The Glory Days of Downtown Shopping: Part 3, Hengerer’s

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

As we look at the glory days of downtown shopping this week, Hengerer’s is one of the memories that makes Buffalo Buffalo.

William Hengerer started selling dry goods on Main Street in the 1870s, and the tradition of the William Hengerer Company lasted well into the suburban shopping era.

The 105 year downtown Buffalo tradition ended on November 5, 1981, when the signs for Hengerer’s at the downtown store and all the mall and plaza locations were replaced by new signs for Sibley’s.

Workers replace the Hengerer’s sign with Sibley’s.

Sibley’s was a long time, heritage Rochester department store, and was owned by the same conglomerate that had owned Hengerer’s since 1916.

The downtown Hengerer’s/Sibleys store was closed in 1987, and Sibley’s was eventually merged into Kaufmann’s in 1990. Most remaining Kaufmann’s locations became Macy’s in 2006.

Hengerer’s—certainly one of the names that makes Buffalo Buffalo.  

Christmas Shopping in Buffalo 1910

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

These photos appeared in the Buffalo Courier Sunday Magazine, New Year’s Day 1911.  The quality of the images isn’t good enough to see what is in those window displays, but they still represent a great look at the retail scene on Main Street downtown more than 100 years ago.

Where possible, the 1910 images are presented with Google images of the current look of the same space.

AM&A’s original location was directly across Main Street from it’s best-remembered 1960-94 location. The building in the photo was demolished to make way for the Main Place Mall. (Buffalo Stories archives)


JN Adam & Co. 391 Main Street. JN’s was at this location until 1960, when the store closed and AM&A’s took over the space. (Buffalo Stories archives)


“Hanan Shoe Company, 464-466 Main Street, opposite Tifft House.” Just north of Court Street on the west side Main. (Buffalo Stories archives)


Walbridge & Co, 392-394 Main Street, now in the footprint of the Main Place Mall. (Buffalo Stories archives)


Flint & Kent, 560 Main Street. The storefront became downtown’s location of The Sample before making way for The Key Towers. (Buffalo Stories archives)


The Wm Hengerer Co- 465 Main Street. (Buffalo Stories archives)


The Wilson Company, 563-565 Main Street. Now in the footprint of the M&T Center, just south of Chippewa. (Buffalo Stories archives)


Weed & Co, 292-298 Main Street, across from the Ellicott Square Building. (Buffalo Stories archives)


The Sweeney Co, 268 Main Street. The building still stands, and is now known as The Sweeney Building. (Buffalo Stories archives)


H.A. Meldrum Company, 460-470 Main Street. Herbert Meldrum was the son of AM&A’s co-founder Alexander Meldrum. (Buffalo Stories archives)


JM Brecker & Company, Genesee & High Sts, burned down on Christmas Day 1910. (Buffalo Stories archives)