Niagara Street Industrial Heritage

Niagara Lithograph Company
1050 Niagara St., Buffalo, NY

Initial property development for commercial purposes:
At least 1889
Niagara Lithograph founded:
1896
Also, see  Horace Reed House
Horace Reed was the president of Niagara Lithograph
Present building built:
1903, by Niagara Lithograph
Last years of the company (then Miken Companies Inc., Unionized Commercial Printers):
1976-2005
2016-17 developer:
Ellicott Development (Website, online Sept. 2017):
Medical office space on the first and second floors
8 apartments on the west end of the basement and subbasement levels,

History Beneath Illustrations




Left:  Ribco   ...   Center, with crane: 1050 Niagara St.   ...   Far right, with awnings: Tim Horton's, 1088 Niagara St.




45,000 square feet of commercial office space on the first and second floors



Exterior work will include replacing the existing windows with new to match the historic windows removed and infilled by a previous owner.  Interior work includes the restoration of original hardwood flooring and wood ceilings in some areas.







Steel lintels   ...    Onondaga limestone foundation   ...   Gray painted-over graffiti which will be removed with the product below:


On illustratation below, note the painted-on product from this bucket. Later, the solution - and the graffiti underneath -  will be hosed off.



Graffiti underneath




Onondaga limestone foundation




Back of building facing Belt Line Railroad  tracks and the Buffalo River




Approximately 8 market-rate apartments at the basement level where the west elevation is above grade due to the steep topography at that end of the site providing spectacular views of the Niagara River and Canada.





Niagara Lithograph Company

By Mark Strong,
Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc.

Niagara Lithograph Company (American Publishers & Lithographers, 1896-1967) were located at 1050 Niagara Street, Buffalo, NY.

The company printed chromolithographs and various lithographs, calendars, advertisements, trade cards, WWI posters, promotional pamphlets, other art posters, cardboard signs, as well as on metal and various postage stamps. The company was also known for printing much of the Coca-Cola cardboard signs from 1930-1940, and other notable corporations who were clients included; Colgate, Canada Dry, and Firestone.

Alternate company names found across publications and online include; Niagara Lith. Co., Niagara Lithograph Co., and Niagara Lithographic Co.

The company’s history can be traced back to Hugh M. Clay who had worked in lithography firms for ten years before going into partnership with Herman Cosack in 1864 to form Clay, Cosack & Company. The company printed a variety of lithographic products to include; chromolithographs, trade cards, art prints, seed packets, medicine labels, tourist cards etc.

In 1879, Clay left the firm to start a new partnership with Henry A. Richmond to form Clay & Richmond. Their firm concentrated on printing chromolithographic trade cards and labels, and when Clay retired in 1886, the company became the Richmond Lithographing Company . In 1896, the firm changed its name yet again to the Niagara Lithograph Company after it was purchased by Hugo R. Monro, John J. McWillams (who served as president), and his son-in-law Horace Reed. After McWilliams death in 1912, Reed took over the company.

In 1967, Niagara Lithograph Co. consolidated with Sale Lithograph Co. ) to form Sale-Niagara, Inc. (1967-1992). In 1977, Sale-Niagara was purchased by Walter Jaworski (of Miken Companies Inc., Unionized Commercial Printers, 1976-2005), and by 1992 the two printing companies had merged.

During its highly productive years, the company printed for many famous publishing giants to include; The National Geographic Society, Dell, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Random House and Bantam Doubleday, for which the company produced more than 13 million hard and paperback covers for titles by the famous bestselling author, attorney, politician and activist John Grisham.

“After reaching a peak in 1993 of $21.94 million, revenues at the Cheektowaga company stagnated in the late 1990’s, dropping to $17 million. In early 2002, Miken lost one of its largest customers when it acquired a printing company of its own, which resulted in a loss of about $6 million, Bolas said. The company ended 2004 with about $10 million in revenues and was on track for about the same for 2005”. Unfortunately Miken couldn't turn around the debt-laden company and they were forced to close their doors in mid September of 2005, leaving about 80 employees out of work.





"Hugh M. Clay had worked in lithography shops for ten years before going into partnership with Herman Cosack in 1864 to form Clay, Cosack & Company. They printed a variety of lithographic products, which included trade cards by 1870. Clay left the firm to start a new partnership with Henry A. Richmond in 1879 to concentrate on printing chromolithographic trade cards and labels. When Clay retired in 1886, Clay & Richmond became the Richmond Lithographing Company. In 1896 the firm’s name was changed to the Niagara Lithograph Company after it was purchased by Hugo R. Monro, John J. McWillams who served as president, and his son-in-law Horace Reed. After McWilliams death in 1912, Reed took over the company. They printed on both paper and metal for a variety of products ranging from prints to postage stamps. Little is known about their involvement in postcard production." - Alan Petrulis, Metropostcard.Com (online Sept. 2017)




Source: Kodak (online Sept. 2017)




"Hugh M. Clay had worked in lithography shops for ten years before going into partnership with Herman Cosack in 1864 to form Clay, Cosack & Company. They printed a variety of lithographic products, which included trade cards by 1870. Clay left the firm to start a new partnership with Henry A. Richmond in 1879 to concentrate on printing chromolithographic trade cards and labels. When Clay retired in 1886, Clay & Richmond of Buffalo, New York became the Richmond Lithographing Company. In 1896 the firm’s name was changed to the Niagara Lithograph Company after it was purchased by Hugo R. Monro, John J. McWillams (who served as president), and his son-in-law Horace Reed. After McWilliams death in 1912, Reed took over the company.

"The Niagara Lithograph Company printed on both paper and metal for a variety of products ranging from prints to postage stamps (see fig. 4). The company also printed much of the Coca-Cola cardboard signs from 1930 to 1940. The Niagara Lithograph Company’s clients included “Colgate, Canda Dry, Firestone… they also printed a wide range of WWI posters” - Tim Broadwater, The Typography and the Color Should be Friends   (online Sept. 2017)




Source: Tim Broadwater, The Typography and the Color Should be Friends   (online Sept. 2017)




1947




1050 Niagara Street

The 1050 Niagara Street parcel has a long history of being utilized for commercial/industrial operations since at least 1889.

The Niagara Lithograph Company (current on-site building) operated a commercial printing company from approximately 1930 through 1990.

The Miken Companies, also a commercial printing company, was located on-site until about 2000.

Historic Sanborn records indicate that two 25,000 gallon tanks, likely containing fuel oil and/or printing related solvents were located in the basement of the building. Lithographic printing operation historically utilized VOC-based solvent routinely for printing cleaning, degreasing and ink-solvents.
- Department of Environmental Conservation: 1050-1088 Niagara Street  (online June 2017)


1050 Niagara Street

The International Brewing Company and American Gelatine Corp. operated on-Site in the early 1900s.
Turn Key: Remedial Investigation/Interim Remedial Measures/Alternatives Analysis Work Plan: 1050-1088 Niagara Street Site, Buffalo New York (online June 2017)


1050 Niagara Street

This three-story building sits on the west side of Niagara Street near Allen Street and is adjacent to our recently completed new-build at 1088 Niagara Street
The transformation of this property is slated to begin in early 2017. 

Historically home to the Niagara Lithograph Company, the building will be converted into a mix of uses including over 45,000 square feet of commercial office space on the first and second floors and approximately 8 market-rate apartments at the basement level where the west elevation is above grade due to the steep topography at that end of the site providing spectacular views of the Niagara River and Canada.

We are working in consultation with the NYS Historic Preservation Office and National Park Service to restore the building for designation on the National Register of Historic Places upon completion of the renovation work. 

Exterior work will include replacing the existing windows with new to match the historic windows removed and infilled by a previous owner.  Interior work includes the restoration of original hardwood flooring and wood ceilings in some areas.

- Ellicott Development: 1050 Niagara (online June 2017)


1050 Niagara Street

Finally, on the other side of downtown, Ellicott wants to renovate a vacant three-story building at 1050 Niagara St. into a blend of medical office space on the first and second floors, with eight apartments on the west end of the basement and subbasement levels, where a change in the grade of the land exposes those levels above ground.

The 52,623-square-foot commercial and industrial building sits on 1.09 acres on the west side of Niagara, sandwiched between that street and the Niagara Thruway next to the river. It dates to 1930[sic?], according to city records, but the property has been used for commercial and industrial purposes since at least 1889 by various companies, including the Niagara Lithograph Co. and the Miken Companies, two commercial printers. Ellicott bought it from Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. in 2008.

The site is also adjacent to Ellicott's recently completed 11,000-square-foot new-construction project at 1088 Niagara. That two-story mixed-use building contains a Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop with a drive-thru, additional ground-floor retail space and second-floor apartments.

The two properties and a third adjacent parcel make up a combined 2.7-acre area that is under an ongoing state-supervised brownfield cleanup.

Plans by AP Architects, with assistance from Carmina Wood Morris PC, call for restoration of the red brick building's exterior, including masonry repairs and restoring window openings that had been filled in with masonry, by installing new historically-accurate units. Workers would also construct two small additions on the building's north side to serve as entryways for tenants, while the existing parking lot at 1088 Niagara would be expanded to add 45 parking spaces - including two for handicapped.

The $9.4 million project requires both Planning Board approval and zoning variances.
- Jonathan D. Epstein,  Ellicott Development plans trio of projects in downtown Buffalo.    The Buffalo News, Oct 17, 2016



Photos and their arrangement 2017  Chuck LaChiusa
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