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Buffalo Electric Vehicle Company Building
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Rayman
N 42° 54.407 W 078° 52.040
17T E 674095 N 4752669
Quick Description: This former automobile showroom and manufacturing facility in Buffalo is being converted into loft apartments.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 12/23/2006 10:14:41 PM
Waymark Code: WM12AA
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member deano1943
Views: 8

Long Description:
The Buffalo Electric Vehicle Building is significant for its architectural and engineering design as an intact example of an Early Generation Automobile Factory built of steel and reinforced concrete, which would later become known as the "daylight factory." The reinforced concrete structural system allowed for wide-open spans on each floor, thus permitting easy reconfiguration of the workspaces. Additionally, the pier-spans on the exterior walls provided for broad expanses of glass that brought in natural light flooding into the open interior work areas.

As originally configured, the first floor was built to allow division into seven auto showrooms opening on Main Street, one in each bay. When the building opened, this floor was divided so that larger double showrooms were available. By 1916, the Buffalo Electric Vehicle Company occupied the two southernmost bays while the northern showrooms were leased to other automobile dealers. Manufacturing space took up the upper floors, and an elevator was able to move automobiles to all floors. Throughout the next four decades, the showrooms were occupied by dealers that sold Packard, Thomas Flyer, Franklin, Paige, Cadillac, Lozier, Detroit Electric, Buffalo Electric, Hupp-Yeats, Oakland, Nash, White, Elgin, Moon, Knight, Gardner, and Hudson.

The Buffalo Electric Vehicle Company is significant as the culmination of an influential technological trend in the early automobile industry: the electric car. Unfortunately due to mass production of the internal combustion engine by Henry Ford, the price for those type of vehicles became drastically lower. The implementation of the electric starter also helped to take away any advantage electric cars had over gasoline. The Buffalo Electric Vehicle Company produced cars for only four years, a 2-passenger roadster for $2600 and a four passenger coupe for $3200, both which were about five times the price of a similar gasoline car.

Today the building is vacant, but work is underway to convert the space into loft apartment studios for local artists.
Street address:
1219-1247 Main St
Buffalo, NY United States

County / Borough / Parish: Erie

Year listed: 2005

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering

Periods of significance: 1900-1924, 1925-1949, 1950-1974

Historic function: Commerce/Trade, Industry/Processing/Extraction: Manufacturing Facility, Specialty Store

Current function: Vacant/Not In Use

Privately owned?: yes

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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