Electric Tower - Table of
Exterior - Electric Tower
535 Washington St., Buffalo NY
|The building occupies the entire block. Here Washington Street is bordered by Genesee St. on the north, E. Huron St. on the south, and Ellicott St. on the east.|
Additions: 1924, 1927
|Esenwein & Johnson|
|Beaux-Arts Classical Revival|
White, glazed Terra cotta exterior
Facade, west elevation.
Triangular site on Washington, Genesee and Huron streets
Finial ... White, glazed terra cotta ... Cornice ... Dentil molding ... Roman Corinthian columns
White, glazed terra cotta parapet, overlooking Genesee Building/Hyatt Hotel, City Hall, and the Niagara River
Roman lattice ... Roman Corinthian columns
Beaux Arts style white, glazed terra cotta ... Vertical margents
Facade ... Margents
Genesee St. looking west. Genesee Building/Hyatt Hotel and Buffalo Savings Bank/M&T Bank at the right.
Roman lattice decorate the spandrel panels
The 294-foot-high General Electric Building was completed in 1912 to administer the sales and distribution of electricity from Niagara Falls.
Building, now  called the Niagara Mohawk Building, was opened on
the site of Gruener's Hotel and Gardens
and is one of the most outstanding sights on the Buffalo skyline.
The archtitects, Esenwein &
Johnson, had designed a building for the Pan-American
Exposition — the Temple of
Music (where President McKinley was shot). The tallest building at
the Pan-American Exposition (the theme of which was electric power) had
been the Electric Tower (architect, John Galen Howard) which had been
brilliantly painted and electrically lighted from top to bottom. The
Goddess of Light surmounted the tower, making it 386 feet tall.
Electric Tower also echoes nineteenth-century archeologists'
reconstructions of the Pharos, the lighthouse
at Alexandria, that was one of the seven wonders of the ancient
world. The imagery is most persuasive at night when floodlights
illuminate the top of the building.
The building is a slender, octagonal 294-foot-high skyscraper sheathed in white-glazed terra cotta that makes it gleam after every rainfall. On top of the 14-story building there in a three-tiered tower crowned with a cupola and ball, looking very much like a white-frosted wedding cake in both daylight and floodlight.
building included the octagonal tower plus a Huron Street wing which
was heightened in the 1920's when an additonal wing on Broadway was