Central High School
Court Street at Niagara Square (facing south on Court)
History (below illustrations)

Click on illustrations below for larger size -- and additional information

Burt House





State Office Building




Sanborn map




The first high school was started on the third floor of School 7 on South Division Street in 1848. As enrollment grew, another school was used to handle the increase. Number 8 on Franklin Street was utilized for the same purpose.

In 1851 a large mansion located at Franklin and Court Streets was purchased from the Burt family (General David Burt, Indian agent) and converted the following year into the first school building used solely for high school. Initially called Central School, it was shortly after renamed Central High School.

The fight against free schools was bitter. It was at midnight in the winter of '52 that mayor Cook signed the budget for carrying on the school. And he left town immediately after.

Additions were built in 1869 and in 1889, making it quite a large and impressive building.

It was Buffalo's only high school until 1897 when
Masten Park High School was opened, followed several years later by Lafayette High School.

Student enrollment in Buffalo Public Schools had grown from about 6,000 when Central High opened to over 55,000 when Lafayette High opened. Masten Park was destroyed by a fire on March 12, 1912, rebuilt on the same foundation and reopened in September, 1914. Use of the school was lost for over a year resulting in students having to be split up between two other schools.

A replacement school for Central High School was built not far away on land donated for this purpose by philanthropist and former Common Council member, Edward H. Hutchinson. It was opened in 1914 and named Hutchinson Central High School. Central High School was utilized for other educational purposes until closing in 1921.

It was demolished in 1926 to make way for E.B Green's Buffalo
State Office Building at 65 Court Street.

Page by Chuck LaChiusa
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