Automobile Industry in Buffalo

Exterior - Packard Motor Car Showroom Service Building
1325 Main Street at Riley, Buffalo, NY

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

HISTORY Beneath Illustrations




Albert Kahn
Building material:
Reinforced concrete
Original use:
The 68,000 SF historic Packard Building was originally the showroom and assembly plant for the international automobile company of the same name.
End of Packard production:
Current owner:
Erie County (Packard Apts.)
Southern neighbor:
St. Vincent's Female Orphan Asylum, on Main at Riley

Parapet in the form of a Renaissance Revival  balustrade with double balusters  ..... Dentil molding

Indiana limestone pilaster ... Flanking volutes on capital ... Urn: Feathered top / Beads / Gadrooned cup ... Renaissance Revival style paired dolphins  ... Fluted shaft

Flanking volutes on capital ... Renaissance Revival style Classical sea creatures

Twisted Corinthian column at left ... Renaissance Revival scrolling acanthus leaves and griffins flanking disc in frieze ... Note Vitruvian wave

View looking north (south elevation).
Building at right is the Dietel gym, one of the two buildings now part of the Health Sciences Charter School.

Roof water tank

The Packard Motor Car Showroom and Service Building is historically and architecturally significant as a distinguished example of an early 20th century automobile showroom and service building in Buffalo. It is further significant as the site of a large Northeast distributorship for the Packard automobile for nearly 30 years.

It was designed circa 1926 by Albert Kahn, a noted industrial architect. This new building type known as "automobile showroom" is a three-story reinforced concrete frame building with Neo-classical style features.

Each of the Packard buildings featured a showroom in front where cars were displayed, sales offices on a mezzanine level, and a backstage area where cars were stored and serviced. The Buffalo building is further distinguished by the substantial storage space for automobiles reflecting its role as one of Packard's Northeast distribution sites.

The building was used by Packard until they ceased production in 1958. After that, it was used as a piano store, furniture store, a job training center, and various other office and commercial uses. By 1992, the building fell into disrepair and was taken over by the city for back taxes. The current owner [2007] bought the building in 1997 and rehabbed it for use as offices and auto storage.

- (Online Dec. 2012)

Color photos and their arrangement 2012 Chuck LaChiusa
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