Houk Lofts


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Houk Lofts. Photos by Buffalo Rising


316 Grote Street, Buffalo NY 14207


Physical Description

  • 28,160 sq.ft. two-story building

Current Condition

  • Renovated and in use.


  • 1910 - Original portion constructed for the Superior Motor Vehicle Company. The original factory complex consists of a two-story office building fronting on Elmwood Avenue with a one-story machine shop, a one-story warehouse, and a two-story forge shop.
  • 1911 - The firm had become the Superior Axle & Forge Company, and by the following summer the business had became the McCue Company.
  • 1913 - McCue added a second story to the machine shop
  • 1915 - A second story was also added to the warehouse
  • Fall 1915 - The Houk Manufacturing Company purchased the complex
  • 1916 - An addition connected the power house to the machine shop. A two-story section was added to the west side of the forge shop.
  • 1917 - Another two story addition extended the complex westward to the railroad spur.
  • 1917 - The Houk Manufacturing Company merged into the Wire Wheel Corporation of America.
  • 1919 - The firm built a freestanding, two-story building with one-story wings to the east of the forge shop. Also in 1919, another addition to the north was made. *1922 - A small addition built out to the railroad spur in the northwest corner.
  • 1931 - The Great Depression and changing tastes in automobile design relegated the wire wheel business to the sidelines. The Wire Wheel Corporation was no longer in business.
  • By 1935 some of the space was being occupied by a variety of businesses, including Sherman-Williams Paint Company, Visco Meter Company, and a general contractor.
  • Vacant for 15 years prior to $6.72 million 2013 renovation
History courtesy Buffalo Rising

Recent Events and Actions Taken

  • Nov 2012 - Rocco Termini announces plan to restore this building and FWS Building in a combined $30 million project, with $6 million going towards Houk Lofts
    • Plan would call for Houk Lofts' to contain 22 apartments and 2,000 sq.ft. of commercial space.
  • Feb 2013 - ECIDA directors approved separate incentive packages for the Houk Lofts and Distillery Lofts projects
  • May 2013 - Rehab work progresses on Houk Loft project
  • September 2013 - Residents move into the lofts
  • December 5, 2013 - Preservation Board notice: "1700 Elmwood Ave. (Houk Manufacturing Complex)- Property is being considered for nomination to the National and State Registers of Historic Places"

Other Pertinent Facts

  • George W. Houk became the first person in America to manufacture wire wheels
  • Houk Wire Wheel Company produced wire wheels for the Pierce Arrow Company, whose plant was located across the street.


Newest Pages

Added 2013-05-14 • Last changed 2017-09-07