#TerraCottaBuffalo Architecture Tour

To coincide with the upcoming APT Buffalo Niagara 2018 conference, September 22 – 27, we have developed this tour of terra cotta buildings in the City of Buffalo that are projects of Boston Valley Terra Cotta.  

“Houses, churches, hotels, business buildings, elevators, and factories all serve to tell the story of Buffalo’s growth, and also to display, in terms of architecture, its peculiar position as an outpost of the east and a gateway to the midwest.”

— Henry Russell Hitchcock, 1940, American Architectural Historian featured in, Buffalo Architecture A Guide, 1981.

The completion of the Erie Canal allowed Buffalo to become one of the most prosperous cities in the United States, providing an important stop for commerce between New York City and the Midwest. Advancements in transportation, including the development of the railway system, brought wealth and new residents to Western New York. Many iconic buildings were constructed in the City of Buffalo during its heyday, giving the region its own unique cultural identity. Architects such as, Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and H.H. Richardson, along with many others, created signature buildings that encapsulate the essence of days passed.

Current residents and visitors can appreciate the architectural menagerie that is the City of Buffalo by walking, biking, or driving around the different regions of the area. With many different styles of architecture scattered within the city’s radial plan, one can discover the history on their own.

Below is a map showing the landmarks in Buffalo and Western New York that Boston Valley Terra Cotta has helped give new life to, along with new buildings that feature their terra cotta façade systems. We have detailed some of the projects below.

Downtown Buffalo

Buffalo City Hall, George J. Dietel, John J Wade, Sullivan Jones, Electric Tower, James A. Johnson, Buffalo NY, Terra Cotta Masonry, Architectural Restoration

Left: Buffalo City Hall, 1929–1931 George J. Dietel and John J Wade, with Sullivan W. Jones Right: Electric Tower, 1912 James A. Johnson.

Buffalo City Hall was designed by George J. Dietel and John J. Wade with Sullivan W. Jones, 1929–1931. The structure is a grand testament to Art-Deco, defined by its stylistic ornamentation and colorful details representing aspects of the city’s cultural and economic life. Boston Valley was involved with some restoration work on this iconic Buffalo building.

The Electric Tower is a historic office building designed by James A. Johnson in 1912. The building is clad in white terra cotta, boasting tasteful decadence in the Beaux Arts Classical Revival style. Its form is based off a previous Electric Tower that was built for the Pan-American Exhibition in 1902 and subsequently demolished after the event. Boston Valley did some terra cotta restoration work on this building.

Liberty Bank Building, Alfred C. Bossom, Guaranty Buildingm Adler and Sullivan, Prudential Building, Architectural terra cotta, restoration

Left: Liberty Bank Building, 1925 Alfred C. Bossom Right: Guaranty Building, 1895–1896, Adler and Sullivan.

The Liberty Bank building was designed by Alfred C. Bossom in 1925. It is most recognizable for its two replicas of Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty that adorn the roof of the buildings. The figures face east and west, respectively, and represent the city’s life as the western terminus of the Erie Canal.

The Guaranty Building is a true architectural gem in Western New York designed by Adler and Sullivan from 1895 to 1896. The office building is covered entirely in an elaborate terra cotta façade, and it is considered to be one of Sullivan’s finest works. Click here to read our previous blog post regarding Boston Valley’s restoration of the Guaranty Building.

250 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY, Diamond Schumitt, TerraClad, Architectural Terra cotta, Boston Valley Terra Cotta

250 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo NY, designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects.

250 Delaware Avenue was designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects and is unique in its innovative façade. The architects wanted to maintain the integrity of the previous historic building, known as the Delaware Court designed by Bley, Lyman, and Lansing in 1917. With the aid of photogrammetry and 3D software, the original facade of 250 Delaware was digitally replicated and restored to support multiple glazed stories above. Combining both the old and new, the attached parking structure features TerraClad® baguettes.

University at Buffalo, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, HOK, TerraClad

University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, designed by HOK architects.

University at Buffalo, Jacobs School of Medicine is a new building designed by architects at HOK utilizing Boston Valley’s TerraClad® system. The completion of this structure signifies a new chapter in Buffalo’s history, noting an increased significance to the UB’s medical campus in the area. Click here to read additional blog posts about this project.

Roswell Park, Boston Valley Terra Cotta, TerraClad®, Unitized Louvers, FXFowle Architects

Roswell Park is a new building featuring a Unitized TerraClad® louvers, designed by FXFowle Architects.

Roswell Parkdesigned by FXFowle Architects, is part of the expanding medical campus in downtown Buffalo. The building features a Unitized façade with custom TerraClad® louvers.

Other Downtown Buffalo projects Boston Valley has been involved with include:

Westside of Buffalo

Terra cotta roof tiles, buffalo, NY, buffalo state, boston valley terra cotta

Buffalo State President’s house featuring a terra cotta roof tile by Boston Valley Terra Cotta.

Buffalo State College President’s House is a historical residence close to the university, Boston Valley Terra Cotta restored and manufactured the terra cotta roof tiles.

Caudell Hall Buffalo State College for BHNT Architects.

Caudell Hall, designed by BHNT Architects, features TerraClad® façade manufactured by Boston Valley Terra Cotta.

Terraclad, architectural Terra cotta, boston valley terra cotta, Cannon Design, Buffalo, NY

Located on Elmwood Ave. McKinley High School features a black and gray TerraClad® façade.

Other Buffalo Westside projects Boston Valley has been involved with include:


Eastside of Buffalo

Blessed Trinity Roman Catholic Church, church architecture, Oakley and Schallmo, Buffalo's Eastside

Blessed Trinity Roman Catholic Church is a re-creation of Northern Italian church architecture designed by Oakley and Schallmo, 1923–1928. The church is located in the Kensington-Bailey area of Buffalo’s Eastside, the church has a dramatic appearance in the otherwise residential area.

Other Buffalo Eastside projects Boston Valley has been involved with include:

Outside of Buffalo

East Aurora, NY, Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Roycroft Campus, Terra Cotta Rooftile

A terra cotta roof manufactured by Boston Valley Terra Cotta located in East Aurora, NY.

Roycroft Powerhouse is located in the rural outskirts of Buffalo in East Aurora, NY. The Roycroft campus is noteworthy for being home to the American Arts and Crafts movement, which was started by Elbert Hubbard in 1895. Boston Valley worked to restore the terra cotta roof on the Powerhouse with Flynn Battaglia Architects.

Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Hamburg, NY, TerraClad®

The Boston Valley Terra Cotta HQ features an orange TerraClad® façade


John Krouse, CEO of Boston Valley Terra Cotta will be speaking about their restoration work on the historic Guaranty Building at the APT Buffalo Niagara 2018 conference, September 22 – 27. Click here to read more about his presentation.