What It Looked Like Wednesday: ‘That thing in the water next to the Peace Bridge’

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

It’s not the most eloquent title, but you knew exactly what I was talking about, didn’t you?

The Peace Bridge, shortly after it opened in the late ’20s. Buffalo’s old municipal water intake is visible between the piers of the bridge. This structure fed water to the Massachusetts Avenue Pumping Station to supply water to the City of Buffalo. (Buffalo Stories archives)

People have been asking “what is that thing?” since before the Peace Bridge was built.

From Fort Erie: Water intake pier for the City of Buffalo before the building of the Peace Bridge. That’s Fort Porter, which was torn down to make way for the Peace Bridge plaza. Buffalo Stories archives

Since the current water intake building opened in 1913, the old one now next to the Peace Bridge has slowly deteriorated, to the point where it’s little more than a concrete stump in the middle of the Niagara River today.

The current Buffalo water intake, which feeds water to the Col. Ward Pumping Station to supply Buffalo with water. (Derek Gee/News file photo)

The Peace Bridge was dedicated by the Prince of Wales in 1927. Nine years later, he became King Edward VIII, but abdicated 11 months later to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. He was the uncle to Queen Elizabeth.

Peace Bridge dedication, 1927. Buffalo Stories archives

 

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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.