Torn-Down Tuesday: Delaware Drive-In, Knoche Road, 1963

By Steve Cichon

This one is more a case of built-up than torn down, but the Delaware Drive-In, prominently featured in the aerial photo by longtime News photographer Bill Dyviniak, was torn down to build the Youngmann Expressway.

Buffalo News archives

Landmarks which are still recognizable today include tiny St. Peter’s German Evangelical Church. It was built in 1849 by early German settlers of Tonawanda, including John and Eva Pierson (who happen to be my fifth-great grandparents.) It remained a church until 1967. It’s now the home of the Tonawanda-Kenmore Historical Society, and is easily visible on Knoche Road on the 290’s Elmwood Avenue exit.

Buffalo Stories archives

Opened in 1948, the 35-acre Delaware Drive-in featured a 63-foot-by-63-foot screen and accommodations for 1,000 cars for the twice-nightly shows.

Lucky Pierre broadcasts live from the Delaware Drive-In on WEBR, 1957 (Buffalo Stories archives)

The big screen was torn down in 1963 as the state built the 290 through Tonawanda and Amherst.

Buffalo in the ’50s: Tradesmen toil in anonymity

By Steve Cichon

Bill Dyviniak was a colorful, gruff photographer who spent almost 50 years taking often colorful, gruff photos of everyday life in Buffalo for The News and The Courier-Express.

His style and his subject matter were a reflection of our city through the 20th century: a place where blue-collar people worked hard to get the job done.

Buffalo News archives

“BY DYVINIAK” is scrawled across the back of this 1958 photo, like thousands of others he took through the years. The caption that appeared under the photo when it appeared in The News seems to tell the story of the blacksmith, all the hard working tradesmen and laborers who made Buffalo great, and maybe even Dyviniak himself.

Buffalo News Archives

“Buffalo master of a dying art, with more business than he can handle with ease, prefers to remain anonymous.”

Buffalo Stories Archives

In the 1955 Buffalo City Directory,  only five blacksmiths are listed– perhaps this man in the photo was among them.