Monroe Building / Record Theatre


Comments? Corrections? Send us a message about this building


Interior, 1932

Photo credit: Preservation Exchange, PRS


1786 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14208
SBL: 89.81-1-6
Ellicott Council District
Google Bird's Eye View
Erie County Property Info
County Tax Map (loads GIS page)
City of Buffalo Parcel Viewer


Monroe Building LLC per Buffalo Rising (December 2019)
SILVER LEONARD per City of Buffalo Property Information
NYS Corporation and Business Entity Database

Physical Description

Two story brick commercial building on a corner parcel

Current Condition

Undergoing restoration


  • 1920 - The Monroe Building was designed by architect G. Morton Wolfe and built for local automobile dealer Charles F. Monroe, a licensed agent for the Marmon and Velie Motor Companies.
  • 1931 - "Charles F. Monroe filed for bankruptcy and the Monroe Building was put up for auction where the Ford Motors Company purchased and renovated it for a new type of full-service dealership.
  • 1936 - Approximately 5 years after Ford purchased the building, it was 'sold to a local dealership called Birk & Bailey Incorporated'
  • 1930s-1970s - 'The property passed through the hands of several other automobile dealers before Leonard Silver purchased it and transformed the building into Record Theatre.'
  • 1970s - Terrible metal siding covers up original facade
History courtesy Matthew Shoen, Preservation Exchange

Recent Events and Actions Taken

  • 2017 - Record Theatre closes
  • December 2019 - Building sold for $375,000 to the Monroe Building LLC. Buffalo Rising
    • 'Work is anticipated to begin by Spring of next year with completion following about a year later. '
    • 'The building will be returned to its original namesake, The Monroe Building.'
    • 'The ownership group is comprised of Common Bond Real Estate (Jason Yots), Preservation Studios (Mike Puma & Derek King), Urban Vantage (Rich Rogers & Travis Gordon), and Buffalove Development (Bernice Radle).'
  • December 23, 2019 - Metal siding removal begins

Other Pertinent Facts

  • 1931 - "Ford immediately renovated the Monroe Building to reflect a new model of dealership the company wanted to create. Ford wanted to create a full service center with factory trained mechanics and parts for every model of Ford vehicle on the market. Ford's plan emphasized service and offering expert repairs, an important consideration for cash strapped Americans who needed their vehicles to last longer in the Depression years." - Matthew Shoen, Associate Architectural Historian


Newest Pages

Added 2018-10-05 • Last changed 2020-05-12