What It Looked Like Wednesday: Delaware at Sanders, 1959

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

These days, from the corner of Delaware and Sanders, you can see what is arguably Buffalo’s most suburban-looking few blocks of modern development. To the left is Target, Office Max, Moe’s and Applebee’s. To the right is Starbucks and Walgreens.

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In the late 1950s, the same view included, among other differences, the overpass and tracks of the DL&W Railroad. It was the removal of those tracks — along with Benderson Development’s purchase of the nearby 13-acre Atlas Steel plant, the 8-acre Bucholtz Aviation heliport, and several smaller, Delaware Avenue-facing businesses (including Sher-Del Foods, a self-service car wash, Mr. Oil Change, Kenmore Builder’s Supply and two parcels belonging to Tunmore Oldsmobile) — that allowed for the development of the area to its current level.

The building that was the home of Henry’s Food Market has been replaced by the building that was the home of a Goodwill retail store until they moved to 2625 Delaware Ave. in October. Henry’s sign is from Henel’s Dairy, which was a few blocks up Delaware in Kenmore near the corner of Delaware and Westgate, just past St. Paul’s Catholic church.

The large, high sign for Blue Coal Corp. can be seen beyond the no-longer-in-place viaduct. It stood approximately where Jim’s Steak-Out now stands.

The building for Delaware Camera Mart is new, but the business is a long-standing one — it’s the only local business captured in this photo that’s still at it.

Something else that would look similar both today and in 1959: a car dealership on the opposite corner of Sanders. In 1959, it was Tunmore Oldsmobile. Today, it’s a Basil used car lot.

What It Looked Like Wednesday: Delaware and Mang, 1915

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

A pencil-written caption on the back of the photo reads “Delaware Ave, Kenmore, 1915.”

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The only other clues from the photo itself are the building with the mansard roof to the right, and the building in the foreground with the sign “State Bank.”

The State Bank of Kenmore was located at 2852 Delaware Avenue at the corner of Mang Avenue. From that corner, the building with the mansard roof — still standing — is much easier to find.

Looking off in the distance, one sees a streetcar and Model-Ts on a muddy Delaware Avenue. Certainly a different and more rural feel than the heart of the Village of Kenmore today.

Torn-Down Tuesday: Making way for the Manny’s Supper Club parking lot

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

Norman Besso and his wife Rosemary opened Manny’s Supper Club on Delaware near Virginia in 1961.

Buffalo News archives

Following a fire in the former Shadow Restaurant in 1974, Besso had the structure on the corner — boarded up and covered with political signs — torn down in 1977 to make way for a parking lot.

Known for excellent cuts of steak, mussels ala Norman, and black bean soup for 32 years, Manny’s closed in 1993. It was three years later that artist Frank Cravotta painted the now landmark lion mural on the side of the building where Shadow once stood.

Buffalo in the ’60s: remodeled Howard Johnson’s opens at Delaware & North

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

Generations of Americans remember the home-style dinners and 28-flavor ice cream selection at the more than 1,000 Howard Johnson orange-roofed locations around the country.

Buffalo’s most popular HoJo’s was on Delaware and North — part of the sometimes strange development of Delaware Avenue. Working class families piled out of wood-paneled, American-made station wagons right across the street from the home of News Publisher and Buffalo aristocrat Mrs. Edward Butler.

Walgreens purchased what was Buffalo’s last Howard Johnson’s location and built a drug store at the site on Delaware and North in 1994.

17 aug 1960 Howard Johnsons
Buffalo Stories archives

Buffalo in the ’90s: An era ending in Delaware Avenue shopping

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

For generations, Buffalo’s best dressed women shopped on Delaware Avenue. That era was ending with the closing of Par Avion.

The last women’s shop in the area, Mabel Danahy, announced a move to Amherst in 1996. Pitt Petri was the last heritage retailer along Delaware Avenue when it closed in 2011:

April 21, 1994: Era fading on Delaware Avenue: Par Avion’s closing leaves just one women’s shop

“Alison F. Kimberly, owner and manager of Par Avion, which has operated at the corner of Delaware and Tupper since 1967, said she’ll close up shop at the end of May because “times have changed.”

“”Women are working during the day, not shopping,” Ms. Kimberly said.

“And when they do shop, their time is extremely limited, according to the veteran proprietor.

“They call up a catalog at 3 a.m. or they go to a mall where they can make one stop and save time,” she said. “The whole face of retailing has changed since we opened in the ’60s.””