What It Looked Like Wednesday: Main & Ferry in the late 1980s

By Steve Cichon

The character of the Main and Ferry intersection has changed dramatically over the last decade after years of neglect.

Buffalo News archives

The building with the whited-out windows was left in dire condition after a fire in the 1970s. It was left dormant and unoccupied until Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) conducted a six-year, $2.9 million project to use the structure as its headquarters. The 1884 building designed by George J. Metzger was rededicated in 2012.

The building that was home to M&G Food Market in the late ’80s, and later to Elwassem’s Food Market, is now home to Nick Sinatra’s redeveloped Fenton Village. 

Buffalo News file

And across Main Street, the latest development proposed for the corner is the $26 million Willoughby Exchange. It will replace, in part, the longstanding Willoughby Insurance building.

Derek Gee/News file photo

Famous for the motorcycle on the roof and the “Willoughby Will When Nobody Will” slogan painted on the side, the insurance company headquarters building started its life as an H. Salt Fish and Chips restaurant.

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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.