ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Buffalo, New York: A Skyline Marked by the Gothic Revival Old Post Office, Once the City's Tallest Building

Updated on July 6, 2019
State flag of New York
State flag of New York | Source
Post Office, Buffalo, NY.  Source: Official catalogue and guide book to the Pan-American exposition, 1901
Post Office, Buffalo, NY. Source: Official catalogue and guide book to the Pan-American exposition, 1901 | Source

Buffalo's tallest building between 1901 and 1912

Buffalo, New York, is endowed with many historic buildings, and one of these is what is now known as the Old Post Office (1) building. Construction of this Post Office began in 1897 and was completed in 1901.

Executed in Gothic Revival style in a combination of pink granite, Spanish tiling and concrete, the structure belongs to an era when public buildings tended to be of a decidedly more ornate character than custom would dictate today, before the functionalist theories of influential architects such as Le Corbusier (2) began widely to hold sway.

The Gothic inspiration of the Old Post Office, which has already for several decades featured in the US National Register of Historic Places, is seen especially in its numerous pinnacles and pointed window arches (3).

The crowning feature of the Old Post Office is undoubtedly its tower. At 74 meters (244 feet), the height of the tower made the building Buffalo's tallest between the years 1901 and 1912. When one thinks of the economic expansion of the Empire State in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, reflected in its buildings, this was certainly quite some achievement.

The United States Supervising Architect, over which Office Jeremiah O'Rourke (1833-1915)(4) and James Knox Taylor (1857-1929)(5) successively presided during the period of building of the Old Post Office, was responsible for its design.

The building ceased to serve as a post office in 1963. Since 1981 it has housed facilities of Erie Community College, thus providing a sedate and ornate backdrop to the activities of this educational institution.

The Old Post Office Building is situated at 121 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, New York.

July 6, 2019


(1) See also:

(2) Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (1887-1965), otherwise known as Le Corbusier.

(3) In actual fact, at a distance, the arching may seem to be in rounded Syrian style, but on closer examination the arching may indeed be seen to be pointed, albeit with a less pronounced pointing than is the case in many other Gothic buildings.

(4) Architect O'Rourke was also responsible for the Old Post Office, Washington, D.C.; and for the designs of many church buildings in which the Gothic Revival style was prominent.

(5) Architect Taylor was responsible for many US Post Office buildings, and notably also for the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital.

Some sourcing; Wikipedia

Old Post Office, Buffalo NY, Tower Detail
Old Post Office, Buffalo NY, Tower Detail | Source

Also worth seeing

Notable buildings in Buffalo include: the Ellicott Square Building (which was originally the world's largest office building); the Electric Tower (originally known as the Niagara Mohawk Building); the Art Deco City Hall; Broderick Park, Black Rock, Buffalo, has poignant memories of the Underground Railroad.


How to get there: United Airlines flies from New York Newark to Buffalo Niagara International Airport, where car rental is available. Buffalo, NY is linked with Albany, NY via the I-290 and I-90. From Canada, accessible via the Peace Bridge, the QEW links Fort Erie, ON with Hamilton and Toronto. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. You are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Map location of Buffalo, New York
Map location of Buffalo, New York | Source

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)