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Memorial Auditorium / Spaulding Exchange

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http://preservationready.org/Buildings/130MainStreet?action=download&upname=156Main.jpg
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Aud construction photo courtesy WNY Heritage Press
2014 photo courtesy Buffalo Rising

Location

130 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
Google Bird's Eye View
Fillmore Council District
SBL: 111.17-14-1
Erie County Property Info
County Tax Map (loads GIS page)
City of Buffalo Parcel Viewer

Across from: Lehigh Valley Terminal, 129-155 Main Street, Mansion House, Aud Pharmacy, Root, Neal, & Co.

Owner

City of Buffalo
ERIE CANAL HARBOR DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

Physical Description

Current Condition

Demolished in 2009 as part of a failed deal to bring in a Bass Pro. Parcel to now be used for replica canals.

History

  • Spaulding Exchange Building built 1845. Rebuilt 1852.
  • 1939 - Memorial Auditorium built from President FDR's Works Progress Administration (WPA) as a replacement for the aging Broadway Auditorium. The $2.7 million arena stood at one end of what was once the Erie Canal in the oldest section of Buffalo. The 422' by 262' auditorium had 12,280-tiered red, blue and gray-colored seats at its opening on October 14, 1940.

In 1970 Buffalo was awarded the Sabres NHL team and Braves NBA team. An $8.7 million renovation raised the 2,200-ton roof of the Memorial Auditorium 24 feet for expansion of seating capacity with the addition of the orange seating section.

It hosted the Buffalo Bisons of the AHL, the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL, the Buffalo Braves of the NBA, the Buffalo Stallions of MSL, the Buffalo Bandits of MILL, the Buffalo Blizzard of the second NPSL and the Buffalo Stampede of RHI. It also held a number an NCAA basketball games, as well as numerous entertainment events, such as concerts, the Ringling Brothers circus and Disney on Ice.

Recent Events and Actions Taken

The Aud was locked and boarded up in 1996 when Crossroads Arena (HSBC Arena / First Niagara Center) opened. It remained in good shape through 2003, but began deteriorating due to moisture infiltration and bursting pipes when the utilities were shut off.

In 2007 the City decided it would spend $10 million to demolish the structure for a Bass Pro store, despite the store's years-long refusal to commit to the city.

In 2012, once the City had wasted millions for demolition based on a non-existent business plan, they announced new Canalside plans that would install a fake canal where the original Erie Canal once stood. They also commissioned an RFP for a neighboring parcel, HarborCenter, to include an ice rink. The City had a need for additional ice facilities at that location despite demolition of an existing one just 3 years prior.

There was also an auction of salvageable Aud seats and rink boards, with proceeds intended for a monument in tribute to the Aud. No announcement has ever been made about the monument since the day of the auction.

Other Pertinent Facts

Links



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Added 2013-01-09 • Last changed 2015-01-19