Taken from scaffolding around St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1870, this photo offers a view that would have been familiar to anyone in Buffalo in 1880.
St. Paul’s still stands at the corner of Main and Church, but not much of what you see in this image is still there.
The two churches are long gone. The building on the left is the Washington Street Baptist Church, which was on the northeast corner of Washington and Swan. The spot is now parking for the Ellicott Square Building and the ball park.
The church on the right is St. John’s Episcopal Church. The congregation moved to Colonial Circle in 1893, and in 1906, the church was torn down to make way for Ellsworth Statler’s first downtown Buffalo hotel. That spot is now the plaza in front of the downtown ballpark.
The train sheds in the distance were a part of the original New York Central terminal on Exchange Street. The small Amtrak station and the I-190 stand in that spot now.
The buildings in the foreground were on Main Street and were torn down in 1895 to build what was then the world’s largest office building — the Ellicott Square Building.