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General Railway Signal / FWS / Foundry Lofts

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Photo credit: Forgotten Buffalo and Buffalo Rising

Location

1738 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14207
Google Bird's Eye View
North Council District
SBL: 78.77-1-4.1
Erie County Property Info
County Tax Map (loads GIS page)
City of Buffalo Parcel Viewer

Across from: American Radiator / ARCO Lofts

Owner

BELRU MARKETS INC per propertyviewer
Rocco Termini has the building under contract (Nov 2012)
NYS Corporation and Business Entity Database

Termini also owns: Horton Coffee Building, Houk Lofts, AM&A's Warehouse, Hotel Lafayette, Oak School Lofts, Webb Building

Physical Description

  • 85,000 sq.ft. brick complex built around a central courtyard.
  • "Rectangular two and three-story brick factory building with a central light court and wings that project east and west from the southern side, and a three-story brick office building at the northeast corner connected to the factory by a hyphen. The factory complex is built of brick pier construction, with load-bearing brick piers around the exterior and an interior structure of steel posts and beams supporting reinforced concrete floors ceilings." Buffalo Rising

Current Condition

Extensive renovation of entire complex, including restoration of proper windows, removal of paint, and new interiors.

History

  • 1889 - John D. Taylor invents the electric train signal in Ohio.
  • 1890s - Alvah W. Hall, maker of another signal device, bought out Taylor with plans to expand in Chicago until Buffalo venture capitalist George D. Morgan convinced him to come to Buffalo instead
  • 1900 - Formation of the Taylor Signal Company in Buffalo
  • Building constructed between 1902 and 1906
    • It was designed by Esenwein & Johnson for the General Railway Signal Co.
  • 1904 - W. W. Salmon negotiated an agreement whereby the Taylor Signal Company of Buffalo and the Pneumatic Signal Company of Rochester, New York, were merged to form the General Railway Signal Company
  • 1907 - The General Railway Signal Company decided to close its 800 employee Buffalo factory and move all operations to Rochester where the city had given land and raised money for a new factory on West Ave.
  • The Century Telephone Construction Company purchased the building and used it to make telephone switchboards and related equipment.
  • The General Drop Forge Company then moved into the forge shop (demolished).
  • 1914 - The Lippard-Stewart Motor Car Company occupied part of the plant.
  • 1915 - The Curtiss Aereoplane Company made aircraft engines in a part of the plant.
  • May 22, 1922 - The Federal Telephone & Telegraph Company signed on its radio station WGR for regularly scheduled broadcasts at this location
history courtesy Buffalo Rising

Recent Events and Actions Taken

  • Nov 2012 - Rocco Termini announces plan to restore this building and Houk Lofts in a combined $30 million project
  • Feb 2013 - ECIDA directors approved separate incentive packages for the Houk Lofts and Distillery Lofts projects
  • June 2013 - Announcements that Acqua will run a boutique hotel here and Buffalo Spree will relocate into an 8k sq.ft. portion of the building.
  • May 26, 2014 - Property was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Other Pertinent Facts

  • Location of the start of modern broadcasting in Western New York. Forgotten Buffalo

Links



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Added 2013-05-14 • Last changed 2016-10-28