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.  

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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.