Erie County Savings Bank
16 Niagara Street, Shelton Square, Buffalo, NY
Demolished 1968

History Beneath Illustrations

1905 photo


"This building is of pink granite from Jonesboro, Maine." - Juanita and Steve
Maine Quarry Historians






Salvaged carved granite face



September 11, 1890 to June 1893


George B. Post (also designed the Statler Hotel on Delaware Avenue)

A competition was held among 24 architects. See Johanna Hays, Louise Blanchard Bethune: Architect Extraordinaire and First American Woman Architect, Practiced in Buffalo, New York, pp. 202-203 (online Nov.  2012)


Richardsonian Romanesque

General setting and orientation:

Bank faced northeast on Niagara Street. Bounded on the west by Pearl Street, on the south by Church Street, and on the east by Main Street


Niagara Street. Round compound archway, surmounted by a balustrade flanked by bronze lions

Wall construction:

Slightly dressed, red granite, ashlar masonry walls backed by brick


Pink granite from Jonesboro, Maine.
Charles Athern, sculptor.
(Source: Juanita and Steve, Maine Quarry Historians)

Structural system, framing:

Although the exterior walls were load-bearing, the building had an interior steel framing system

Consulting engineer in charge of electrical installation:

Thomas A. Edison


Nine stories high on Main Street side; ten stories high on the Pearl Street side


Concrete; 7 - 13 feet thick

Prior building on the site:

"Old First" Presbyterian Church

Demolition date:

The building was demolished for the Harrison and Abramovitz-designed Erie Saving Bank/Main Place Mall Tower on Main at Church Streets in Buffalo in 1968

Photos and history:

HABS Survey/Historic American Engineering Record - Erie County Savings Bank 12 photos, 6 data pages.  TYPE: Erie County Savings Bank


Susan R. Slade, 1973 on Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record - Erie County Savings Bank 12 photos, 6 data pages.

The bank was a glorious castle like building sitting prominently on Shelton Square at Main and Niagara Streets until it was demolished to make way for the Main Place Mall and a new Erie County Savings Bank office tower.   It is one of Buffalo’s most lamented losses.  It was demolished at a time of vigorous “urban renewal” in which the goal was to seemingly remove every trace of the historic city of Buffalo. 

The old bank building in pictures was dark and hulking.  It was rendered in the Richardson Romanesque style, with heavily rusticated blocks of pinkish granite trimmed by delicate carvings.  Its years of accumulated soot cast a quite dramatic contrast to the gleaming white One M&T Plaza, just across the street, which was completed just before demolition of the Erie Savings was started.
- David Steele, "Erie County Savings" on Buffalo Rising, Jan. 30, 2017

Buffalo: Lake City in Niagara Land
By Richard C. Brown and Bob Watson
USA: Windsor Publications, 1981, p. 280

Page by Chuck LaChiusa
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