View from St. Paul’s Cathedral, 1870

By Steve Cichon

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.

From the 1880 map: St. Paul’s Cathedral is labelled No. 9, the Washington Street Baptist Church is No. 23, and the New York Central terminal is No. 37.

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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.