) and their commander, Col. Cecil Bishop, was killed.

Porter’s house was destroyed six months later, when the British returned to burn Buffalo and Black Rock. The house was rebuilt after the war (although not occupied by Porter) and occupied until it was demolished in 1912 in order to construct the building currently on the site.

Currently, the Erie County War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration planning group is working with planning groups from Canada and Niagara County (US). The Erie County group is determining how to re-create a sense of place for historic sites, such as 1270 Niagara Street, that were so extensively redeveloped during the late 19th and 20th centuries.

American manufacturer and retailer of office accessories, desk pads, and wastebaskets.

Source: McDonald Products: Smith Metal Arts (online September 2017)

Smith Metal Arts
was founded in Buffalo, NY in 1889 by German immigrant and metal and leather goods craftsman Otto Heinz, as the Heinz Art Metal Company, who began as a manufacturer of desk blotters, pen and letter holders, envelope sealers and ink blotters, and later developed the first “lay-flat” page type of desktop calendar base.

Following Heinz’s death in 1919, the company was purchased by Frederick Smith, their top salesman, and through collaboration with jewelry designer, Peter Muller-Munk, eventually evolved into the manufacture of “designer” lines of desk and office accessories and accoutrements.

In fact, many Smith Metal Arts products in an Art Deco motif or with the SMA Silver Crest remain collector’s items today. A later collaboration with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill led to the design of a line of accessories known simply as the “202” series. This series became the de-facto standard architectural and design specification for almost every contemporary office in the United States, and remains on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. I

In more recent years, our collaboration with noted designer William Sklaroff has resulted in the development of many of the beautiful accessory collections which continue to remain a popular and integral part of our product line today.
- McDonald Products: About Smith Metal Arts (online July 2017)

Photos and their arrangement  2017 Chuck LaChiusa
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