Torn-Down Tuesday: The Black Rock Market

By Steve Cichon

“Built to serve 50,000 families” and “equipped in the finest and most modern manner,” the Black Rock Market came to be after years of lobbying by the Grant-Amherst Political Association.

The Black Rock Public Market, Grant Street between Amherst St and Scajaquada Creek.

Mayor Francis X. Schwab spoke at a rally after the city brought the property in 1925.

“It has been a hard fight since the conception of the Black Rock market, but an eleventh hour effort won over the deciding votes” for the acquisition of the site,” the mayor told “the huge crowd.”

1926 ad.

There had been proposals for a public market in Black Rock dating back to at least 1903, when the firm directed by America’s first female architect, Louise Bethune, created plans for a Flemish-inspired building.

1903 Black Rock Market proposal

Part of the following year’s 1926 grand opening celebration included throwing the switch on Amherst Street’s new electric street lights from Elmwood to Military. A celebratory banquet was given right next door to the new market at Thomas Dorywalski’s Hall, 930 Grant St.

Dorywalski’s would have been close to the Grant Street entrance of the current Tops parking lot.

In 1959, the market was torn down to make way for the Scajaquada Expressway. Part of the property where the market once stood is now part of the Tops Market property at Amherst and Grant Streets.

A look inside the Black Rock Market, 1926

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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.