Canisius High School / Rand Mansion


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Photo credit: Forgotten Buffalo, Karl R. Josker, Canisius High School


1180 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209
The larger parcel address is now 1160 Delaware Avenue
Google Bird's Eye View
Delaware Council District
SBL: 100.31-5-2.1
Erie County Property Info
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The school parcel includes: Irma Manor and Milburn House.
Across from: Sovereign Apartments
The school began at its Washington Street campus.


THE CANISUS HIGH SCHOOL OF BUFFALO NY per City of Buffalo Property Information
NYS Corporation and Business Entity Database

Physical Description

The mansion was built in Jacobean Revival and English Tudor style. Two classroom wings have been added, as well as an auditorium that had the largest continuous, free-spanning balcony in the United States at the time of its construction.

Current Condition

In use. Recent additions include a new fieldhouse and academic wing.


  • 1870 - The Jesuits at St. Michaelís Church on Washington Street opened a school adjacent to their residence. This combined high school and college was dedicated to St. Peter Canisius.
  • 1872 - The cornerstone was laid for a new college building on Washington Street.
  • 1883 - Canisius High School was incorporated by the State of New York as the Academic Department of Canisius College.
  • December 1912 - Canisius College moved into new buildings at Main and Jefferson, leaving the Washington Street school to the exclusive use of the high school.
  • 1918 - Construction is completed on a private residence designed by Franklin and William Kidd for George F. Rand, Sr., founder and former president of Marine Midland Bank. The building is part of Canisius High school as present-day Koessler Academic Center, also known as Berchmans' Hall.
  • 1924 - The Rand residence is sold to the Masons, who converted it into the Buffalo Masonic Consistory. The Masons made several additions to the building, including a large marble foyer, a pool, Turkish baths, bowling alleys, locker rooms, and a 6,000 seat auditorium. This construction was designed by Buffalo City Hall chief architect John Wade.
  • 1928 - The high school received an independent charter, completing its separation from the College.
  • 1938-1940 - The 6,000 seat Mason auditorium was used as home to musical performances like the Buffalo Philharmonic when the Elmwood Music Hall was demolished, until Kleinhans Music Hall was built.
  • 1944 - The Jesuits purchased the former Masonic Consistory for $92,000, which in turn had incorporated the former George F. Rand mansion, at 1180 Delaware Avenue.
  • 1948 - After 4 years of being split between locations, the entire school was now located on Delaware.
  • 1956 - A permanent Jesuit residence at the high school was dedicated and named after the alumni donators providing the money for construction, George M. Frauenheim and Edward E. Frauenheim, Junior.
  • 1957 - The Milburn House, the site where President McKinley died, is demolished. It is currently a parking lot for the school.

Recent Events and Actions Taken

  • 2000 - Installation of an artificial turf surface on Tripi Field behind the school
  • 2003 - The school purchased 63 acres on Clinton Street for an outdoor athletic facility
  • 2005 - The school purchased two houses adjacent to Canisius High School on Cleveland Avenue
  • 2006 - The school acquired 1193 Delaware Avenue, and received the mansion at 891 Delaware Avenue from Mr. Michael J. DeRose and family.
  • 2007 - Groundbreaking for the Canisius High School Athletic Complex on Clinton Street.
  • 2007 - The Frauenheim Jesuit residence was demolished for the future field house location
  • 2008 - The Robert J. Stransky athletic complex in West Seneca was completed
  • 2009 - The 27,000 sq.ft. Bernard J. Kennedy Field House and 26,000 sq.ft. Montante Academic Hall were constructed

Other Pertinent Facts

Every student at Canisius is involved in a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum. Because of its academic rigor and the fact that its diploma requirements exceed those of the state of New York, Canisius is one of only four Western New York secondary schools exempt from New York State's Regents Examinations.


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Added 2013-06-27 • Last changed 2015-12-08