Forks Hotel


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May 2018

Credit: Town of Cheektowaga, Richard Cook, Cheektowaga Historical Assn., Mark Paradowski


3251 Broadway, Cheektowaga, NY 14227
SBL: 102.04-3-33
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Physical Description

Two-and-a-half story frame structure.

'Originally built in the Queen Ann Style characterized by towers, bay windows and front porches. This hotel had many rooms with detailed oak and other fine woodwork with period brass light fixtures, and ornate ceiling medallions. The origional bar had tin ceilings and very ornate wood turnings of the bar and back bar.' Forks Hotel facebook page

Current Condition

Demolished for a parking lot in front of a one story suburban building


  • Original site of Forks Hose Company #2 (towards the back of the property) before they moved across the street
  • Forks Hotel, in a previous building, has history dating back to 1853 to service the newly installed Attica & Buffalo railroad. Cheektowaga History Museum
  • Building in photos possibly built by Joseph Duringer
  • Served as a hotel, railroad station, post office and most recently a bar
  • 1958 - World War II vet Eddie Fechter purchased the building and operated it as a bar, restaurant, and magic show venue
  • 1979 - Eddie Fechter died in 1979 (Buffalo Rising), or 1976 (Buffalo News)
  • 1979 - Purchased by FORKS CASTLE EAST INC, which owned and operated it as a bar with magic shows, under the name Flashbaxx
  • 1992 - Purchased by ILIANNA WISNIEWSKI and run as a bar but with possibly a different format, before closing in the mid '90s
  • 1998 - The building suffers damage from a fire
  • August 4, 1998 - Purchased by the Polish Union of America

Recent Events and Actions Taken

  • July 8, 2003 - Vacant building purchased by the Cheektowaga Employees Federal Credit Union from the Polish Union of America for $54,900, with plans for demolition for a suburban build on site.
  • Summer 2003 - Building demolished

Other Pertinent Facts

  • "The Forks Hotel, so-named because of its location in an area where there were a number of major roadways" Business First
  • "It looked like a regular tavern, other than the pictures of famous magicians all over the walls and a ceiling that was inexplicably covered with signed playing cards…All somehow suspended and each one preserving the exact moment of astonishment witnessed by that particular spectator. On weekends, the place was packed shoulder to shoulder as locals and magicians from around the world would flock to the Forks to witness the performers." Buffalo Rising
  • "Once a year, in an invitation-only event, magicians come to western New York from around the world to attend the 4F convention (Fechter’s Finger Flicking Frolic/FFFF). The convention was started by Fechter in the 70’s and continues to be one of the biggest close-up magic conventions in the country." Buffalo Rising
  • Historic marker on site reads: "The original site of Forks Hose Company #2 established Oct 11th 1911 and later the site of the Forks Hotel, famous for Eddie Fechter's magic."
  • "Items such as signs and artwork found in the building, which town officials say was built in the 1920s or 1930s to replace an earlier structure that either burned or was torn down, are being donated to the Cheektowaga Historical Society which also is videotaping it inside and out." Business First


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Added 2018-03-27 • Last changed 2018-05-15