Buffalo Savings / M&T - Table of Contents  ......................  Fountain Plaza - Table of Contents

Buffalo Savings Bank / Goldome /
M&T Center
545 Main Street, Buffalo, NY
Renamed 1 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo, NY

First building:
1846 at Main & Erie streets
Second building:
1852 at west side of Main Street near Court Street.
Destroyed by fire on January 25, 1865 (along with other buildings, including the Eagle Tavern)
Third building:
1867 at northeast corner of Washington and Batavia (now Broadway) streets - 2-story banking house trimmed ion Connecticut brownstone
Fourth building:
1899-1900 at Main and Huron.
"It contains 400 tons of steel, which was extravagant for the time period when many buildings were constructed with wood.  The Bank contained more stone than any other building at the time in the country. Each column took 3 months to complete." - Buffalo Place: Fountain Plaza
Fourth building architecture firm:
Green and Wicks (competed against 9 other firms)
Fourth building architectural style:
Beaux Arts Classical
Dome coverings:
1901 - Terra cotta overlaid with copper
1954 - Covered with gold leaf
1979 - Fresh coat of gold leaf
1998 - Fresh coat of gold leaf
Bank renamed:
Goldome in 1983
1981-1982; opened 1983
1983 - The 1967 building was demolished and the plaza finished in 1984.
Bank dissolved:
Largest savings bank in the US.
"As the Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980’s deepened, Goldome eventually became a casualty and was dissolved by the Federal deposit Insurance Corporation 1991.  Goldome’s assets were split between Key Bank and First Empire (now known as M&T Bank Corp.)  M&T Bank purchased the buildings later that year, renaming the complex M&T Center.  In 1998 M&T invested $500,000 to refurbish the gold leafed dome. The building’s 15 feet high finial was loaded into a truck and recoated with gold leaf at Robert Marshall Studios in Wexford, PA." - Buffalo Place: Fountain Plaza

Unless indicated otherwise, photos taken in 2017



Beaux Arts Classical   ...   Granite

Gilded dome and finial   ...   Granite

Entrance at 45 degree angle  between Main and Huron Streets, reflecting the radial street design emanating from Niagara Square   ...   Four details below:

Detail #1

Detail #2 - Balustraded balconet

Detail #3- Leaf-and dart molding beneath balconet   ...   Ancones   ...   Anthemion keystone

Detail #4 -  Medina sandstone steps   ...   2002 photo

West  (Main Street) Elevation

Main Street elevation

Main Street elevation, far left bay   ...   Three details below:

Detail #1 - Granite   ...   Flanking  Corinthian pilasters   ...   Rosettes, ribbons and festoons in frieze   ...   Keystone

Detail #2 -  Corinthian capital (with bird nest)

Detail #3 - Rosette, ribbons and festoons in frieze  

Main Street elevation   ...   Three details below:

Detail #1 - Cornices   ...   Modillions

Detail #2 - Flanking  Corinthian columns   ...   Rosette, ribbons and festoons in frieze

Detail #3 - MDCCCXLVI = 1846  ...   MDCCCXCIX = 1899   ...   Note lion head keystone (detailed below:)

Anthemion and lion head keystone

South (Huron Street) Elevation

Note "The Hiker" statue in Theodore Roosevelt Plaza (enlarged below:)

Beaux Arts Classical style monumental fanlight

Huron Street elevation   ...   The interior rotunda occupies the left bay; the east wing is to the right 

Huron Street elevation   ...   2012 photo

2012 photo taken from the Electric Tower     ...   Two details below:

Detail #1 - Gilded finial and dome   ...   Copper anthemion and fleur-de-lis molding   ...   2012 photo

Detail #2    ...   2002 photo

Huron Street elevation

Huron Street elevation   ...   Block modillions support overhanging cornice   ...   Circle design in frieze

The 1901 building has a 1983 corridor leading to the 1983 addition

The Dome
By Tom Buckham
Reprinted from The Buffalo News, March 1, 2001

The dome is 23 feet tall and 56 feet in diameter. It is covered with 13,500 terra-cotta tiles, meticulously engineered to interlock and overlap each other. Each of the 54 rows of tile differs in size from the row above or below it, and each tile is individually imprinted with a row and cast number.

The tiles originally were overlaid with copper, which took on a greenish hue. Three times since - 1954, 1979, and 1998 - the dome was gilded with pure gold. The last restoration required 140,000 paper-thin sheets of 23.75-carat gold leaf and cost $500,000.

See drawing of dome being constructed
taken from "The Gold Dome: An Architectural Profile," pub. by Goldome Bank

Unless indicated otherwise, photos and their arrangement 2017 Chuck LaChiusa
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