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Shelton Square

  Lost  


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Photo credit: Library of Congress, WNY Heritage Press,
The Buffalo News, David Torke, Mark Paradowski

Location

1 Niagara Street, Buffalo NY 14202
Google Bird's Eye View
Shelton Square was the intersection of Niagara, Main, Church, North Division, South Division, and Erie Streets.
Ellicott Council District

Owner

  • City of Buffalo

Physical Description

  • The Piccadilly Circus or Times Square of Buffalo, with a tremendous amount of pedestrian, street and mass transit traffic and commercial activity.
  • Notable existing buildings on or near Shelton Square are:
Ellicott Square Building, Dime Savings Bank, 300 Main Street, White Building, Fidelity Trust Building, St Paul's Episcopal Church, the Guaranty Building, and the Telephone Building.
  • St. Paul's Cathedral and the Guaranty Building are National Historic Landmarks.
  • Notable lost buildings near Shelton Square:

Current Condition

  • Lost in the 1960s due to the blocking of Niagara Street by the Main Place Mall/Tower, the widening of Church Street into a highway arterial, the widening and rounding of North/South Division Street, multiple blockages of Erie Street from the lake, and the widespread demolition of multiple blocks of brick commercial buildings.

History

  • One of the key City squares designed when Joseph Ellicott created our radial street grid.
  • Shelton Square was named in honor of the Rev. Dr. William Shelton, longtime rector (1829-1882) of St. Paul's Episcopal Church Vintage Buffalo NY
  • Robert Traynham Coles, 1963: “Shelton Square, as a pedestrian area, with the Prudential Building and Erie County Savings Bank, is a magnificent historical complex which must not be destroyed in the name of progress. Will this message be lost to a population that stood almost mute in 1950 when the Larkin Administration Building—a masterpiece built in 1905 by America’s greatest architect, Frank Lloyd Wright -- was demolished? [...] In wandering these downtown neighborhoods, one sees much that could be saved; one wonders whether it might be better for Buffalo or any other city to rehabilitate what it already has to attract its former residents back to the city, rather than to build at tremendous cost new towers on the horizon in the midst of blight and deterioration. [...] We must recognize, as urban renewal advances in Buffalo, that the city is urban; that every great city is characterized by denseness, compactness, cohesiveness; that there never can be suburbia in the city—regardless of the reasons put forth.”

Recent Events and Actions Taken

Other Pertinent Facts

  • The western and southern sides of Shelton Square are within the Joseph Ellicott Historic District. All of it likely would have been included if the historic structures to the north and east weren't lost.

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Added 2014-01-03 • Last changed 2017-06-01