Barnes & Hengerer / Sweeney Co. Building


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Photos courtesy: Buffalo History Museum, Buffalo Evening News, BuffaloAH, Mark Paradowski


256 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
SBL: 111.69-3-2
Ellicott Council District
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Next to: Federal Reserve Bank
Adjacent to: Hamlin's Department Store
Across from: 269 Main Street, 263 Main Street, and 259 Main Street


MAIN AND CATHEDRAL DEVELOPMENT LLC per City of Buffalo Property Information
Search NYS Corporation Database for MAIN AND CATHEDRAL

Physical Description

Commercial Romanesque Revival building with brick and Medina sandstone

Current Condition

In use. First floor facade has been altered and parapet is missing but the rest has been restored back to original.


  • 1846 - Cicero Jabez Hamlin located in Buffalo, where he engaged in various dry goods businesses until 1871.
  • 1869 - Richard J. Sherman partnered with J. C. Barnes to form Sherman & Barnes & Co. William Hengerer joined Sherman & Barnes as a clerk.
    • Barnes then formed J. C. Barnes & Co., followed by Barnes & Bancroft (James K.)
  • 1873 - Hengerer was admitted as a partner - the firm becoming Barnes, Bancroft & Co.
  • 1882 - Building expanded
  • 1885 - Iron facade added
  • 1888 - Current building (Hamlin Block) built by either architect William W. Carlin or Cyrus K. Porter, following a fire in the original building
  • 1903 - Hengerer built his own department store in 1903.
  • Early 1900s - The Sweeney Company Department Store was located here
  • 1965 - The facade of the building was covered in aluminum panels in a poor attempt at modernization
  • 1990 - The facade was mostly restored to its original grandeur, minus the first two floors and the parapet on top
History courtesy

Recent Events and Actions Taken

Other Pertinent Facts

  • Joseph Ellicott Historical District


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Added 2013-10-25 • Last changed 2021-12-06