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 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.