Buffalo’s 1870 steeple-dotted skyline

       By Steve Cichon

Taken from the Watson Elevator or one of its neighbors out in the Buffalo Harbor, this image offers a photographic view from the same year the hand-drawn 1880 Hutchinson map was published.

It shows Buffalo’s skyline dominated by three steeples – all three of which still stand, but are certainly less dominating today.

When the photo was taken, the leftmost clocktower belonged to the relatively new City and County Hall building. Today, the building is known as Old County Hall, standing across Franklin Street from the Rath Building. It’s the home of the Erie County Legislature, the county clerk and courtrooms.

The middle steeple belongs to St. Joseph Cathedral, and to the right is St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral.

The foreground area of this photo is today occupied by the Marine Drive Apartments and Canalside.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.