Courthouse Square / Lafayette Square
Buffalo, New York

Lafayette's Triumphal Tour of Buffalo and the Niagara Frontier By Dr. Joseph A. Grande

See also: Painting of Gilbert du Motier Marquis de Lafayette  (online May 2016)

Lafayette Square postcards

Tishman Building
/ Hilton Garden Inn

Earlier:  Buffalo German Insurance Co. Building

Rand Building

Earlier:  Lafayette Presbyterian Church
Earlier: Lafayette Movie Theatre
Earlier: Lafayette Theatre  On Cinema Treasures website  (online May 2016)
Earlier: Olympic Movie Theatre

Buffalo & Erie County Central Public Library
Earlier: Old County Court House
Earlier:  1887 Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

Hotel Lafayette
Earlier:  Photo: St. Peter's RC Church

Mooney & Brisbane Building / Brisbane Building
Earlier: The Arcade

Soldiers & Sailors Monument in Lafayette Square

The Old Curiosity Shop By Cynthia Van Ness. Soldiers & Sailors Monument repair.

Western Savings Bank / Main Court Building

iberty Bank Building / Liberty Building

See also:  Lafayette Square By Lalli and Rote

Beginning in the late nineteenth century with the construction of the German Office Building (ca. 1875; PHOTO), professional and commercial office buildings were constructed on Lafayette Square.

Completed in 1895, the Beaux Arts Classical Revival Mooney & Brisbane Building / Brisbane Building (1894-1895, Milton E. Beebe & Son) is the oldest extant office building on Lafayette Square. At the time it was built, the seven- story Brisbane Building was the largest mercantile and office building in the city.

In 1901, the Lafayette Presbyterian Church was converted for use as a theater. Louise Blanchard Bethune’s French Renaissance-inspired Lafayette Hotel (1904) was the first turn of the twentieth century building constructed on the square. A second theater, the Lafayette Theater, was constructed in 1922 on the northeast corner of the square (demolished 1962).

In 1925, the 23-story Liberty Bank Building was the first modern skyscraper constructed on the square. Four years later, the 29- story Art Deco Rand Building opened on the north side of the square and held the honor as the building constructed in Buffalo in the 1920s.

The architectural setting of Lafayette Square changed dramatically in the late 1950s when the six-story, cast iron-fronted German Insurance Company was demolished for a new 23-story International Style office building on the north side of the square. Designed by noted New York firm Emory Roth & Sons, the Tishman Building (1958-1959) represented the first new office building constructed in the CBD since before the Great Depression. The building’s sleek aluminum and glass curtain wall exterior and stainless steel storefronts stood in stark contrast to neighboring buildings constructed with traditional exterior materials of brick, stone, and terracotta. Moreover, the building was designed from the outside to maximize the floor plan by minimizing non-structural or non-functional components.

The concept of a building as an open landscape, limited and defined by its structural grid was adapted by local firm James W. Kideney & Associates with Paul Harbach in their Modernist design for the Central Library of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. Kideney’s design set a standard for grand municipal architecture and state of the art library design at the time of its construction.

The Western Savings Bank Building (now Main Court Building) on the west side of the square was also completed in 1964.
- Buffalo Preservation Ready Survey 2013, p. 4-27 (online May 2016)

Page by Chuck LaChiusa
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