Lehigh Valley Terminal / Donovan Building


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Photo credit: Mike Puma, Buffalo News, Daily Public, Wikipedia, Buffalo Rising, WNY Heritage Press


125 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14203
Google Bird's Eye View
Fillmore Council District
SBL: 111.17-7-1
Erie County Property Info
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City of Buffalo Parcel Viewer

Across from: Memorial Auditorium, 129-155 Main Street
Near: Mansion House, 145 Washington Street, 153 Washington Street


Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation per propertyviewer
NYS Corporation and Business Entity Database

Physical Description

  • Lehigh Valley Terminal - 4 story structure of gray Indiana limestone, with a granite base and terra-cotta trimmings, eight columns, and a white marble-clad concourse
  • Donovan Building - 8 story Mid-Century Modern office building. Re-skinned and adaptively reused as an office/commercial/hotel building.

Current Condition

Lehigh Terminal demolished in 1960. Replaced by Donovan State Office Building (1962), which was later abandoned (2007) and then modified into One Canalside (2012).


  • When the city purchased and filled in the Hamburg Canal, they attempted to get the railroads to form a Union station there.
  • Instead, the Lehigh Valley Railroad built their freight facilities adjacent to the former canal.
  • 1916 - The Lehigh Valley Railroad opens their passenger facilities along Washington Street, adjacent to the the former canal.
    • Lehigh Valley spent $5 million dollars on the project with a new 4 track main line approach. The architect for the terminal was Kenneth M. Murchison of New York and the contractor was J. Henry Miller of Baltimore.
  • 1955 - Lehigh Valley railroad moved to a new terminal.
  • 1960 - The downtown terminal was demolishedto make way for the William J. Donovan State Office Building.
  • 1961 - The Lehigh Valley Railroad ended passenger service.
  • 1975 - Lehigh Valley Railroad's freight component was absorbed by Conrail.

Recent Events and Actions Taken

  • 2008 - The 1960 Donovan building was scheduled for demolition on the same site as the old Lehigh terminal
  • 2012 - Benderson Development was awarded rights to redevelop the Donovan Building for Phillips Lytle LLC
  • 2013 - Donovan building receives plywood and glue-on fake brick facade as 'One Canalside' project

Other Pertinent Facts

  • The Buffalo News building (1971) and part of the I-190 were constructed on the old Lehigh railyards
  • Per the Daily Public, the building was "dubbed a “beauty house for the public” and “monument to Buffalo’s expansion.”"


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Added 2013-11-27 • Last changed 2015-02-04