Historic Structures

Erie County Savings Bank, Buffalo New York

Date added: March 13, 2010 Categories: New York Bank Romanesque Revival

As an important center of Buffalo's financial community, the Erie County Savings Bank marked the lower section of the commercial district. The other structures surrounding the square include Sullivan's Prudential Building, Burnham's Ellicott Square Building, and Upjohn's St. Paul's Cathedral. The Erie County Savings Bank was demolished in 1968.

An Historical Sketch of the Erie County Savings Bank written in 1909, pp. 63-74, included the following notes on the original plan and construction of the building: "The banking house is on a triangular lot, and is nine stories high on Main Street side and ten on the Pearl Street side, exclusive of attic and cellar. The second story is mezzanine, above this are seven stories for offices. The original plans provided for 145 offices, some of which have since been joined into suites. Base lines of the building measure 157' on both Niagara and Church Streets, 147 on Pearl, and 47 on Main enclosing an area of about 17,000 square feet. The main entrance is on Niagara Street; the structure is recessed above the entrance, thus all offices look out on a street. There are no back offices. The main entrance has a pillared archway, is surmounted by a balustrade flanked by bronze lions."

New elevators were installed in 1925. The building was remodeled in 1932; the banking rooms were enlarged and entirely redecorated and relighted. New steel vaults and an air conditioning and cooling system were installed in 1937.

This structure was erected on the site of the "Old First," the First Presbyterian Church. Many well-known residents of Buffalo served on the board of directors of the bank. Among the depositors were Millard Fillmore, Grover Cleveland, Congressman Daniel Lockwood, Father Baker, and others.