New York Telephone Company Building
46 Church Street, Buffalo, NY

2014 Name:
Verizon/AT&T
Built:
1914
1914 Architect:
Voorhees, Walker, Smith, Smith, and Haines (in 2014 HLW International, New York City)
1914 style:
Beaux Arts
1914 Structural material:
Steel
1914 Facade material:
Brick, terra cotta
1930 annex:
Voorhees Gmelin & Walker, architects.
Six-story annex mixes brick and stone facing.
Similar to the Syracuse Telephone Co. building.
Art Deco style
Status:
Contributing, Joseph Ellicott Local Historic District

On this page, below:
1914 Building

1961:
80-foot Antenna Array

C. 2011:  80-foot Antenna Array on Roof Removed

1930 Annex

"Telephone service began in Buffalo in 1879 with the installation of the first telephone in Miller's Livery Stable; by 1881 there were 1,000 telephones installed in Buffalo. The Bell Telephone Company of Buffalo enjoyed a monopoly until 1902 when Frontier received city approval to establish a competing company. By 1910, the year that New York Telephone took over the Bell company in Buffalo, there were 25,000 telephones in Buffalo. New York Telephone invested over $4,000,000 in Buffalo's infrastructure, culminating with the construction of the above 16-story building at the corner of Franklin and Church." - Western New York Heritage Press (online August 2014)
1914 Building


Prudential/Guaranty Building ... Postcard courtesy of Patrick Mahoney



Postcard from the early 1920's of the new Iroquois Building (home of Iroquois Gas from 1913-1958) and the new Telephone Building.
Iroquois Building (left) replaced by Rath Building housing Erie County government.



Postcard



Postcard courtesy of Patrick Mahoney



1914 Building -  2002 photo.
Far left: St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral ...
Guaranty Building


1914 Building -  2002 photo.


1914 Building -  2002 photo.
White, glazed terra cotta ... ... Beaux Arts style


1914 Building -  2002 photo.
White, glazed terra cotta ... Beaux Arts style



1914 Building -  2002 photo.



1914 Building -  2002 photo.
White, glazed terra cotta ... Beaux Arts style



1914 Building -  2002 photo.

1961: 80-foot Antenna Array


1961:  80-foot Antenna Array ...  2002 photo.
In 1961, the Telephone Building's 35-foot microwave radio antenna was replaced with an 80-foot antenna array to accommodate the growth in long-distance calls and network television transmissions. In order to accommodate the heavier antenna, the top five floors of the building had to be reinforced.



1961:  80-foot Antenna Array ... 2006 photo ... Guaranty Building at left



1961:  80-foot Antenna Array ... 2005 photo



1961:  80-foot Antenna Array ...  2002 photo



1961:   80-foot Antenna Array ...  2002 photo



1961:   80-foot Antenna Array ...  2002 photo



1961:   80-foot Antenna Array ...  2002 photo


C. 2011:  80-foot Antenna Array on roof removed


2015 photo ... Old County Hall at bottom left ... City Court Building in upper left ... Statler at upper middle



2014 photo.
80-foot antenna array on roof removed 



2014 photo.
  80-foot antenna array on roof removed


2015 photo.



1930 Annex

"...  Voorhees Gmelin & Walker, who were tasked with designing New York Telephone buildings across the state.  Ralph Walker, one of the great Skyscraper architects of all time, and the man most responsible for creating the iconic stepped setback skyscraper in response to New York 1916 zoning law, designed the flagship New York City telephone building, now known as the Barcley Vesey building, in 1926 (Photo). The Syracuse building also shares with the New York Telephone Building annex in Buffalo, also designed by Voorhees Gmelin & Walker, and built in 1930, some decorative features, especially the extremely flat and shallow relief decoration."
-   Samuel Gruber, My Central New York: Art Deco Delights: The New York Telephone Building, Nov. 17, 2013. (online August 2014)


Postcard ... BEFORE the 1930 annex ... Note right side of the building on Franklin Street



2014 photo ... Note 1930 addition to right of the 1914 white terra cotta



2014 photo ... Franklin Street ... 1930 annex to the right  is NOT terra cotta ... Annex details below:



1930 annex ...  2014 photo ... Franklin Street


1930 annex ...  2014 photo ... Franklin Street ...  Art Deco vertical stepped design


1930 annex ...  2014 photo ... Franklin Street ... Art Deco vertical stepped design ... Bas-relief foliated   spandrel panels


1930 annex ...  2014 photo ... NE corner Franklin and Swan



1930 annex ...  2014 photo ... South elevation (Swan St.) Art Deco  bas-relief  spandrel panels ... Art Deco vertical stepped design is based on Gothic linen fold  ...  Detail below:



 
2014 photo ... Swan Street Annex entrance ...  Art Deco  bas-relief  foliated  spandrel panels detail



2014 photo  ... Swan Street Annex entrance is angled off Swan Street towards main Street


1930 annex ...  2014 photo ... South elevation (Swan St.), center, near top ...  Art Deco  bas-relief  foliated  ornamentation


1930 annex ...  2014 photo ... Swan Street Annex entrance

1930 annex ...  2014 photo ... Swan Street Annex entrance



1930 annex ...  2002 photo ... Swan Street Annex entrance ...  Art Deco vertical stepped design and Art Deco  bas-relief



1930 annex ...  2002 photo ... Swan Street Annex entrance ... Art Deco  bas-relief



1930 annex ...  2002 photo ... South elevation (Swan St.)  entrance with Art Deco  bas-relief


1930 annex ...  2002 photo ... South elevation (Swan St.)  entrance with Art Deco  metal ornamentation



1930 Annex East Elevation ... 2014 photo



1930 Annex East Elevation detail ... 2014 photo




Except for postcards, photos and their arrangement 2002, 2014 Chuck LaChiusa
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