“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Buffalo in Erie County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Market Square

Black Rock Historic District

Market Square Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, April 10, 2016
1. Market Square Marker
Inscription. The Market Square Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011. The district is representative of the period 1830-1912 as Lower Black Rock evolved from a small independent village to a small independent neighborhood in the City of Buffalo, New York. The district retains a collection of architecturally significant homes and buildings spanning almost a century of development. These include two extant examples of Federal Style homes as well as an extant public space of the same period (1830). Other significant examples include a large Eastlake Style home, a Gothic revival church, and Arts & Crafts Style firehouse, a Craftman Style bank, and the Romanesque Style St. Francis Xavier Church complex.

The Market Square Historic District encompasses both sides of Amherst Street from Niagara Street to Tonawanda Street and also portions of East Street and Dearborn Street. The small area adjacent to the Market Square is the oldest section of Black Rock and contains the City of Buffalo's largest concentration of homes constructed prior to 1850. The area is unique in that there are homes dating from the earliest period of settlement tin [sic] Black Rock and the City of Buffalo. The area also retains fine examples of religious, civic, and commercial buildings that continue to be utilized and occupied.

Market Square Marker Map image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, April 10, 2016
2. Market Square Marker Map
today, the area retains the look and feel of a village center. The green space of the Market Square still anchors both sides of Amherst Street at Niagara Street and remains unchanged since General Peter B. Porter donated the land in 1830. At Dearborn Street there is a pronounced rise that is an extension of the high bluff visible near the Peace Bridge. On this high ground, the Howell House and store were constructed about 1830, the stone house survives as a remaining example of the Federal Style. Across Amherst Street the old Black Rock Savings and Loan building has served the needs of generations of Black Rock residents since 1870. At the corner of Amherst and East Streets, the hose tower of Engine #15 commands a bird's eye view of the neighborhood and riverfront. The firehouse, built in 1912, has been restored and converted to loft apartments. For many years this building was the home of the poet Robert Creeley. Also at this corner the circa 1820-1835 Smith House and Tavern has been fully restored. The house is one of the oldest in the city and is a rare remaining example of the Federal Style. Further up Amherst Street, the church towers of St. Francis and St. John's rise high above the cluster of 19th century homes very much like a Eurpoean village. St. Francis has occupied this site since 1849 and is the city's second oldest Catholic parish. The congregation at St. John's dates
Market Square Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, April 10, 2016
3. Market Square Marker
Marker is the one on the right.
back to 1847 and has been serving the Protestant community continually since that time. Finally, the green space at the northeast corner of Amherst and East Street is the original lawn of Public School #20. The school educated Black Rock residents for over 100 years beginning at about 1850. Although the building was demolished the lawn remains intact and in original form. The grassy area has (and continues) to serve as a playground for the children of Black Rock. Sporting events and other activities have been held here for well over 150 years.

There has been a renewal of pride and investment in this long under-appreciated old neighborhood. Momentum is building as the neighborhood activists and preservation groups rediscover the rich history and architecture of Historic Black Rock.

Black Rock Heritage Trail Sites / Market Square
1. Tour Orientation Sign, Black Rock History at Market Square.
2. Tour Orientation Sign, Market Square Historic District.
3. Market Square, 1830.
Stephen W. Howell House and Store 1830.
5. Jacob Smith House and Tavern, 1830-1835.
6. St. John's Evangelical Church, Founded 1847.
7. St. Francis Xavier Church, Founded 1849.
8. Buffalo and Niagara Falls Railroad, 1836-1869.
9. Jubilee Springs, 1827-1898.
10. Porter Square, 1830.
11. Squaw Island [renamed Unity Island].

Please see the War of 1812 Tour Orientation Sign at Niagara & Tonawanda Streets for the War of 1812 Black Rock Heritage Trail.
Location. 42° 56.084′ N, 78° 54.103′ W. Marker is in Buffalo, New York, in Erie County. Marker is at the intersection of Amherst Street and Niagara Street (New York State Route 266), on the left when traveling east on Amherst Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Buffalo NY 14207, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Black Rock Harbor (here, next to this marker); Black Rock (here, next to this marker); Burning of Blackrock and Buffalo (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Market Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Jacob Smith House and Tavern (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); St. John's Church (about 600 feet away); Buffalo and Niagara Falls Railroad (about 600 feet away); International Railroad Bridge (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Buffalo.
Also see . . .  Robert Creeley - Wikipedia. (Submitted on April 11, 2016, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
Categories. Architecture
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 152 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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