Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday's Daily Post Card: Buffalo City Hall

For so many other things, Buffalo, New York is renowned for its architecture. One of the crown jewels of the Queen City is our art-deco City Hall. 

I took this photo just prior to sunrise on January 5th, 2013. As I read my notes from that morning, Im surprised I got a 3 second exposure (ISO-400) from the top of a nearby parking ramp, with the wind gusting around 25mph.

Once again, the old glass proved very reliable: Though I own more than one example of the Nikkor, and Nippon Kogaku 50mm lenses, I shot this one manually with a mid-70's, Nikkor 50mm (f/2) -though the glass is flawless (as is its performance), its has a slightly dented filter ring where a previous owner wounded it. Having gotten this copy for next to nothing, it tends to be my "go-to" 50mm when the weather is, at best, "iffy". 

 On the subject of this photo:  Ive listed a few notable facts below culled from the great website that the City of Buffalo has seen fit to record the history of this truly unique structure. 

From the City's Website: Built by John W. Cowper Company at a cost of $6,851,546.85, it was then, and is now, one of the costliest City Halls in the nation. Work began on September 16, 1929, and the building was dedicated in July of 1932.
 Some notable facts about this amazing structure: 

-The building has 32 stories, 26 of which are usable office space, and is 398 feet high from the street to the tip of the tower. 

- There are 1,520 windows from the first to the twenty-fifth floor. An interesting design feature is that all of them open inward, making window washers obsolete in the new City Hall. It takes approximately ten days to clean them all. 

-There are 5,000 electrical outlets, 5,400 electrical switches, and 21 motor driven ventilation fans. One hundred and ten miles of copper wire weighing 43 tons, 47 miles or 180 tons of conduit pipe can be found throughout the building, as well as 26 miles or 5 car loads of underfoot conduit. There are either 138 0r 143 clocks (there is some dispute on here) regulated by a master clock in the basement and 37 fire alarm stations distributed throughout the building.

-There are eight elevators to the 13th floor and four to the 25th floor. Curtis Elevator Co., the oldest active Elevator Company in the country, furnished the elevators. Otis Elevator Co. now the largest Elevator Company in the world supplied additional elevators added later.

The fact that it was built, and at such a tremendous cost just as the nation was entering the Great Depression, speaks volumes about the economic condition of the second largest City in New York State during those years. A community treasure, this is one that still keeps us #TalkingProud more than 85 years later.



  1. Thank you, Fawn. That's very kind.
    Watch for new updates and photos coming soon