When Amherst Street between Delaware and Elmwood was farmland, 1900

       By Steve Cichon

On the 1880 map, it’s a bit difficult to distinguish Amherst Street between Elmwood and Delaware avenues because in 1880, two out of three of those streets barely existed.

Delaware Avenue was already a route between downtown Buffalo and the Tonawandas, but Elmwood Avenue stopped at Forest Avenue. And while plans for Amherst Street to the east of Black Rock were drawn onto maps, the actual creating of the road all the way to Main Street and beyond had not yet been completed.

The Electric Tower at the Pan-American Exposition stood in the middle of Amherst Street.

In 1899, Amherst Street was carved into the farmland north of the Park Lake and south of the New York Central Beltline tracks in anticipation of the 1901 Pan-American Exposition.

The line of trees in this photo represents about where Amherst Street was laid as the center of the Pan-Am. The Electric Tower stood at what is now Amherst Street and Lincoln Parkway.

Elmwood Avenue was extended from behind City Hall on through into Kenmore through 25 years of wrangling, eminent domain and absorbing and remaining parts of other streets.

Voelker’s bowling alley has been a fixture on the corner of Elmwood and Amherst since the days of Prohibition.

Published by

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.