The American Hotel
Main Street between Eagle and Court

Click on illustrations for larger size -- and additional information

Benjamin Rathbun

First American Hotel

Second American Hotel

Adam, Meldrum & Anderson's department store



St. Andrew's Society Fourth Anniversary Banquet, American Hotel



The first American Hotel was built in 1836 by Benjamin Rathbun. It burned in on March 10, 1850. This became known as the American Block.

The property was owned principally by the Michael family from the 1850's until 1964.

After the fire, the second American Hotel was erected on the same site. Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech from its balcony in 1861 when he stopped in Buffalo on his way to his inauguration. He worshipped at the First Unitarian Church.

It bears noting that Abraham Lincoln himself made three significant visits to Buffalo.

This second American Hotel burned on January 25, 1865.

Adam, Meldrum & Anderson's department store was the main tenant in the building erected on the site in 1866. The building was occupied by the company until 1960 when AM&A's moved across the street into the J.N. Adams department store building.

In the middle 1960's, the AM&A's building was razed and replaced by the Main Place Mall.

Not to be confused with the American Hotel on Ferry and Niagara Streets in Buffalo (PHOTO).

Page by Chuck LaChiusa
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