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.
Buffalo News archives
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The building that was the home of Henry’s Food Market has been replaced by the building that was the home of a Goodwill retail store until they moved to 2625 Delaware Ave.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.
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.
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.
Thirty-five years ago this week, The News began celebrating the 100th anniversary of the paper’s starting a daily edition.
In the special section called One Hundred Years of Finance and Commerce, The News recounted the history of a handful of Buffalo’s financial and commercial industries and provided ad space for many companies involved in those industries to tout their own contributions.
While much of Buffalo bought most of what they needed from the large department stores on Main Street — and then later their branch stores in shopping malls and plazas, and then, ultimately, at discount department stores — a certain segment of the city’s population shopped in elegance at the chic, more continental-feeling shops of Delaware Avenue.
Mabel Dahany, the Jenny Shop, Tegler’s and Pitt Petri offered a more sophisticated atmosphere to more sophisticated shoppers.