Torn-down Tuesday: View from the Donovan Office Building, 1963

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

Now known as One Canalside, the former General William J. Donovan State Office Building is now an anchor of what’s fun, new and exciting in Buffalo’s inner harbor — from the new Pizza Plant to the spectacular top floor headquarters of Phillips Lytle.

Buffalo News archives

Just as the refurbished building represents what Western New Yorkers hope is a “New Buffalo” on the horizon, when it first opened in 1962, it also represented what was new and exciting.

Century-old buildings, seen as tired and worn out, were bulldozed to make way for the building — the construction of which was followed closely by both The Evening News and Courier-Express in much the same way we all anxiously followed the construction of HarborCenter.

This was the view from the roof of the Donovan Building, looking north up the 190, shortly after the building opened in 1963. That’s the corner of Memorial Auditorium in the foreground, the Col. Ward Pumping Station in the distance to the left, and to the right is the familiar top of Buffalo’s City Hall.

Otherwise, most of the 19th century buildings in view are long gone, replaced by the Marine Midland/One Seneca Building and the WNED/WBFO studios, the Adam’s Mark Hotel and others.

To the left of the Ashland Oil sign, you can still make out the front of the Buffalo Gas Works building — the front of which still stands as part of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield headquarters.

 

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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 spent 20 years working in Buffalo radio and TV, climbing his way to news director at WBEN Radio. Since then, he's been an adjunct professor, produced 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.