The Glory Days of Downtown Shopping: Part 1, AM&A’s

By Steve Cichon

This week, we’re looking back at the glory days of shopping on Main Street downtown, and we begin with the giant: AM&A’s.

Adam, Meldrum & Anderson was Buffalo’s largest and most popular department store for 127 years.

AM&A’s, The Main Place Mall, and The Marine Midland Tower. early 1970s.

Locally owned and operated from 1867 to 1994, more than just a place to shop, it was a Buffalo institution.

logo from a 1980 ad.
The opening of the Walden Galleria in 1989 was the death knell for all remaining locally owned department stores.

Starting in the mid-1970s and lasting through the early 1980s, the store’s italicized green-lettered corporate logo was augmented with an ultra-modern swooshy AM&A’s first in an electric green and blue, then in a more subdued dark blue and red.

In 1995, only months after AM&A’s sold its operations to Bon-Ton, the York, PA based department store announced the closure of the Main Street downtown location which had been hemorrhaging money for quite some time.

Robert Adam, outside his beloved family store. It was sold and closed shortly after his death.

More than 300 jobs were lost with the closure of the store as well as the warehouse behind the store across Washington Street.

We’re in the final chapters of AM&A’s history now, with the Bon-Ton’s never ending going out of business sales in several of AM&A’s former locations.


1946 ad shows the original AM&A’s location (1867-1960) in the spot where Main Place Mall now stands. AM&A’s moved into the JN Adam store when JN’s closed.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.