Wurlitzer Building / Tent City
Original name: Perron Company Building
674 Main St., Buffalo, New York

TEXT Beneath Illustrations


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Cartouche including volutes and caduceus

Plinth (base) of Ionic capital. Wave scroll

Poppenberg postcard

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Gustave H. Poppenberg
Source: "Men of Buffalo," Chicago: A. N. Marquis & Co, 1902


Erected:

1895

See also:
Highlights of Buffalo's History, 1895

Architects

E. A. Kent

Style:

Owners:

  • A. E. Perron Company
  • Poppenberg Motor Company
  • Wurlitzer Company
  • Washington Surplus Center -Tent City

Status:

Part of Buffalo's Theatre Historic Preservation District
Historic photo:
1896 photo

One of the oldest structures in the Theater District, the facade is fine example of Neo-Classical commercial design. It can also be described as Beaux Arts Classicism. It recalls the general appearance of the former Otto-Kent Building) presently Theater Place, and may have been designed by the same architect, Edward Kent.

The building was originally erected c. 1895 as the factory and sales room of A. E. Perron Company, manufacturer of carriages (automobiles), sleighs and harnesses.

The Poppenberg Company bought the building c. 1905. The company manufactured pianos, player pianos, bicycles, and carriages (automobiles) in their factory on the northeast corner of Main and Carlton. 674 Main was their showroom.

The Wurlitzer Company bought the building in the 1930s for a showroom, offices and studios. For 66 years, it was the major retail outlet in Buffalo for the musical instruments that the internationally known Wurlitzer Company manufactured in its Tonawanda factory. In the 1960s, school children would take field trips there for chamber music concerts. The business closed in 1996.

In 1997, Washington Surplus bought the building. After W.W.II, the armed services sold surplus clothing and equipment. The father of present (2002) co-owner Charles Kushner, a veteran, started the company and bought the building at Washington and Seneca Streets.

In June of 2002, Mayor Anthony Masiello and the Buffalo Preservation Board gave an award to Charles Cushner and Larry Maxick of Washington Surplus for their efforts "in the exemplary restoration of their very elegant neoclassic building."

Presently (July 2002), the first floor is used as retail space for Washington Surplus, and the upper floors are being converted into 12 apartments which will boast a glass atrium with roof top garden.


Main source: Martin Wachadlo, Consultant
Special thanks to Charles Kushner, Ed Standish and Edward Sanders for their cooperation
Photos and their arrangement 2002 Chuck LaChiusa ..
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