Fidelity Trust Building / NYS Dept. of Labor Building - Table of Contents

EXTERIOR - Fidelity Trust Bank Building / Swan Tower 
284 Main Street, Buffalo, NY

Swan Tower - Official Website (online Jan. 2021)

First floor: New York State Department of Labor: Buffalo Career Center - Official Website  (online Jan. 2021)

Bank founded:

1892, by John Albright

Erected:

1909
1926, addition, west wing facing Swan Street

Architects:

1909: Green & Wicks
1926 addition: Edward B. Green & Sons, Inc.
Interior:
160,000 square feet, 10 stories
Historical framework:

Marine Trust Company, Fidelity Trust Company, and the Bank of Buffalo comprised the strongest financial institutions in the City at the turn of the century.

Later, Fidelity Trust Company was named the M&T Building and later still the NFTA Building.

In 2011, the building was referred to by the owner since 1989, Ellicott Development, as Swan Tower.

George V. Forman, a very punctual man, according to Anson Goodyear, "every morning left his house at a certain hour and met George Williams at his house just above North Street, to walk to the Fidelity Building together. Mr. Forman boasted a very prominent corporation and leaned backward to achieve his balance. Mr. Williams was emaciated and bent forward to achieve his. It was a procession on which people checked their watches." -- Forman-Cabana House

Mural ceiling restoration:
1989 by owner Ellicott Development, including the meticulous restoration of the building’s hand painted ceiling murals

Style:

Commercial Renaissance Revival

Status:

Joseph Ellicott Historic Preservation District


Historic Photos


The Weed Block at Main & Swan, built in 1857, was demolished in 1901 to make room for the Fidelity Trust Building.    ...   Millard Fillmore's law office was located in the Weed Block.   ...  
Source: 1957 Souvenir Historical Book - Buffalo's 125th Anniversary, featuring over 200 pictures from the collection of Roy W. Nagle




Fidelity Trust Building near the turn of the century (note horses)    ...    Note the original top cornice, later simplified    ...
Source: 1957 Souvenir Historical Book - Buffalo's 125th Anniversary, featuring over 200 pictures from the collection of Roy W. Nagle




Neighbors
Except where noted, 2005 photos


2016 photo   ...   Note  1926  Edward B. Green & Sons, Inc. addition on left of Fidelity   ...   Building on right: Ellicott Square Building



Building at left:  Dun Building



Note  1926  Edward B. Green & Sons, Inc. addition on left of Fidelity     ...   Keystone in each window




To the right(north)  of Fidelity/Swan:  1905 White Building   ...   To the right (north) of White Building:  300 Main Street    ...   Far right building: Main Place Tower




Fidelity Trust Bank Building / Swan Tower / NYS Dept. of Labor Building 
284 Main Street, Buffalo, NY  ...   Building details below:





Architectural Features


Protruding cornice    ... Block modillions    ...    Egg-and-dart molding    ...    Dentil molding    ...    Keystones    ...   Flemish bond brickwork



Leaf-and-dart molding    ...    "F': Fidelity  ...    Guttae   ...     Pendant bellflowers



Dentil molding in entablature    ...



Dentil molding in entablature    ...  Engaged  Roman Ionic columns    ...    Bay leaves and disc in triangular spandrels   ...   Keystone   ...   
Door surroundBroken pediment  with cartouche  in tympanum    ...    MCMI: 1901   ...   Rosettes   ...   Keystone   ...  
Three details below:



Detail #1 -   Ionic capital features spiral volutes



Detail #2 -  Ancone-shaped  keystone   ...     Bay leaves and disc in triangular spandrel 



Detail #3 -    Door surroundBroken pediment  with cartouche  in tympanum    ...   Dentil molding    ...     MCMI: 1901   ...  Flanking rosettes ...   Keystone  



Bronze transom lattice and side lights surround double doors



Foliate molding    ...   Egg-and-dart molding    ...    Leaf-and dart molding    ...   Bead-and-reel molding   ...   Roman lattice pattern






Photos and their arrangement 2005 Chuck LaChiusa
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