What it Looked Like Wednesday: Lost vista at Washington and Swan

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

The “wows” evoked by photos of lost vistas are often maudlin or tinged with nostalgia. This lost vista might instead inspire satisfaction in the progress in Buffalo over the last three decades.

Thirty years ago, standing behind the Ellicott Square Building, at Washington and South Division looking south toward Swan Street, the view of the I-190, Buffalo News building, and General Mills elevator was virtually unabated.

Buffalo Stories archives

The caption on the photo taken from a report on downtown’s retail core reads “View south down Washington toward the grain elevators.”

Significant development in this part of the city has placed useful civic buildings, including Coca-Cola Field and KeyBank Center, between South Division Street and General Mills.

Coca-Cola Field opened in 1988. For the previous 20 years, the southeast corner of Washington and Swan was a surface parking lot after the demolition of the Hotel Buffalo on the site.

The Hotel Buffalo was the first permanent hotel built by Ellsworth Statler and originally known as the Hotel Statler — until the more recent, larger hotel was built in Niagara Square. It was torn down in 1968.

Hotel Statler, later the Hotel Buffalo, at Washington and Swan. Now the site of Coca-Cola Field.

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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.