E&B Holmes Machinery Company


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June 11, 2018

Photos: Buffalo Rising, Puma, Straubinger


55 Chicago Street Buffalo, NY 14204


Ellicott Development

Carl and William Paladino's company, Ellicott Development, or corporations it controls: (Ellicott Group LLC, Pearl Group LLC, Huron Group Inc, Tupper Group Inc, Deltup LLC, Del-Al LLC, 84 Group, 1238 Group, 1239 Group, 4858 Group, 5277 Group, 9274 Group, etc.), owns these buildings or parcels of preservation concern (not a complete list):

You can also view this list at Ellicott's category page.

Physical Description

  • It is a roughly rectangular brick building composed of three primary sections of four-, three-, and two-stories, which encircle a central courtyard. The three sections are the Mill Building (ca. 1870), Forge Building (ca. 1910-1912), and Pattern Building (1913). (Wikipedia)
  • We're calling this a Lost Building because a large part of the complex has been demolished as of June 2018.

Current Condition

  • Secure, but vacant/abandoned and deteriorating. 'The oldest portion of the building, known as the Mill Building suffered a partial collapse to the eastern wall, along with portions of the northwestern corner and the fourth floor.' Buffalo Rising
  • A large part of the building complex has been demolished as of June 2018.


  • E&B Holmes Machinery Co. was supposedly Buffalo's oldest business which operated with the same location and name. The company was started by Edward and Britain Holmes, in 1852. They specialized in the design of machines that made wooden barrels. Forgotten Buffalo
  • The Holmes brothers, Edward and Britain, were among the thousands who came to Buffalo following the growth of the Erie Canal as a highway for commercial and economic growth in the nineteenth century. E&B Holmes was once the country’s leading barrel-making company and later became one of the country’s leading woodworking machine manufacturers, with numerous patents to its credit. The company was located at the site from the 1850's until 2001, when it downsized to a machine shop and moved from this location. (River Lofts Buffalo).
  • From Richard Rockford: "They didn't really move or downsize after 2001. The owners, Dave and Andy Krafchak, went to work at Jentsch machine shop around the corner, bringing with them clients from E+B. By this time there was really no E+B, just a two or three man machine shop. Actually, up until almost that time, orders came in to replace parts that the Krafchaks had original drawings for. YES, this means that until the 90s, E+B would occasionally be asked by a distillery to replace an 80 to a 120 year old part! American stuff made after 1880 was just crap and would only last a century or so."

Recent Events and Actions Taken

  • 2005 - Purchased by Newark Niagara LLC, headed by preservation architect Clinton Brown, for $30,000. Buffalo Rising
  • 2008 - Currently known as The Cooperage. “We’ve taken out hundreds of tons of junk and debris” said Clint Brown "that had accumulated since E&B Holmes moved out in 2001." Buffalo Rising
  • October 2008 - The Preservation League, a non-profit based in Albany, provided a $200,000 short-term loan under its Endangered Properties Intervention Program.
  • 2009 - Preservation League of New York State helped with the additional shoring and stabilization of the building.
  • February 2009 - Metro Contracting & Environmental Inc. filed a $149,000 mechanics lien and in May of that year filed a Lis Pendens. Buffalo Rising
  • April 2011 + February 2015 - Payment motions filed on the 2009 lien according to County Clerk records. Buffalo Rising
  • January 2013 - Safespan Scaffolding LLC filed a $563,000 mechanics lien that appears to be unresolved. Buffalo Rising
  • January 30, 2013 - Public meeting on the the reconstruction of Ohio Street sponsored by Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation.
  • July 16, 2013 - Community Meeting at the Old 1st Ward Community Center to discuss new plans for The River Lofts at the Cooperage on Chicago Street.
  • April 12, 2017 - Business First's news feed reports that Ellicott Development will buy the Cooperage site in First Ward. 'Paladino wants to restore as much of the dilapidated factory as possible. Ellicott's plans call for market-rate apartments and, potentially, a restaurant anchoring the building.' Business First
  • February 2018 - "Ellicott Development Company purchased the Cooperage complex at 55 Chicago Street today for $526,100. Clint Brown’s Newark Niagara LLC was the seller. It is unclear how much Brown will pocket from the transaction. There is a string of liens and an assigned mortgage from the Preservation League of NYS Inc. associated with the property according to County Clerk records." Buffalo Rising
    • "Ellicott is planning demolish all but the 10,0000 sq.ft. Pattern Building, a two-story section at the southern end of the site, and construct additions around it. The Preservation Board signed-off on the demolition work last year."
  • May 1, 2018 - Demolition begins on part of the complex.

Other Pertinent Facts

  • It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.


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Added 2013-01-10 • Last changed 2018-06-16