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U.S. Post Office
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Rayman
N 42° 52.913 W 078° 52.388
17T E 673692 N 4749892
Quick Description: This building was the former post office for Buffalo, now home to Erie Community College's downtown campus.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 5/15/2006 10:03:51 AM
Waymark Code: WMCN5
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Special.Ed
Views: 20

Long Description:
During the last decade of the 19th century the United States government launched major construction projects around the country to build a series of impressive post offices and government buildings in key cities, making Buffalo a natural choice as it was the 8th largest and one of the most progressive cities in the nation at the turn of the century.

This massive 5-1/2 story pink granite Gothic structure, covering an entire city block bordered by Ellicott, South Division, Oak and Swan Streets, is dominated by a 244 foot Romanesque Florentine tower enhanced with studded finials and carved gargoyles. On the corners of a ledge below the gargoyles are four granite eagles and over the main entrance an impressive stone eagle, symbolizing the United States government. To each side of the doorway is stylized bison head representing the great city of Buffalo and a series of gables dominate the mansard roofline with a safety railing skirting the roof’s edges.

The cornerstone was laid June 19, 1897 and the building officially dedicated on March 20, 1901. Built at a cost of $2 million and replacing the old US post office and court house at Seneca and Washington Streets, the main floor of the new building was given over to the post office facilities while other floors housed federal courtrooms, the custom house and other government offices. A great skylighted court dominates the central portion of the building, which accesses four floors of arched galleries.

Supervising Treasury architect Jeremiah O’Rourke’s original plans were favorably modified by William M. Aiken and James Knox Taylor who continued the work with contributions by Buffalo consulting architects Edward Metzger and Edward A. Kent who was to later die in the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

After the main post office was moved to new quarters on William Street in 1963, this building continued to serve as a branch post office. However it was soon threatened with demolition and thanks to the public spirit and tenacity of Erie County Legislator Joan Bozer and others, the old post office was readapted for use as a college in 1981 under the supervision of Cannon Design and is a key anchor in the rebuilding and regrowth of downtown Buffalo.
Street address:
121 Ellicott St
Buffalo, NY United States

County / Borough / Parish: Erie

Year listed: 1972

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Architecture/Engineering

Periods of significance: 1875-1899, 1900-1924

Historic function: Government: Post Office

Current function: Education: College

Privately owned?: no

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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Recent Visits/Logs:
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sevenil7il visited U.S. Post Office 6/8/2014 sevenil7il visited it
stinger503 visited U.S. Post Office 8/31/2011 stinger503 visited it
uccacher visited U.S. Post Office 7/24/2011 uccacher visited it
BruceS visited U.S. Post Office 7/14/2010 BruceS visited it

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