Erie County Savings Bank - Chronicling Destruction

trismegistus

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This post is a bit different than my usual breakdown of late 19th century architecture, as this will primarily be in regards to when the building in question was demolished rather than built. Not only were these types of buildings stunning to see, and impressive by any standards - - they were also an absolute bitch to demolish.

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  • Broke ground in 1890, completed in 1893 (replaced "old" 1st Presbyterian Church)​
  • Demolished in 1968​
  • Architect: George B. Post
  • Style: "Richardson Romanesque" :sneaky:
  • Location: Buffalo, NY​
  • Composition: Steel frame, Pink Granite, Red Granite and Ashlar Masonry​
For now, let's ignore the strange looking "weather vanes" on the roof, the fact that the electrical engineer was Thomas Edison, the architect also designed buildings for the World's Columbian Exposition, and that there no photos of its construction. Besides, at this point if you are in this thread you are already likely assuming these things to be a given for this period of time and style of architecture.

I found an article in the wayback machine written by a journalist Ellen Tausig (1906-2005) regarding the demolition of the bank. Like many others here on SH, she was devastated by the City of Buffalo's decision to tear down buildings like this to make way for soulless corporate business parks in the late 1960s. She wrote an absolutely beautiful love letter to the building in this article, and I highly recommend you read through it all as it is extremely well written. I want to post some excerpts from it that got me thinking about the level of craftsmanship and engineering brilliance that we have apparently "forgot" in the 21st century.

And so in mid-summer of 1967, the ravaging of the duchess began. Edward E. Gabriel, president of the Niagara Wrecking & Lumber Co., foresaw no difficulty in the task: "We have the original working plans," he told me, "and it's just a question of working in reverse." (That's what he thought.) "She just doesn't budge," noted George L. Sheridan, a vice-president of the bank in charge of her.
Every evening for more than three months a battle was fought in Shelton Square between her and two cavernous cranes. The latter attacked with two primitive means of offense: A pair of jaws and a rock - or in modern wreckers' parlance - a clambucket and a busting ball. The former weighed in at 3 tons, the latter at 3-1/2. The fight was one of the toughest in veteran wreckers' memory. For a wrecker to admit resistance is like a weight lifter confessing his muscles are getting flabby. It began at 4:30 in the afternoon and continued through 7:30 the next morning, five days a week. A crowd of variable size would gather to see the kill. It was the show of the town.
As Mr. Gabriel had said, the original plans of the building were made available. When the crane operations of the 25-man demolition crew began to munch at the building, however, it was evident that plans and reality did not agree. The roof with its turrets and gargoyles and finials was the toughest. A finial lifted intact like a birthday candle to the ground measured 3-1/2 feet high and weighed an estimated 600 pounds. Not to mention the cones on the towers which looked like cake frosting aloft, but on the ground measured 20 feet high and 15 feet across. Cast iron and steel. As the wrecking progressed, scores of 200-pound red granite carved images, 5-feet thick, set in the walls around the crest of the building came tumbling down, their carnival faces of joy and sorrow biting the dust. The very stones of the building were resistant. The walls, which tapered from nine feet at the base up to three feet, were composed of foot-thick red granite stones weighing up to three tons each. Interlocked, they had to be lifted out like lumps of sugar, piece by piece. They did not sound like sugar when they dropped.
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As if we needed more reason to think that "they just don't build 'em like they used to", here you go. Not only were these buildings an example of a lost high art and craftsmanship, they were also built to last. They certainly weren't built to be torn down in 100 years.


Some enterprising Buffalonian made a 4 part slideshow of photos from the demolition. I haven't gone over all of the videos yet but for the discerning eye there may be some potential cultural layer evidence hidden there.

At the very least, we can assume a few things regarding this Grand Unified Architecture found all over the world:
  • These buildings were designed to last hundreds, if not thousands of years​
  • They are extremely hard to demolish with conventional equipment​
  • It is no wonder to me that many of these types of buildings survived America's Battlefield.
That said, if we accept that the great fires of the 19th and 20th centuries were caused by some sort of exotic weaponry - - perhaps this was one of the only ways to eliminate as many of these buildings as possible without incurring huge time and money sinks.
 

KorbenDallas

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Absolutely awesome article this is. Here’s what I thought about as well: this is exactly the type of buildings we had dropping like flies during them urban fires. How weird is that?

Interesting who, and where the paper trail of this demolition orders would lead to.
 
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trismegistus

trismegistus

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Absolutely awesome article this is. Here’s what I thought about as well: this is exactly the type of buildings we had dropping like flies during them urban fires. How weird is that?

Interesting who, and where the paper trail of this demolition orders would lead to.
It took three months to tear this thing down, and that is after they removed giant marble staircases, boilers, and a giant vault. How did these types of buildings succumb exclusively to fire? Mind-boggling.
 

whitewave

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I wonder why they would feel the need to tear down these magnificent structures. What was so incriminating that the evidence had to be destroyed? TPTB are consummate liars and surely could have come up with some story to explain the craftsmanship that we can't replicate today. Was their very presence an offence to the conquerors of the land? A constant reminder that they defeated their betters?
 

whitewave

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Devices on the roof can be a reason. Or any one thinks that is roof decoration?
View attachment 24692
As much trouble as they had tearing the building down, you'd think that if it were the atmospheric electricity collectors on the roof that offended them, they'd just rip those off the roof and save themselves the time and cost of tearing it down and building new buildings.
 

HulkSmash

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Been in England and Scotland for over a week now and these buildings are everywhere. They are so much more beautiful then any of the modern garbage surrounding them. They are obviously more sturdy and long lasting because you see massive degradation of the modern crap. The comparison is so obvious because in many places you will have a old stone structure built hundreds of years ago, right next to one built fifty years ago and the fifty year old one is in drastic need of repair. It's so glaringly obvious. A guide told me that these buildings are not allowed to be demolished with wrecking balls because the claim was they could set off old dud bombs still in the ground from WW2. I took that as a load of BS. Where could these supposed bombs actually be? If the streets were already redone and repaved, bombs would have been discovered then right? How could the bombs gotten underneath, in the foundations of these really old buildings, and the particular locations not be known, and taken care of? I suppose it's possible, but after looking at the specific buildings, I think it's BS and is covering up some other reason and @trismegistus is pointing it out. It's just too darn difficult to wreck these beautiful structures, especially in a city as congested as London or Edinburgh. I think they know how to 'disconnect' the power generation ability in these buildings now and so, in congested areas now, they don't bother leveling them. They allow them to remain and tourists like me throw money at them to oh and ah at their created-historical splendor.
 

HulkSmash

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This may not be the proper thread to post this, if so, i apologize. Here is another pattern I have seen in my recent travels. The first floors definitely, and many second floors have giant portals, both door and windows. Third story and up, human, 'normal' size. I have been looking for this exclusively and have yet to find one with normal first and second story portals. To me this is telling because it has always been with these 'Victorian', Greco-Roman, buildings. I have found some with normal portal, stone buildings, but they have all proved to be contemporary construction. They fit them right in next to the others to try and make it all blend in.
 

KorbenDallas

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Yup, let's leave this thread to the demolition issues please. There plenty of other ones pertaining to the "giants" architecture issue.
 

Maxine

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Maybe thats how many of them were destoyed in 'fires' power put back into these things resulting in massive destruction?
Yep, that's one of my theories, that's how i also feel Notre-Dame was set on fire, they activated it and made it mailfunction resulting in fire and i probs even know how they activated it (sort of) here's the video in which you can see some person walking around the spire and sparking something (note it was an hour before fire and construction workers there were already gone) and i think these sparks are from something he is using to activate the building and then it probs mailfunction and it results in fire.
 

CurvedBullet

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Absolutely awesome article this is. Here’s what I thought about as well: this is exactly the type of buildings we had dropping like flies during them urban fires. How weird is that?

Interesting who, and where the paper trail of this demolition orders would lead to.
Aside from the basement in the Smithsonian? Private home libraries.
 

whitewave

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here's the video in which you can see some person walking around the spire and sparking something (note it was an hour before fire and construction workers there were already gone) and i think these sparks are from something he is using to activate the building and then it probs mailfunction and it results in fire.
Yeah, that's not suspicious at all. Do you know if there's been any investigation into this video?
 

Maxine

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Yeah, that's not suspicious at all. Do you know if there's been any investigation into this video?
I think i saw UAP talking about it in one of his videos, won't remember in which video now though.
 

whitewave

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I understand that there's been a billion dollars in donations to repair the Notre Dame so it would be embarrassing to have to give all that money back if the fire turned out to be arson so I suspect we've heard the last of it. Go about your business, citizens. :rolleyes:
 

CurvedBullet

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Absolutely awesome article this is. Here’s what I thought about as well: this is exactly the type of buildings we had dropping like flies during them urban fires. How weird is that?

Interesting who, and where the paper trail of this demolition orders would lead to.
This post is a bit different than my usual breakdown of late 19th century architecture, as this will primarily be in regards to when the building in question was demolished rather than built. Not only were these types of buildings stunning to see, and impressive by any standards - - they were also an absolute bitch to demolish.


  • Broke ground in 1890, completed in 1893 (replaced "old" 1st Presbyterian Church)​
  • Demolished in 1968​
  • Architect: George B. Post
  • Style: "Richardson Romanesque" :sneaky:
  • Location: Buffalo, NY​
  • Composition: Steel frame, Pink Granite, Red Granite and Ashlar Masonry​
For now, let's ignore the strange looking "weather vanes" on the roof, the fact that the electrical engineer was Thomas Edison, the architect also designed buildings for the World's Columbian Exposition, and that there no photos of its construction. Besides, at this point if you are in this thread you are already likely assuming these things to be a given for this period of time and style of architecture.

I found an article in the wayback machine written by a journalist Ellen Tausig (1906-2005) regarding the demolition of the bank. Like many others here on SH, she was devastated by the City of Buffalo's decision to tear down buildings like this to make way for soulless corporate business parks in the late 1960s. She wrote an absolutely beautiful love letter to the building in this article, and I highly recommend you read through it all as it is extremely well written. I want to post some excerpts from it that got me thinking about the level of craftsmanship and engineering brilliance that we have apparently "forgot" in the 21st century.







As if we needed more reason to think that "they just don't build 'em like they used to", here you go. Not only were these buildings an example of a lost high art and craftsmanship, they were also built to last. They certainly weren't built to be torn down in 100 years.


Some enterprising Buffalonian made a 4 part slideshow of photos from the demolition. I haven't gone over all of the videos yet but for the discerning eye there may be some potential cultural layer evidence hidden there.

At the very least, we can assume a few things regarding this Grand Unified Architecture found all over the world:
  • These buildings were designed to last hundreds, if not thousands of years​
  • They are extremely hard to demolish with conventional equipment​
  • It is no wonder to me that many of these types of buildings survived America's Battlefield.
That said, if we accept that the great fires of the 19th and 20th centuries were caused by some sort of exotic weaponry - - perhaps this was one of the only ways to eliminate as many of these buildings as possible without incurring huge time and money sinks.
RE: "Granite stones WEIGHING 3 tons" As with the pyramids in Egypt, buildings in Peru, etc who/what is lifting stones that weigh this much?
 

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