Denzinger-Sigwald Building


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Photo credit: David Torke fixBuffalo, and Buffalo Rising


91 Genesee Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
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Ellicott Council District
SBL: 111.46-5-2
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Adjacent to: Caulkins Building, Genesee Gateway
Across from: Chippewa Market


GENESEE GATEWAY, LLC per City of Buffalo Property Information
Search NYS Corporation Database for GENESEE GATEWAY

Physical Description

Three story commercial building in Second Empire style with mansard roof

Current Condition

Demolished. Surface parking lot.


  • 1870 - Constructed around 1870, likely as a partnership between Peter Favre, a retired grocer, and Charles Sigwald, a cutler.
  • 1872 - The two halves of the building were owned by William Denzinger and Charles Sigwald
    • Denzinger ran his cabinetry and furniture making shop from the building throughout the 1870s and 1880s
  • 1884 - Frank Pfennig relocated his tobacco shop to the Denzinger-Sigwald Building, where he operated it until the late 1890s.
  • 1900s-1930s - Various retail such as Emil Doerner shoe and boot retail shop, Hyman Jacobson’s pawnbroker shop, the Wilson Brothers jewelry business, the Unger-Schalger Optometrists
  • 1940s - The storefront façade retained its original cast iron pilasters , but a single fire escape was grafted to the north façade. This was later replaced by the two individual metal fire escapes
  • Continued to operate as a mixed use commercial and upstairs residential property until the 1980s
  • 1970s-1990s - Largely vacant and unmaintained
  • 1987 - Fire likely resulting from faulty electrical work. Owner Bert Simon applied for a building permit to remove the damaged fourth-story mansard roof and replace this with a flat membrane roof.
History courtesy architectural historian Jennifer Walkowski, and Buffalo Rising

Recent Events and Actions Taken

  • 2000 - Due to years of neglect coupled with the fire damage, the interior floors collapsed into the building, taking portions of the exterior walls with them.
  • 2001 - Slated for demolition
  • Oct 2002 - Triangle Development purchases and attempts to stabilize 85 and 91 Genesee
  • Nov 2002 - Wind storm causes further collapse of building, along with adjacent Caulkins Building
  • 2008 - Purchased by Genesee Gateway LLC
  • 2010 - Attempts to stabilize the shells of 85 and 91 Genesee failed and the buildings were demolished

Other Pertinent Facts


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Added 2013-09-06 • Last changed 2014-07-08