former Buffalo Smelting Works, located at 23 Austin Street, is a
particularly exquisite and rare surviving example of waterfront
industrial architecture in the Black Rock neighborhood. The paired
building was constructed as the neighborhood became a thriving
industrial area during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth
The Buffalo Smelting Works demonstrates elements frequently seen in
industrial architecture of its type, with a steel truss roof system
topped with roof monitors, and is embellished with detailing in the
Romanesque Revival taste, with segmental and Roman arched windows, as
well as a repeating motif of oculus windows.
Built for the Michigan based Calumet & Hecla Mining Company, the
building is additionally eligible for the information about the
nationally successful company and its Buffalo operation. As a prominent
industrial processing plant, the Buffalo Smelting Works enjoyed nearly
three decades of success in the copper smelting industry, attracting
much business to the region.
A period of significance has been set at 1891, the year of the
building’s original construction, until 1920, when Calumet & Hecla
sold the property to the American Radiator Company.