University Park Historic District.................... University Heights Neighborhood

Misc. photos - Niagara Falls Boulevard
University Park Historic District

Located in the University Heights neighborhood, Buffalo, NY

2016 Photos

Niagara Falls Boulevard
Buffalo, NY

By Alison Kimberly, Editor

Designated a City of Buffalo Local Landmark 9/29/87

The section of Niagara Falls Boulevard between Main Street and Kenmore Avenue in Buffalo was constructed in 1913 by Constantine Construction Company.  Prior to that it was an unsurfaced roadway under the jurisdiction of the City Department of Parks,  the 15101 x 401 street was paved with RES-type brick, a hard, impervious paving block slightly larger than an ordinary building brick.  

All bricks were removed and the whole block was reconstructed in the 1990s by the City reusing the original bricks.

Prior to its paving with bricks, both the Buffalo and suburban portions of the present-day Boulevard were known as  Kenilworth Avenue, a name now given to a street a few blocks  away in Tonawanda.  That street had been constructed on the site of the Kenilworth Race Track, which was destroyed by fire in the early 1900's.  Kenilworth was a dirt road which served the race track and extended a few blocks outside the City limits. 

The suburban section of the Boulevard between Kenmore Avenue and Tonawanda Creek was constructed of brick in 1912 and remained a brick road until paved over with concrete in the late 1920's or early 1930's.  The construction of the Buffalo section of the  Boulevard in 1913 linked Main Street with the previously  constructed portion of the Boulevard and coincided with the commencement of classes at the University of Buffalo on the former grounds of the County Hospital and Poor House. 

No residences existed on the Boulevard before it was paved, but by 1921 approximately 15 of the 50 lots on the block had been developed.  A period of rapid growth followed, with most of the residences on the street being built in the 1920's.  New construction on the Main Street Campus of the University of Buffalo began in 1920.  The University Presbyterian Church at the intersection of Main and the Boulevard first congregated at the  site on Easter Sunday, 1921 and by 1928 had dedicated the colonial-styled brick church which now stands on the corner.  Photographs taken of the Boulevard in the 1930's show the steady development of the area, including the U.B. campus, and, in addition, show the rapid maturation of the canopy of shade trees over the street.

Although the Boulevard was initially intended to carry only "local traffic," not "general traffic" (originally Englewood Avenue was designed to carry through traffic in that area), the Boulevard quickly became a vital link between Buffalo and its northern suburbs and was already being described as "busy"  in an account written in 1917. During the early 1940's, the  Boulevard was classified as a "primary" traffic route by the War Transport Committee of the Buffalo Council of Defense.  By 1954, the street was classified as a truck route. Thus, despite the fact that it was never intended and probably not designed to stand up to the immensely heavy traffic volume and vehicle loads it has borne, the Boulevard has lasted, virtually maintenance free, for 74 years.

University Presbyterian Church, 3330 Main St. ... Street on left is Niagara Falls Boulevard

Pelham Drive entry gates at Niagara Falls Boulevard ... Buffalo's version of a "gated community" in the University Park plan

58 Niagara Falls Boulevard.
1924 ... Craftsman style ... Side gable roof, flared on the street side ... Widely overhanging eaves with exposed rafter tails  ... Ribbon windows

The Edward A. Diebolt House, 62 Niagara Falls Boulevard ... C.1923 ... Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

37 Niagara Falls Boulevard.
Craftsman style ... Hipped roofs  ... Different angle in illustration below:

37 Niagara Falls Boulevard.

Color photos and their arrangement 2016 Chuck LaChiusa
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