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 writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.