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History Unbuilt Buffalo / Niagara

Dan

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Let's talk about Buffalo's never-builts!

Reflecting on Audubon Village and the Amherst that could have been, I wondered about other unbuilt large-scale projects that could have changed the face of the region.

Here's a tally of what I've found so far (as of 10-2020). These tables include unrealized projects in Erie and Niagara counties (New York, USA), and the Regional Municipality of Niagara (Ontario, Canada), proposed or under consideration by legitimate developers, and/or government agencies. They also include some losing design competition entries, "plan B" alternatives to proposals or completed projects, earlier proposals for projects that were ultimately built in a reduced or much different form, and notable "dollar and a dream" proposals that local officials and the media treated seriously as legitimate, viable projects. They do not include "armchair planner" or thesis proposals.

Any others that you can think of? Know any of stories about them?

Update 13 March 2021: working on an interactive map to accompany this thread.

Master list of unrealized projects
(updated 2020-12-27)

Ub: unbuilt, cancelled
Ab: abandoned after preliminary work started (site acquisition, site clearance, grading, foundation, some construction, etc.)
Pb: partly built or underbuilt
Ba: built, but in a much different or altered form than originally planned
Pr: proposed within the past 3-5 years or so, supposedly still "live", but no construction or recent news
Ru: proposal with little documentation or evidence, or a rumor but still reported in local news media
BS: urban legend, but included for the sake of comic relief

d: developer
a: architect / landscape architect / planner / designer
: Ontario side of the US/Canada border

Buildings
Location​
Height​
Year​
Status​
Adelphia Tower: Webster Block site 1st proposal - mixed use, Adelphia Cable operations centerBuffalo: Downtown40 stories1999unbuilt
Adelphia Tower: Webster Block site 2nd proposal - mixed useBuffalo: Downtown15 stories
200'/61m
2002unbuilt
Amazon "Project Olive": warehouse/distributionGrand Island5,000,000'²2020unbuilt
Ambassador Hotel: 1st proposalBuffalo: Theatre District17 stories1921site prep; unbuilt
Ambassador Hotel: 2nd proposalBuffalo: Theatre District28 stories1924unbuilt
American Center for Trade: office, customs inspection.processing, residential (d: Peter and Robert Elia)Buffalo: West Side20 stories
15 stories (x2)
1988unbuilt
Arbor Reverie: commercial, residential (d: Ciminelli)Buffalo: Elmwood Village5 stories2017unbuilt
Buffalo City Tower: mixed use (d: Bashar Issa, a: Cannon)Buffalo: Downtown40 stories
600'/180m
2006unbuilt
Buffalo Commercial Building: hotel, officeBuffalo: Downtown22 stories
232'/71m
1919unbuilt
Buffalo Exchange: office, civic (d: Benjamin Rathbun)Buffalo: Downtown5 stories + dome1836unbuilt
Buffalo Gateway: mixed use (a: Fillat Architecture)Buffalo: Delaware District (?)10 stories2018concept?; unbuilt
Buffalo Savings Bank at Fountain Plaza: original office building proposalBuffalo: Downtown16 stories
222'/68m
1980built in a different form
Buffalo Statler Hotel: 4th wingBuffalo: Downtown17 stories1921provisions; unbuilt
Campus Square: mixed use (d: McGuire Development)Buffalo: Medical Campus6 stories2016unbuilt
The Carlo: mixed use, residential (d: Ellicott Development)Buffalo: Erie Basin14 stories2014unbuilt
Central Park Plaza: office buildingBuffalo: Highland Park5 stories1956unbuilt
Commonwealth Holiday Inn of Canada: 700 room hotel (a: Raymond Moriyama)Grand Island; River Oaks1972partly built
32 Court Street: office (d/a: Court-Pearl Associates / Clement Chen III)Buffalo: Downtown18 stories1987unbuilt
50 Court Street: office (d: Ellicott Development)Buffalo: Downtown11 stories200xunbuilt
50 Court Street / Court Street Tower: office, hotel (d: Ellicott Development, McGuire Development, a: Kideney Architects)Buffalo: Downtown7 stories
98'/30m
2006unbuilt
Crowne Plaza Hotel Niagara Falls ON30 stories
300'/91m
2002work started; abandoned
Crystal Beach CondominiumFort Erie: Crystal Beach12 stories
133'/41m
2010unbuilt
Cutler-Rink Building / 91 Franklin Street (a: George Cary, office)Buffalo: Downtown10 stories189xunbuilt
Dorothy Martin Foster House (a: Frank Lloyd Wright, house)Buffalo: Elmwood Village2 stories1921unbuilt
Element Hotel (?) (d: Ellicott Development, a: Kideney Architects)Buffalo: Cold Spring9 stories2019unbuilt
Element Hotel (d: Ellicott Development, a: Kideney Architects)Buffalo: Cold Spring8 stories
99'/30m
2020proposed
Elks Home: residentialBuffalo: Downtown6 stories1924unbuilt
Ellicott Center: 4 liner office buildings (d: North Coast Holding Corporation)Buffalo: Downtown6 stories (x4)1990unbuilt
Ellicott Club: private clubBuffalo: Downtown9 stories1921unbuilt
Ellicott Place: office building (d: Oliver, Tyrone & Pulver,)Buffalo: Downtown17 stories1989unbuilt
201 Ellicott Street: residential, mixed use (d: Ellicott Development)Buffalo: Downtownunbuilt
Erie St: 3 120-unit high rise apartment buildings (d. George Weichmann, BAW Construction)Buffalo: Erie Basin14-19 stories1965unbuilt
33 Gates Circle: residential (d: Uniland Development)Buffalo: Delaware District23 stories
270'/ 82m
201xunbuilt
Enquirer Building: office building (d: William J. Conners)Buffalo: Downtown30 stories
400'/121m
1919unbuilt
Fairhaven Village: 11 building complex of residential towersBuffalo: Erie Basin10 stories1940unbuilt
Fedders Lofts: adaptive reuse residential, self storage (d: Eran Epstein / Element Properties)Buffalo: Black Rock4 stories2019proposed
The Gardens: residentialBuffalo: Delaware District11 stories1920unbuilt
Genesee Hotel addition (a: George Cary)Buffalo: Downtown10 stories190xunbuilt
Genghis Khan Hotel (d: Tsogt Batbayar)Niagara Falls NY: Downtown2006unbuilt
Graphic Arts Center: office, light industrialBuffalo: Downtown1960unbuilt
Heritage Point: mixed use, residentialBuffalo: Inner Harbor5 stories
(x 2)
201xunbuilt
33 High Street: medical office, mixed use (d: Ciminelli Perkins, a: Will Architects)Buffalo: Medical Campus11 stories2016unbuilt
Holiday Inn on the Plaza Hotel: 600 room hotel, 712 car parking ramp, original proposal for waterfront Hilton (d: Mapleport Associates, a: Clement Chen)Buffalo: Downtown23 stories1973unbuilt
Hotel Worth: mid-century modern buildingBuffalo: Downtown9 stories1965unbuilt
Hyatt Regency at Fountain Plaza: original proposal (d: Paul Snyder, a: RTKL Architects)Buffalo: Downtown13 stories1979unbuilt
Lafayette Square suburban bus terminal: Buffalo Library site (d: Buffalo City Planning Commission)Buffalo: Downtown14 stories1955unbuilt
Liberty Bank at Fountain Plaza: originally planned office buildingBuffalo: Downtown21 stories1979built in a different form
273 Main: office (d: Citicom)Buffalo: Downtown26 stories198xunbuilt
377 Main / AM&A's demolition-replacement: office (d: Uniland)Buffalo: Downtown8 stories
107'/33'
2014unbuilt
377 Main / AM&A's bulding: Windham Suites adaptive reuse (d: Landco H&L)Buffalo: Downtown2016work started; abandoned
478 Main / City Center: office building (d: Corporex)Buffalo: Downtown20 stories198xunbuilt
1185 Main: mixed use (d: Cedarland Development Group)Buffalo: Masten Park4 stories2016unbuilt
Main-Seneca Tower: office building (d: Ciminelli)Buffalo: Downtown198xunbuilt
Main-Seneca-Washington hotel (a: Green & Wicks)Buffalo: Downtown11 stories1898unbuilt
Marine Midland Bank headquarters: Main / PearlBuffalo: Downtown6 stories1962site prep; unbuilt
Marine Midland Center: alternative proposal - mixed use (d: Galesi Brothers)Buffalo: Downtown40 stories1968unbuilt
Marine Midland Center: hotel (d: Cabot Cabot & Forbes, a: SOM, hotel)Buffalo: Downtown15 stories1967provisions; unbuilt
Marine Midland Center: 2nd office tower (d: Cabot Cabot & Forbes, a: SOM, office)Buffalo: Downtown20 stories1967provisions; unbuilt
Marine Midland Center: office building in plaza area (d: S. Jon Kreedman)Buffalo: Downtown9 stories198xunbuilt
Marine Midland Center: twin office towers in plaza area (d: S. Jon Kreedman)Buffalo: Downtown12 stories
(x 2)
199xunbuilt
Niagara Falls Rotel: rotating hotel (seriously)Niagara Falls NY: Downtown25 stories1973unbuilt
Port Dalhousie Tower" residential St. Catharines: Port Dalhousie25 stories
328'/100m
2005unbuilt
Queen City Landing (Freezer Queen): residential, 1st proposalBuffalo: Outer Harbor200xunbuilt
Queen City Landing: residential, 2nd proposal (d: Gerry Buchheit)Buffalo: Outer Harbor23 stories
324'/99m
2016unbuilt
Queen City Landing: residential, 3rd proposal (d: Gerry Buchheit)Buffalo: Outer Harbor20 stories2019unbuilt
Rand Building: matching 2nd office tower (d: George F. Rand Jr., a: James W. Kideney and Associates)Buffalo: Downtown29 stories
351'/107m
1929speculated; unbuilt
Realtor's Exchange: officeBuffalo: Downtown15 stories1922unbuilt
Scott Street / Market Street tower: mixed use (d: Ellicott Development / Seneca Nation)Buffalo: Cobblestone District20 stories2017rumored; unbuilt
Seaport Plaza: office (Webster Block, d: S. Jon Kreedman)Buffalo: Downtown11 stories198xunbuilt
Seaway TowerBuffalo: Downtownn/a199xunbuilt
Seneca Gaming Corporate Headquarters: office buildingBuffalo: First Ward8 stories
107'/33m
2006unbuilt
Seneca Niagara Buffalo Creek Casino: hotelBuffalo: First Ward22 stories
294'/90m
2006work started; abandoned
Sheraton HotelBuffalo: Downtown15 stories1957unbuilt
Statler Hilton Hotel: 400 room tower addition (d: William Hassett)Buffalo: Downtlwn1973unbuilt
Statler Theater (d: Statler Hotels, a: Warren & Wetmore Architects)Buffalo: Downtown1926unbuilt
Stratford TheaterBuffalo: Downtown1914unbuilt
Telephone Building: existing office building reskinBuffalo: Downtown16 stories1982unbuilt
Townsend Hall at Niagara Square: office building (a: James, Meadows, & Howard Architects)Buffalo: Downtown8 stories1959unbuilt
Twin Fair headquarters: officeBuffalo: Downtown16 stories1977unbuilt
Unity Tower: mixed use (d: Darryl Carr, a: LOH Architects)Buffalo: Downtown55 stories
656'/200m
2016concept?; unbuilt
Unnamed condominium tower: Crawdaddy's site (d: Joseph Sole)Buffalo: Erie Basin50 stories2002unbuilt
Unnamed condominium/mixed use tower: Crawdaddy's site (d: Randall Cedrick)Buffalo: Erie Basin28 stories2002unbuilt
Unnamed hotel: Elmwood-Forest (d: Sam Savarino)Buffalo: Elmwood Village5 stories2006unbuilt
Unnamed hotel: Niagara Falls ON Aviary site Niagara Falls ON61 story
751'/229 m
2012unbuilt
Unnamed hotel: Niagara Falls ON Kodak Tower site (d: Canadian Niagara Hotels, a: Michael Kirkland) Niagara Falls ON59 story
751'/229 m
2005unbuilt
Unnamed hotel: Niagara Falls ON Michael's Inn site Niagara Falls ON60 story
728'/220 m
2012unbuilt
Wainfleet Shore Club: 160 acre site w/large clubhouse, golf course, boardwalk Wainfleet, ON: Long Beach5 stories1927unbuilt
Unnamed hotel: Washington Market siteBuffalo: Downtownn/a199xunbuilt
Willoughby Exchange: commercial, residential (d: Willoughby Insurance, a: Silvestri Architects)Buffalo: Cold Spring10 stories2016unbuilt


Shopping centers and large retail buildings
Location​
Size​
Year​
Status​
Amherst Mall (d: Maret Corporation, a: Victor Gruen Associates)Amherst: Niagara Falls Blvd150 stores1966unbuilt
Bass Pro Outlet: adaptive reuse of Memorial AuditoriumBuffalo: Inner Harbor150,000²2005unbuilt
Camptown Mall (d: Walnor Realty)Hamburg: Camp Rd130,000'²
28 stores
1966unbuilt
Depew Mall (d: International Business & Realty Corporation)Depew: DIck Rd @ George Urban Blvd800,000'²1968unbuilt
Dunkirk Mall (d: Robert Meister / Dunkirk Properties)Dunkirk: Downtown250,000'²1974unbuilt
Falls Street Mall (d: Jack Gellman, others)Niagara Falls NY: Downtown3 anchor stores1963unbuilt
Fantasyland / Mall of America (d: Ghermezian Brothers / 555 Group)Niagara Falls NY: Downtown5,000,000'²1987unbuilt
Kensington Mall (d: Twin Fair / Hens & Kelly)Buffalo: Kensington250,000'²
25 stores
1978site prep; unbuilt
Macy's: department storeBuffalo: Theater District1966rumored?; unbuilt
Main Place Mall: original plans (a: Victor Gruen AssociatesBuffalo: Downtown1964built in a different form
Main Street roof (d: City of Buffalo, NFTA, a: Wallace, McHarg, Roberts & Todd)Buffalo: Downtown1971unbuilt
Main-Youngs Plaza (d: Delamain Corporation)Amherst: Main St @ Youngs Rd195xunbuilt
Marine Midland Center shopping mall (d: Cabot Cabot & Forbes, a: SOM)Buffalo: Downtown1968unbuilt
McKinley Mall: 2nd levelHamburg199xunbuilt
W.A. Morgan: large department store @ Delaware / ChippewaBuffalo: Downtown6 stories1922site prep; unbuilt
Niagara Falls Manufacturers Megamall (Niagara Factory Outlet Mall), outparels, 150 room hotel (d: Benderson Development)Niagara Falls NY: Downtown1,370,000'²1991unbuilt
Orchard Park Mall (d: Forest City Properties)Orchard Park: Big Tree750,000'²1980unbuilt
Sattler's / Market Square: mall, town square/plaza (d: Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency, United Department Stores)Buffalo: Polonia / Broadway-Fillmore1978unbuilt
Seaway Center: plazaHamburg (village)250,000'²1957unbuilt
Tonawanda Mall: urban renewal schemeTonawanda (city): Downtown196xunbuilt
Unnamed mall: $20M fashion shopping center and hotel complex (a: Victor Gruen Associates)Amherst: Maple Rd / Millersport Hwy1968unbuilt
Unnamed mall (d: Forest City Development)Amherst: Getzville / Millersport Hwy500,000'²1970unbuilt
Unnamed mall (d: Forest City Development)Niagara Falls: downtown1962unbuilt
Unnamed mall (d: Leon Sidell)Buffalo: Theater District1967rumored?; unbuilt
Unnamed mall: urban renewal schemeBuffalo: Theater District2,000,000'²1966unbuilt
Wonderland Plaza (d: Charles A. Fadale)Amherst: Swormville400,000'²1958unbuilt


Civic and institutional structures and sites
Location​
Year​
Status​
Arch of Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and International Shrine Of the Holy Innocents: shrine and 700' tall golden archBuffalo: Outer Harbor2001unbuilt
Black American Museum and Cultural Center (a: Robert T. Coles)Niagara Falls NY: Downtown1972unbuilt
Buffalo City Hall: 26 stories, phallic style (a: John J. Wade)Buffalo: Downtown1928unbuilt
Buffalo City Hall: 13 stories, Main Street Association proposal (a: J. J. W. Bradley)Buffalo: Downtown1928unbuilt
Buffalo Public Library (d; Young Men's Association, a: H. H. Richardson)Buffalo: Downtown1884unbuilt
Buffalo Jewish HospitalAmherst: Eggertsville1925unbuilt
Civil War Memorial Arch (a: H. H. Richardson)Buffalo: Downtown1874unbuilt
Christ Episcopal Church (a: H. H. Richardson)Buffalo: Delaware District1869unbuilt
Erie County Technical Institute (Erie Community College): Grover Cleveland Park campusBuffalo: Kensington1956unbuilt
Kleinhans Music Hall (Buffalo Philharmonic) alternative sites:
Humboldt Park (Chauncey Hamlin), Delaware Park Rose Garden, Grover Cleveland Park
Buffalo: Masten Park, Delaware District, Kensington1938unbuilt
Mt. St. Joseph Teacher's College expansion: 2 4-story buildingsBuffalo: Parkside1945unbuilt
Oscar Hammerstein Opera HouseBuffalo: Downtown1012unbuilt
Pan-American Exposition: alternative sites(many)189xunbuilt
General Philip Henry Sheridan monument / statueTonawanda: Sheridan-Parkside1925partly built; unfinished
St. James Roman Catholic ChurchBuffalo: Kensington1925partly built; unfinished
Terrace municipal parking garageBuffalo: Downtown1913unbuilt
Trinity Church (a: H. H. Richardson)Buffalo: Delaware District1871unbuilt
United Nations headquartersGrand Island, Niagara Falls ON: Navy Island1946unbuilt
University at Buffalo: North Campus (d: State University of New York, a: Sasaki Dawson Demay Associates)Amherst: UB North Campus1968unbuilt
University at Buffalo: North Campus megastructure (d: State University of New York, a: Gordon Bunschaft / SOM)Amherst: UB North Campus1967unbuilt
University at Buffalo: waterfront campus (a: Robert Coles / Committee for an Urban University)Buffalo: Erie Basin, Lower West Side1955unbuilt
University of Buffalo: expansion into Grover Cleveland ParkBuffalo: Kensington1958unbuilt
University of Western New York (d: First Presbyterian Church)Buffalo: Allentown1836organized, site acquired; unbuilt
War Memorial Stadium 7 level 10,000 car parking ramp @ Masten Pool site (d: City of Buffalo)Buffalo: Masten Park1961unbuilt


Redevelopment, urban renewal, and City Beautiful projects
Location​
Year​
Status​
Buffalo Civic Center: City Beautiful (d: City of Buffalo)Buffalo: Downtown1922partly built
Buffalo Civic Center alternative uptown site: City Beautiful (d: City of Buffalo)Buffalo: Allentown, Medical Campus191xunbuilt
Crossroads Center: urban renewal (d: City of Buffalo)Buffalo: Downtown1957partly built
Rainbow Center: urban renewal (d: City of Niagara Falls, a: DeLeuw, Cather and Associates) Niagara Falls NY: Downtown1962unbuilt
Rainbow Center: urban renewal (d: City of Niagara Falls, a: Moshe Safdie)Niagara Falls NY: Downtown1968unbuilt
Rainbow Center: revised urban renewal plan (d: City of Niagara Falls, NYSUDC New York State Urban Development Corporation, others, a: Gruen Associates)Niagara Falls NY: Downtown1971unbuilt
Unnamed parkway / boulevard, waterfront park, and basin between Niagara Square / City Hall and Erie Basin (la: Eric J. Reeves)Buffalo: Downtown, Erie Basin1928unbuilt
Waterfront Village: urban renewal, redevelopment (d: NYSUDC New York State Urban Development Corporation, a: Paul Rudolph)Buffalo: Erie Basin, Lower West Side1969partly built


Parks
Location​
Year​
Status​
Beacon BeachBuffalo: Outer Harbor190xunbuilt
Sawyer Farm ParkBuffalo: Kensington1913unbuilt
South Park: Jack Nicholas golf course additionBuffalo: South Buffalo2019unbuilt
Stony Point Park / Lakefront Park / original South Park (a: Frederick Law Olmsted)Buffalo: South Buffalo188xsome improvements;
abandoned
Times Beach (same location as Beacon Beach proposal)Buffalo: Outer Harbor1931some improvements;
abandoned


Planned neighborhoods, communities, and new towns
Location​
Year​
Status​
Audubon New Community: pod / cluster style new town (d: NYSUDC New York State Urban Development Corporation, a: Llewelyn-Davies Associates)Amherst: Getzville1969partly built
Audubon Village: Radburn style planned community (d: Charles S Burkhardt)Amherst: North Forest1929golf course built, residential unbuilt
Cleveland Hill: (intended) upscale planned community (d. Fermoy Land Company)Buffalo: Kensington, Cheektowaga: Cleveland Hill1923partly built; replatted, built out in a different form
Depew: FLO Riverside IL style development (d: Depew Improvement Company, a: Frederick Law Olmsted)Cheektowaga, Lancaster, Depew188xpartly built; replatted, built out in a different form
Parkside: Riverside IL style development (a: Frederick Law Olmsted)Buffalo: Parkside188xbuilt in a different form
Pleasant Meadows: original TND proposal (d: Marrano/Marc Equity)Lancaster2008built in a different form (conventional suburban)
Ransom Oaks: pod / cluster new town (d: New Smith Development, a: Victor Gruen Associates)Amherst: Swormville1968partly built
Renaissance Village: TND / new urban redevelopment (d: GPI)Cheektowaga: Cedargrove Heights200xunbuilt
River Oaks: pod / cluster style new town (d: William F Caldwell Associates, a: Victor Gruen Associates)Grand Island196xpartly built
Spaulding Green: original TND proposal (d: Dominic Piestrak)Clarence2004built in a different form (conventional suburban)
Summit Park: planned community with industrial park (d: Forest City)Wheatfield1968partly built
Unnamed Shaker Heights sequel: legacy TOD (d: Mantis and Otto Van Sweringen)Tonawanda: Lincoln Park, Belmont (?)1927unbuilt
Villa Park: Riverside IL style development (d: Bronson Rumsey, a: Frederick Law Olmsted)Buffalo: North Buffalo188xabandoned, replatted, built in a different form (grid)


Large subdivisions and land speculation schemes
Location​
Year​
Status​
Ararat: utopian community, Jewish homeland in North America (d: Mordecai Manuel Noah)Grand Island1825unbuilt
Athol SpringsHamburg189xpartly built
BellevueCheektowaga, Lancaster188xpartly built
Buffalo Heights Fort Erie192xpartly built
Fairmont / Pullman / Military HeightsTonawanda: southwest188x(mostly) unbuilt
Gatling: industrial town / land scam?Farnham18xxwork abandoned,
(mostly) unbuilt
Grover Cleveland Park: subdivision for upscale housing (Mayor Steven Pankow)Buffalo: Kensington1956unbuilt
Laing's ParkTonawanda1896partly built
Lake Erie Beach (d: Buffalo Courier / Buffalo Express subscription promotion)Evans: Angola1922partly built
Model City: utopian community, grid (d: William T. Love)Lewiston, Niagara Falls NY1890work abandoned,
(mostly) unbuilt
Monahinga ParkGrand Island18xxland acquired; abandoned
Ridgewood-By-The-Lake Fort Erie19xxpartly built
Rose Hill Estates Fort Erie1926partly built
Tuxedo ParkGrand Island18xxland acquired; abandoned
WinchesterWest Seneca18xxpartly built


Surface streets and parkways
Location​
Year​
Status​
Bellevue BoulevardSloan, Cheektowaga, Depew190xpartly built
Buffalo-Depew BoulevardBuffalo, Cheektowga, Depew190xpartly built
Buffalo - Washington - New Orleans National RoadBuffalo to New Orleans via Washington DC1827unbuilt
Colvin Avenue: as Colvin Boulevard / Niagara Falls BoulevardTonawanda (city), North Tonawanda, Wheatfield, Niagara Falls NY189xpartly built
The ConcourseBuffalo: Downtown1922unbuilt
Ellicott Square - Niagara Square tunnelBuffalo: Downtown1945unbuilt
Fillmore ParkwayBuffalo: Polonia187xbuilt in a different form (conventional street)
George Alt BoulevardGrand Island19xxpartly built
Grider Street extensionBuffalo: Highland Park / Leroy Avenue to Main Street1913unbuilt
Lackawanna Bypass BoulevardLackawanna1911unbuilt
McKinley Parkway extensionLackawanna, Hamburg192xland acquired, partly built
Parkside Avenue: extension through Forest Lawn CemeteryBuffalo1896unbuilt
Roosevelt National HighwayBuffalo to Washington DC1909unbuilt
Scajaquada BoulevardBuffalo: East Side, between Genesee St and Grider St1916unbuilt


Expressways and limited access highways

Location​

Year​

Status​
Aurora Expressway: Olean extensionAurora to Olean196xunbuilt
Belt Expressway (I-890?)Erie / Niagara counties, Niagara Falls NY: Downtown / Rainbow Bridge (ON-420) to Blasdell: NY-5 via Wheatfield, North Tonawanda, Amherst, Clarence, Lancaster, Elma, Orchard Park, Hamburg195xpartly built
Boston Hills Expressway / Southern Tier Expressway (US 219 / I-67?)Lackawanna: I-90 to Cumberland, Maryland195xpartly built
Broadway-Fillmore ExpresswayBuffalo: East Side Expressway (Ub) to Niagara Thruway (I-190)195xunbuilt
Crosstown Expressway (I-990?)West Seneca : Aurora Expressway I-90 / NY-400 interchange to Amherst: Lockport Expressway I-290 / I-990 interchange195xunbuilt
East Side ExpresswayBuffalo: Masten Park NY-33 to Cheektowaga195xunbuilt
Fort Erie-Windsor toll road: private highway Fort Erie to Windsor1939unbuilt
Fort Erie-Windsor toll road: provincial highway Fort Erie to Windsor1955unbuilt
Gowanda ExpresswayHamburg: I-90 to Gowanda, Jamestown195xunbuilt
Kenmore Expressway: West Side routeBuffalo: Downtown to Tonawanda via Allentown, Elmwood Village, North Buffalo195xunbuilt
Kenmore Expressway: Kensington routeBuffalo: Kensington NY-33 to City of Tonawanda: NY-425 via DL&WRR / IRC High Speed Line corridor195xunbuilt
Kensington Expressway (NY 33): Elm-Oak ArterialBuffalo: Downtown195xunbuilt
Kensington Expressway (NY 33): Lancaster extensionCheektowaga to Lancaster: Bowmansville195xunbuilt
King's Highway 406 (ON-406) St. Catharines to Port Colborne1959partly built
Lake Ontario State Parkway (NY 957A) (Robert Moses)Youngstown to Rochester195xunbuilt
Lancaster ExpresswayCheektowaga: I-90 to Lancaster196xunbuilt
Lockport Expressway (I-990)Amherst: I-290 to Lockport195xpartly built
Midcity Thruway: alternative to 90/190 Mainline/Niagara ThruwayBuffalo: South Buffalo, Cold Spring, Delaware District, Black Rock1945ubuilt
Mid-Peninsula Highway (ON-4xx) Fort Erie: QEW to Burlington: ON-407195xunbuilt
New York State Thruway (I-90): originally planned alignment around BuffaloHamburg, Orchard Park, Elma, Lancaster, Newstead1943built in a different form
North Park ExpresswayBuffalo: Kensington, North Buffalo195xunbuilt
Ontario Turnpike Fort Erie: QEW to London ON: ON-4011994unbuilt
Orleans Expressway (I-990)Lockport to Rochester196xpartly built
Springville - Dansville Interstate highwaySpringville: US-219 to Dansville: I-390196xunbuilt
West Side ArterialBuffalo: Fruit Belt, West Village (NY-33 to I-190)196xprovisions built; road unbuilt


Railroads
Location​
Year​
Status​
Boston, Hoosic Tunnel, and Western RailroadBuffalo, Tonawanda, Amherst, Clarence, Newstead to Albany roughly following Kenmore Avenue / Main Street1882unbuilt
Buffalo, Lackawanna, and Pacific Railroad (Canadian Pacific Railway)Buffalo: Riverside, Black Rock; Tonawanda, North Tonawanda, Wheatfield, Niagara Falls, along the Niagara River1889unbuilt
Buffalo, Lake Erie, and Niagara Railroad1905unbuilt
Buffalo, Rochester, and Eastern RailroadBuffalo to Troy1907unbuilt
Buffalo, Thousand Islands, and Portland Railroad1890land acquired, grading; work abandoned
Frontier and Western RailroadBuffalo: Riverside, Black Rock; Tonawanda1910unbuilt
Frontier Terminal Railroad19xxunbuilt
New York Central: Buffalo bypass through Grand Island Batavia, Akron, Newstead, Clarence, Amherst, Tonawanda, Grand Island, Niagara Falls ON, Welland191xland acquired, grading; work abandoned
New York Central: Water Level Route electrificationUpstate New York: Hudson River Valley, Erie Canal / Thruway corridor1928unbuilt
New York Central: Water Level Route "six-tracking" - expansion to 6 tracksUpstate New York: Hudson River Valley, Erie Canal / Thruway corridor1910unbuilt
Niagara Transfer RailwayBuffalo: Riverside, Black Rock; Tonawanda1901unbuilt
North Tonawanda Belt Line RailriadNorth Tonawanda, roughly following Wurlitzer Dr, Woodward Av1891unbuilt
Rome, Watertown, and Ogdensburg RailroadNiagara Falls NY, Tonawanda, Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Lancaster18xxland acquired, grading; work abandoned
Toronto Hamilton and Buffalo Railroad: Grand Island lineBuffalo, Tonawanda, Grand Island, Niagara Falls ON, Welland1918unbuilt


Railroad and transportation stations / terminals
Location​
Year​
Status​
(various Union Station proposals)
(various NYCRR proposals - Exchange Street, Terrace)
(West Shore terminal)
Grand Union Depot (George Cary City Beautiful-style proposal)Buffalo: Downtown-Erie Basin1904unbuilt
New York Central Railroad: Union Station at William St / Fillmore AvBuffalo: East Side1906unbuilt
New York Central Railroad: Terrace Street stationBuffalo: Downtown1910unbuilt
New York Central Railroad: through / branch substation at Clinton St / Bond StBuffalo: Lower East Side1916unbuilt
New York Central Railroad: downtown station and office building at Washington St / Exchange StBuffalo: Downtown-Lower Main1916unbuilt
New York Central Railroad: Grand Island Baseline-Staley terminal (unbuilt NYCRR Buffalo cutoff)Grand Island1919land acquired; unbuilt
New York Central Railroad: downtown station and office building at Washington St / Exchange StBuffalo: Downtown-Lower Main1922unbuilt
New York Central Railroad: main station and office building at Clinton St / Emslie StBuffalo: Lower East Side1922unbuilt


Rail / fixed guideway transit lines and systems
Location​
Year​
Status​
Interurban: Buffalo, Batavia, and RochesterErie, Genesee, Monroe counties190xpartly built
Interurban: Buffalo - East Aurora line (d: Buffalo Southern)West Seneca, Elma, Aurora, East Aurora190xunbuilt
Interurban: Buffalo - Williamsville in dedicated ROW through Cheektowaga (d: Buffalo and Williamsville)Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Amherst, Williamsville189xunbuilt
Monorail: Niagara Falls Monorail (Goodell Monorail)Niagara Falls NY, Niagara Falls ON1963-1971unbuilt
Rapid transit: Belt Line electrification (d: NYCRR New York Central Railroad)Buffalo1900s-1920sunbuilt
Rapid transit: Buffalo-Amherst Corridor heavy rail (d: NFTA)Buffalo, Amherst1970unbuilt
Rapid transit: Buffalo-Amherst Corridor light rail (LRRT, d: NFTA)Buffalo, Amherst1976partly built
Rapid transit: Buffalo Chamber of Commerce subway study/proposalBuffalo1918unbuilt
Rapid transit: Michigan Avenue elevatedBuffalo: Downtown, Fruit Belt, Cold Spring1917unbuilt
Rapid transit: William Street - West Side subway (d: Buffalo Subway Company)Buffalo, Cheektowaga1906unbuilt
Streetcar: Bailey Avenue line (d: IRC International Railway Company)Buffalo: South Buffalo to Kensington190xunbuilt
Streetcar: Central Terminal line (d: IRC International Railway Company)Buffalo: Polonia1926street / building provisions built; line unbuilt
Streetcar: Delavan Avenue line (d: IRC International Railway Company)Buffalo190xunbuilt
Streetcar: Shelton Square streetcar subwayBuffalo: Downtown191xunbuilt
Trolley bus: streetcar replacement plan (d: Niagara Frontier Transit Commission)Buffalo194xunbuilt


Marine, harbor, and canal projects
Location​
Year​
Status​
All Amercan Canal (Niagara Ship Canal)Niagara County1924unbuilt
All Amercan Canal (Niagara Ship Canal) (Army Corps of Engineers)Erie / Niagara counties1956unbuilt
Amherst Marine ParkwayAmherst1965unbuilt
Buffalo River straighteningBuffalo: First Ward, Hydraulics, Kaisertown189xpartial implementation
Erie and Niagara Sanitary CanalErie / Niagara counties1908unbuilt
Love Canal (William T. Love)Niagara Falls NY: Lasalle1894work began; abandoned
Niagara Falls: clearing talus at the American Falls baseNiagara Falls NY: Downtown1969work began; abandoned
(need to trim back the ship canal proposals)
Niagara Ship Canal (James Geddes)Niagara County1808unbuilt
Niagara Ship Canal (Albert Gallatin)Niagara County1808unbuilt
Niagara Ship Canal (John Pope)Niagara County1810unbuilt
Niagara Ship Canal (NYS Canal Commission)Niagara County1811unbuilt
Niagara Ship Canal (Nathan Roberts)Niagara County1826unbuilt
Niagara Ship Canal (NYS Utica Convention)Niagara County1834unbuilt
Niagara Ship Canal (William G. Williams)Niagara County1835unbuilt
Niagara Ship Canal (private corporation)Niagara County1853unbuilt
Niagara Ship Canal (US House of Representatives bill)Niagara County1858unbuilt
Niagara Ship Canal (National Canal Convention)Niagara County1863unbuilt
Niagara Ship Canal (private corporation)Niagara County1864unbuilt
Niagara Ship Canal (Niagara Ship Canal Company)Niagara County1866unbuilt
Niagara Ship Canal (Army Corps of Engineers)Niagara County1867unbuilt
Niagara Ship Canal (Detroit Canal Commission)Niagara County1871unbuilt
Niagara Ship Canal (John M. Wilson)Niagara County1883unbuilt
Niagara Ship Canal (Elnathan Sweet)Niagara County1884unbuilt
Niagara Ship Canal (Carl Palfrey)Niagara County1888unbuilt
Niagara Ship Canal (William Pierson Judson)Niagara County1890unbuilt


Airports
Location​
Year​
Status​
BUF spoke-and-wheel terminal reconstruction (d: NFTA)Cheektowaga1967unbuilt
BUF jetport: Newstead site (d: NFTA)Newstead197xunbuilt
BUF jetport: Pendleton-Wheatfield site (d: NFTA)Pendleton, Wheatfield1969unbuilt
BUF / ROC shared jetport: Batavia site (d: NFTA)Bethany1971unbuilt
Grand Island regional airportGrand Island194xunbuilt
NIA expansion: added runways, 78+ gatesNiagara Falls NY196xunbuilt


Bridges and tunnels
Location​
Year​
Status​
Ambassador Bridge East (d: Detroit International Bridge Company / Manuel Moroun) Buffalo: Black Rock to Fort Erie1999unbuilt
Buffalo River tunnel: 1st proposalBuffalo: Downtown, Inner Harbor, Outer Harbor191xunbuilt
Buffalo River tunnel: Athol Springs-Niagara Falls expresswayBuffalo: Downtown, Inner Harbor, Outer Harbor1940unbuilt
Grand Island south bridge: rail bridge (d: Grand Island Bridge Company)Buffalo to Grand Island via Strawberry Island1898work started; abandoned
Grand Island south and west bridges: double deck road/rail/transit (d: New York Central Railroad, Canadian Pacific Railroad) Tonawanda to Grand Island, Grand Island: Sheenwater to Niagara Falls ON: Willoughby / Black Creek1918land acquired, site prep; abandoned
High Level Bridge: Buffalo River crossingBuffalo: Downtown, Inner Harbor, Outer Harbor192xbuilt in a different form
Niagara River tunnel to Fort Erie (en: William Wallace) Buffalo / Downtown-Erie Basin to Fort Erie / Old Fort Erie1852unbuilt
Peace Bridge: Niagara Falls alternative Niagara Falls, NY: Downtown to Niagara Falls ON: Clifton Hill191xbuilt in a different form
Peace Bridge: original stone arch proposal Buffalo: West Side to Fort Erie191xunbuilt
Peace Bridge: 2nd span Buffalo: West Side to Fort Erie2000unbuilt
Unnamed Buffalo-Fort Erie Niagara River crossing Buffalo: West Side to Fort Erie181xunbuilt


Recreation, sports, and gaming facilities
Location​
Year​
Status​
Buffalo Forum: 12,000 seat hockey arena (a: H. E. Plumer)Buffalo: Masten Park1927unbuilt
Canadian Motor Speedway: NASCAR track Fort Erie2005unbuilt
Crossroads Stadium (d: City of Buffalo)Buffalo: Downtown1958unbuilt
Erie County Dome Stadium (Buffalo Bills, future MLB team, d: Erie County, Kenford Co. / Edward Cottrell)Lancaster1969land acquired; unbuilt
Erie County Stadium: Amherst (Buffalo Bills, future MLB team, d: Erie County)Amherst196xunbuilt
Erie County Stadium: Cheektowaga (Buffalo Bills, future MLB team, d: Erie County)Cheektowaga: Airport area196xunbuilt
Erie County Stadium: Crossroads dome (Buffalo Bills, future MLB team, d: Erie County)Buffalo: Downtown196xunbuilt
Erie County Stadium: Hamburg (Buffalo Bills, future MLB team, d: Erie County)Hamburg: Windom196xunbuilt
Erie County Stadium complex: baseball stadium (future MLB team, d: Erie County)Orchard Park1972unbuilt
E-Zone: indoor amusement park (d: Syata Group)Buffalo: Outer Harbor2002unbuilt
Frank Sinatra CasinoNiagara Falls NY: Downtown197xurban legend
Mongolian Cultural Village: cultural center / museum, Buddhist park, 164'/50m statue of Genghis Khan with laser eyes on horseback (d: Tsogt Batbayar)Niagara Falls NY: Downtown2007unbuilt
International Club: fly-in resort with 4 golf courses, hotel tower Fort Erie1928partly built
Magical Land of Oz: theme parkWheatfield2005unbuilt
Old MacDonald's Farm: theme park Niagara Falls ON: Chippawa1972unbuilt
OnCore: golf-themed mixed use developmentBuffalo: First Ward2019proposed
Rainbow Gardens: theme parkNiagara Falls NY: Downtown1964unbuilt
Sahlen Field (Pilot Field): expansion for future MLB team (d: City of Buffalo, a: HOK)Buffalo: Downtown1988provisions
Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino: originally planned casino buildingBuffalo: Cobblestone District2007partly built
Seneca Cheektowaga Casino ("Cheektovegas")Cheektowaga: Airport2003unbuilt
Tivoli Gardens: 150 ac/60 ha theme park in River Oaks PUD (d Loeb Rhodes & Company, Caldwell Development)Grand Island: River Oaks1970unbuilt
Unnamed Chinese cultural theme park (d: Ancient Chinese City Development Corp. of Scarborough) Niagara Falls ON: Chippawa1989unbuilt
Unnamed "international flavor" park (d: Nat Winecoff)Niagara Falls NY: Downtown1972unbuilt
Veda Land: 700 acre theme park (d: Doug Henning / Maharishi Heaven on Earth Development) Niagara Falls ON: Chippawa1992unbuilt
Walt Disney World Niagara: theme park Niagara Falls ON1963unbuilt


Other proposals​
Location​
Year​
Status​
Annexation: Kenmore to BuffaloKenmore1894unrealized
Annexation: Kenmore, Tonawanda (town) to BuffaloKenmore, Tonawanda1896unrealized
Annexation: Kenmore, Tonawanda (town), Cheektowaga to BuffaloCheektowaga1910unrealized
City of Kenmore: Village of Kenmore / Town of Tonawanda mergerKenmore, Tonawanda195xunrealized
Street name and address rationalizationErie County195xpartly implemented
 

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The One

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Well.....

Looks like Rumpy will have his hands full in Buffalo:-c I'm waiting for his response to this laundry list of issues......:-o
 

bflo_la

Cyburbian
Messages
184
Points
7
Dan,

A few others...

* Seaway Tower(s) (was to be located next to HSBC) mid 80's

* New convention center and hotel tower (M&T's Washington street sea of parking) late 90's

*50 story waterfront condo (Rendering sooo not believable) - early 2000's

* The Save Your Unborn Baby Watefront Arch

* World Trade Center (plans 1 and 2) was to have been located within the vicinity of the Peace Bridge --- one or two towers, one possibly 50-60 stories

*35-45 story tower proposed for an empty lot next to Pilot Field - late 80's

*The original UB Amherst plan - conceptually considered at one time to be constructed as one building.
 

jsk1983

Cyburbian
Messages
2,523
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I'm sure some of you have seen this before, but this is a map from a 1954 Erie County Planning Report.

ebay2_177.jpg


This image is from 1966-67 Biennial Report for the Town of Amherst. Pretty sure it was never built.

williamsville_006.jpg
 

jsk1983

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2,523
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I was at the Walden Super Flea a few weeks ago and came across a booklet on the proposed Humboldt Park Music Hall from I'd assume the 1930s. I believe this was an E.B. Green work but was obviously never built. The booklet includes renderings, floor plans, sight plans, etc. I just moved so I'm not sure where it is but I'll scan it and post it when I do.
 

jsk1983

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Are you inclined to believe that Issa had seriously intended to see the project through--or rather that he was a flamboyant flipper from the start?:-|

Being from Buffalo I was a bit cynical from the start. Of course not everything proposed here in Chicago (i.e. Chicago Spire) gets built, but still it seems like its worse in Buffalo.
 

Dan

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A few more to add to the list:

* Villa Park - Frederick Law Olmsted-designed development in North Buffalo (late 1800s)

kznf67Y.jpg


* Magical Land of Oz amusement park - Wheatfield (1990s)

jZ6eVNT.jpg


* Renaissance Village - TND in Cheektowaga (2000s)

gLZWzBP.jpg


  • Stony Point Park - now the former site of Bethlehem Steel in Lackawanna (late 1800s)
  • E-Zone - planned indoor amusement park on the waterfront (1990s)
  • Ransom Oaks - only a very small portion of the planned community in Amherst was built (1970s)
  • Riverhaven - large planned community in Grand Island (1970s)
  • Largest golf resort in the world, Fort Erie (1920s)

A correction: plans for the All-American Canal, also called the Niagara Ship Canal, began in the 1790s, making it the longest-term unbuilt project in Buffalo's history.
 

Dan

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Add a couple of dead lifestyle center proposals to the list.

* Seneca Place (West Seneca)



YZLmrHL.jpg


* Amherst Town Center (Amherst)

cWqihoz.jpg


cIGMiYO.jpg


A7hEYAP.jpg


ED8zXQN.jpg
 

Doohickie

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Messages
3,779
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Add a couple of dead lifestyle center proposals to the list.

* Seneca Place (West Seneca)

[youtube]Wmv0U3-Gbyk[/youtube]

YZLmrHL.jpg

That kind of looks like something they built in Fort Worth, although without the big event venues. It was an old block of industrial buildings, some torn down and built with new buildings (like the 3-4 story apartment buildings in Seneca Place), and remodeling some of the old industrial stuff into nouveau restaurants, shops and apartments.

Crockett-Street-2.jpg


It was actually done by several developers, at least 3, and the centerpiece is Montgomery Plaza, an old Montgomery Ward warehouse converted to shops & lofts. Some of the outlying former industrial buildings are still being redeveloped.

13252448_0.jpg


This whole thread is kind of interesting, seeing what might have been. The Renaissance Village in Cheektwaga is interesting too.... sprucing up the old Tiorunda public housing tract. I grew up near there (across the Thruway and Genesee).
 
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Buffaboy

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I've seen this list a couple times over the years. A 23-story apartment tower will be built on the Outer Harbor, so it (fortunately) won't make this list.

There was a project called 33 Gates Circle that is in the shelves for now. It's a proposed 23-story tower south that I haven't heard about in 6 or 7 years.

Perhaps the most beneficial of these dead projects IMO would be the Outer Beltway. I'm a Hamburger, so access to the eastern suburbs and I-90 past Clarence would be great.
 

Dan

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Unbuilt Buffalo airports: first, the big jetport that was going to occupy thousands of acres north of Buffalo, in the Niagara County towns of Wheatfield and Pendleton.

buffalo jetport wheatfield pendleton.jpg


Jl02gmvObFcDRjbczgP2egBwk_PIdRdDZtgJpNH2I2Q.jpg


Earlier plans to expand the Niagara Falls International Airport. 78 gates -- they were optimistic then.

c6gbizb8s6611.jpg


Plan B: placing the airport in the Town of Newstead, about 20-25 miles (30-40 km) east of Buffalo.

59mnxf0pok611.jpg


A couple more planned communities where construction started, but they were never built to their originally planned scale.

Ransom Oaks in Amherst.

vMtnp8w.jpg


Original proposal River Oaks in Grand Island, 1970.

1RGMmis.jpg


The roots of Buffalo's expressway system goes back to the 1930s, with proposals for a limited access highwy running from Athol Springs (a neighborhood in Hamburg) to downtown Niagara Falls. The route would have folllowed what is today's Hamburg Turnpike and Skyway to downtown, Niagara Thruway/190 along the Niagara River and across Grand Island, and Robert Moses Parkway along the north shore of the Niagara River.

When Buffalo's original expressway system was first proposed in 1946, many area planners backed an alternative "Midcity Thruway" routing. Their justification -- it would take New York State Thruway traffic through the center of the city, rather than pass aaround its outskirts, better serving cty residents and those commuting downtown. The alternative plan would have been far more destructive than the original 1946 plan (which ultimately was built, with some modifications), have dealt a huge blow to Buffalo's property tax base, and would have destroyed one of Buffalo's wealthiest neighborhoods, along with many working class East Side neighborhoods, and the city's then-small African-American neighborhood along Michigan Avenue. (Contrary to armchair urbanist belief, when the route of the Kensington Expressway (NY 33) was planned in 1946, all the neighborhoods it passed through were predominantly white ethnic at the time.)

15iufitp7as01.png


Here's the Erie County Planning Board's crazy expressway-all-the-roads proposal from 1958. Not only does it include an early version of the unbuilt Outer Belt Expressway, but also an Outer Outer Belt Expressway beyond that, effectively giving Buffalo four beltways. It would have run through the Cattaragus Indian lands to the south, and likely through the Tuscarora Nation lands to the north. Very Houston. Also, it proposes the Gowanda Expressway (unbuilt), Niagara Expressway, East Side Expressway, the Grand Island bridge to Canada (an unrealized dream dating abck to the late 1800s), and conversion of many arterial streets to expressways (Niagara Falls Boulevard, Transit Road, Sheridan Drive, Walden Avenue Broadway, Harlem Road, Union Road, Southwestern Boulevard, Mile Strip Road), and a parkway along the south side of Tonawanda Creek.

1958 buffalo highway plans.png


Finally, Concept 5. Expressways, the Wheatfield-Pendleton Jetport, expressways, a domed stadium, more expressways, and an All American Canal providing an alternative to the Welland Canal. This includes the Outer Belt, completed Lake Ontario Parkway to Niagara Falls, the Orleans Expressway from Lockport to Rochester, the Lancaster Expressway (which still gets thrown around today), an ABC (Amherst Buffalo Corridor) expressway (!), the West Side and Elm-Oak arterials connecting the 33 (Kensington Expressway) to the 190 (Niagara Thruway), some kind of highway connecting the Lockport Expressway and Outer Belt to the (never built) Wheatfield-Pendleton Jetport, and an expressway along the never-built All American Canal, crossing Grand Island into Ontario, likely connecting with the Mid-Peninsula Highway and the 407 north of Burlington. (The Mid-Pen is a project that refuses to die. Studies recommend the road, a few years later another study will say it isn't economically or environmentally feasible, a few years later another study resurrects the idea, a few years later it dies, ad nauseaum.)

zGXos7ikM327zpveOaJAM8YTpZ-lHZyCpfqUSat2X8k.jpg


EDIT: the adopted version of Concept 5. October 1, 1970.

adopted concept 5.png


There’s a very popular urban legend that Robert Moses laid out and built Buffalo’s expressway system. In reality, he very little to do with it. Blame Ladislas Segoe (the father of Buffalo’s expressway plan), Bertram Tallamy (who originally conceived of the idea of the Niagara Thruway in the 1920s), Elmer Youngmann (the engineer that coordinates the building of it all), and other locally influential transportation engineers and planners of the era.

So, what did Moses do in Buffalo? As chairman of the New York State Council of Parks:

* In the late 1930s, he has some influence over the siting of the parks and parkway systems in Niagara Falls and Grand Island -- which were in the works since the 1920s, and made part of the first Grand Island comprehensive plan by Thomas Adams and George Diehl.

* He helped get the funding for the first South and North Grand Island Bridge spans from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Moses also took credit for the idea of building both Grand Island bridges, but they were in the works long before he got involved; first as part of early bridge schemes from the late 1800s and early 1900s, and in the 1920s, part of the Erie County Motorways plan, and a combined vehicle/railroad bridge that the New York Central Railroad almost built.

* Moses tried to take credit for the idea of the Niagara Thruway (I-190), claiming it was a former state parkway proposal that would be rolled into the Thruway project. However, the concept of a waterfront parkway or expressway from Hamburg (Athol Springs) or Lackawanna to Niagara Falls dates back to the 1930s, long before Moses got involved in any local projects. During the mid-1940s, when Buffalo area planners were debating the merits of a waterfront vs inland route for what would become the Niagara Thruway, Moses threw in his support for a waterfront route. Supposedly, his intent was to prolong the debate about the route, so state highway funding intended for Buffalo would be redirected to his projects Downstate.

With the New York State Power Authority:

* Got the Robert Moses Parkway along the Niagara River built. The stretch from the Niagara Thruway/190 to downtown Niagara Falls was built on fill from the then-new Lewiston Reservoir.

* Originally, the Niagara Thruway /190was supposed to take a hard turn to the west after crossing the North Grand Island Bridge into Niagara Falls proper, follow the old IRC High Speed Line corridor to downtown Niagara Falls, and cross the Niagara River using the Rainbow Bridge, connecting to the 420 in Ontario. Moses applied a lot of pressure to reroute the path of the Niagara Thruway to a bypass around the city, over the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant, to the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. In a way, Moses' actions to move the 190 "saved" downtown Niagara Falls, or at least delayed its decline. The original route to the Rainbow Bridge would have been far more destructive to downtown NFNY (and the Clifton Hill area in NFON), even though it's what city leaders preferred..

In my opinion, if Moses has anything to do with Buffalo’s expressways, folks would have been driving on the Outer Belt, Kenmore Expressway, Crosstown Expressway, Orleans Expressway, and Lancaster Arterial — in 1970. The Kensington Expressway/33 and Niagara Thruway/190 would probably be in more parklike settings.

Anyhow ...

The late 1960s/early 1970s was a time when there was a brief flash of intense optimism, and local leaders believed Buffalo was on the cusp of a boom. There was still natural population growth from natural births (big Catholic families were still the rule), and in-migration at the tail end of the Northern Cities Migration. The suburbs were experiencing a building boom, and city neighborhoods were still crowded, despite being kind of run down. There were BIG plans on the drawing board -- All-American Canal, Wheatfield-Pendleton Jetport, Lancaster domed stadium -- and a lot of state and federal dollars to make them happen. Also, during that time:
  • Buffalo straddled the boundary between second and third tier cities. Its peers among American cities were the likes of Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Denver, and Miami. Today, it's more like a fourth tier city -- its peers are places like Louisville, Memphis, Omaha, and ... Rochester.
  • SUNY Buffalo was fairly new, and state officials intended it to be the flagship SUNY center -- like Ohio State, Penn State, University of Michigan, etc -- with an peak enrollment of 40K-80K students.
  • Buffalo was a serious contender for a MLB expansion team. A few years later, it landed the Sabres and Braves. It was one of the smallest metros with three of the "big four" pro sports, and it almost had all four.
  • Buffalo's banking industry had a very high profile for a city its size -- headquarters for Marine Midland (HSBC), and big regional banks like M&T, Liberty, and Erie.
  • The Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant replaced the (destroyed) Schoellkopf power station. Construction brought thousands of new workers into Niagara Falls, reversing that city's slow decline for a short while.
  • The real estate section of the Sunday Courier-Express and Saturday Buffalo Evening News was packed with advertising for new houses and subdivisions; almost like you'd see in a booming Sunbelt city.
  • After decades of post-Depression malaise, there was a sudden and intense burst of major construction projects downtown -- Marine Midland Center, M&T, Main Place Mall, various county/state/federal office buildings, Statler Hilton renovation, and many others on the drawing board. For a couple of decades, those "evil" urban renewal projects returned a LOT of life back into what was a slowly dying downtown. Most people of that era saw urban "grit" as seedy, dangerous, and an indicator of decay and decline -- not something that's "authentic", "real", or desirable.
  • Buffalo's factories were still expanding, or at least humming along. Mass layoffs, closures, and relocation to Southern states and Mexico were years off.
  • Buffalo still had some Fortune 500 companies -- American Gypsum, Houdaille Industries, and a few others -- and its old money families still had a lot of money and pull. The families who names are on streets, museums, and buildings at UB, were still prominent.
TL/DR: Buffalo's spirit of optimism today is nothing compared to the zeitgeist of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The difference - in the 1960s, there was the money and power to turn Buffalo's big plans into reality, even though it didn't always happen. The megaprojects and civic optimism weren't enough to overcome an even stronger "convergence of suck". Same thing for Cleveland, and even more so for Detroit.
 

Doohickie

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first, the big jetport that was going to occupy thousands of acres north of Buffalo, in the Niagara County towns of Wheatfield and Pendleton.

The concept drawing at the top looks like half of DFW Airport, complete with the semicircular terminals.

TL/DR: Buffalo's spirit of optimism today is nothing compared to the zeitgeist of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The difference - in the 1960s, there was the money and power to turn Buffalo's big plans into reality, even though it didn't always happen. The megaprojects and civic optimism weren't enough to overcome an even stronger "convergence of suck". Same thing for Cleveland, and even more so for Detroit.

I grew up in the middle of that. I remember the old AFL Buffalo Bills, and when Buffalo first got the Sabres. The franchise got off to a good start and made the Stanley Cup Finals in 1975, but they never advanced beyond that. I think 1970-ish was a high water mark for the city, because it wasn't too long after that the steep decline started. My mom's entire family (5 brothers) were all laid off from Bethlehem Steel when Japanese steel came in. Until the recent uptick, most of my life has witnessed nothing but decline for Buffalo.

Most people of that era saw urban "grit" as seedy, dangerous, and an indicator of decay and decline

Also consider that the civil rights movement was happening during this time. I can remember lots of news coverage about busing to achieve integration. We lived in a suburb (Cheektowaga) and were not involved with the busing thing but I can remember my mom being concerned that they might try to pull the suburbs into it.
 

Dan

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There's several versions of the 1920s-era Greater Buffalo Motorways system plan, but this is the most ambitious. The inspiration for the Greater Buffalo Motorways system was the Detroit "super-highway" system that gave Southeast Michigan its wide divided mile roads. In the Buffalo area, only Sheridan Drive and parts of McKinley Parkway were built as divided parkways. Many proposed roads in this plan were built, but as two- and four-lane un-divided streets, not divided parkways.

This plan also includes the original Niagara Falls Boulevard concept -- not today's NY 62, but what became Colvin Avenue. The disconnected section of "Colvin Boulevard" in Niagara Falls was going to be the nothern end of the original NFB. DiMatteo Drive in North Tonawanda is also a segment of what was going to be Colvin Boulevard. The original Colvin Boulevard alignment of NFB had been a dream of civic leaders since the late 1800s, but it died with a whimper in the 1950s and 1960s. Some of the right-of-way for the project still exists through North Tonawanda and Wheatfield, and there's a few other remaining traces in the built environment.

I've seen newspaper articles from the 1960s reference road projects and their relation to the Greater Buffalo Motorways plan.

XUPrOxp.png
 

Dan

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From the Buffalo Evening News, January 5 1928

497aebf5-14d1-4dae-88f5-15f7da2abc02.png


"A year or so ago, representatives of the Van Sweringen interests of Cleveland sought to take an option on a tract of several hundred acres between Buffalo and Tonawanda, where an intensive suburban development project was planned. This tract was close to the high speed line and the impression was given at that time that a development, similar to the Shaker Heights development, was to be carried out. This realty deal was not consummated, however."

tl;dr: tto and Mantis Van Sweringen were planning on building Shaker Heights 2.0 in Tonawanda, along the High Speed Line, an interurban route in private right-of-way that connected Buffalo and Niagara Falls until abandonment by the International Railway Company abandoned it in 1937. My holy grail of unbuilt Buffalo -- plans for the Van Brothers' Shaker Heights sequel in Tonawanda.
 

Dan

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There was a project called 33 Gates Circle that is in the shelves for now. It's a proposed 23-story tower south that I haven't heard about in 6 or 7 years.

33 Gates Circle -- the original proposal. NIMBY put a halt to it, and high end townhouses are taking its place.

1078_2_1000 Diamond 33 Gates Circle 2.jpg
 

Dan

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From 1963: the Niagara Falls Monorail.


There's nothin' on Earth like a genuine bona-fide electrified six-car monorail!
 

Dan

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Seems a bit naive to me. Everyone who rode it would need to process through customs & immigration.

It was a lot easier before 9-11.

:canada: Citizenship?
:unitedstates: United States.
:canada: Where are you headed today?
:unitedstates: Mints.
:canada: Have a good day.
 

Dan

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A few more. This one's from from 1954. Early plans for limited access highways in the US included a direct route between Buffalo and Charlotte. Kind of ironic, considering all the Buffalonians that fled to Charlotte between 1990 and 2010.


Sketch of an earlier proposal for a shorter, stumpier City Hall building.

stumpy_city_hall.jpg


Original plans for the Shoreline Apartments complex on the Buffalo waterfront, from New York State Urban Development Corporation, by Paul Rudolph. 1969.

shoreline_100.jpg


shoreling_102.jpg


shoreling_103.jpg


shoreling_104.jpg


shoreling_105.jpg


shoreline_101.jpg


shoreline 01.jpg


shoreline 02.jpg


shoreline 03.jpg


shoreline 04.jpg


shoreline_108.jpg


shoreling_109.jpg


shoreline_106.jpg
buffalo_waterfront_1970.jpg
 

Dan

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* The Save Your Unborn Baby Watefront Arch

The Arch of Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and International Shrine of the Holy Innocents. That name is only a little bit longer than some od the Buffalo Diocese parish names, :D The Web site is still active! A description of the project:

In January 2001, the first month of the new millennium, The Association for The Arch of Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and International Shrine of the Holy Innocents, a not-for-profit New York corporation, was formed in Buffalo, New York. As described in detail in our Prospectus, the Association’s purpose is to build a truly world-class, globally significant shrine, to be located on the shore of Lake Erie adjacent to downtown Buffalo. The shrine will feature primarily a monumental, ascendable, golden triumphal arch, The Arch of Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to be the world’s tallest monument measuring 700 feet to the tip of the golden Cross that will surmount its peak (seven being the mystical number of perfection, as Mary represents the perfection of humanity).

The first proposal:

arch_of_unborn_babies_02.jpg



The most recent version:

arch_of_unborn_babies_01.jpg
 

Dan

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Well, this never happened.

sounds_call_for_unified_buffalo.jpg


The Walden Galleria was originally supposed to be a high-end upscale mall, not just a nice larger-than-average super-regional mall. Here's the never-opened 150,000 square foot B. Altman department store, planned to be one of the mall's many anchor stores. (There's still a Lord & Taylor in the Galleria, and Bonwit Teller also had a Galleria location.)

b altman galleria.jpg
 

Dan

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Unbuilt proposal for City Hall by architect J.J.W. Bradney, from February 1928.

jw_bradley_unbuilt_buffalo_city_hall.jpg


Unbuilt Buffalo Skyway proposal, January 1934.

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Buffalo River tunnel, January 1942

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Early proposal for a pedestrian mall and bus subway on Main Street, September 1954.

pedestrian_mall_1.jpg


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Kensington Expressway extension, January 1959.

kensington_extension.jpg
 

Dan

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Why did it never open? They had the sign up but it never opened?

The company went bankrupt right before the store was supposed to open. B. Altman was very "stuffy" and "patrician" compared to other luxury department store chains, but it was the closest the Buffalo area got to a store in the same class as Nordstrom or Neiman-Marcus.

Back to unbuilt Buffalo. People don't believe me when I say there was supposed to be a second Marine Midland Center tower. From 1969 ...

marine midland center second tower.jpg


12. Marine Midland Center second office tower. Told you so.

Lots of other unbuilts on this list, too, including:

10. Marine Midland Center hotel, Marine Midland Center was originally supposed to have a shopping mall, too.
15. Waterfront convention center.
16. Huge parking ramp for a downtown domed stadium.
17. Downtown domed stadium.

Not numbered: the hyperblock south of the 190, and massive surface parking lots on the waterfront and along the Buffalo River.

I'm glad none of the stuff south of the 190 never materialized. Planners of the era weren't just proposing urban renewal, but wiping the slate clean and starting over again. This plan would have had the city turn its back on the waterfront, the reason why it exists to begin with.

EDIT: More proof of the planned second tower. From an RFP for a planned development in Boston, 1970.

marine_midland_1.jpg


marine_midland_2.jpg


Edit 2: more Marine Midland Center Towers 2 & 3. From the cover of Buffalo Magazine, April 1969.

marine midland center towers 2 and 3.jpg
 

RandomPlanner

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From the Buffalo Evening News, January 5 1928

View attachment 6026

Otto and Mantis Van Sweringen were planning on building Shaker Heights 2.0 in Tonawanda, along the High Speed Line, an interurban route in private right-of-way that connected Buffalo and Niagara Falls until abandonment in 1937. My holy grail of unbuilt Buffalo -- plans for the Van Brothers' Shaker Heights sequel outside of Buffalo.
Tangentially on topic, my sixth grade teacher was named Mr. Swearingen (first name Van*) and I'd only ever heard that name because of him. Now that I've done a cursory google search, I'm interested in the connection there. I'm guessing his family was originally part of the Van Sweringens.

*And a google search of him taught me that 'Van' was actually his middle name but confirmed his last name, as originally thought, was just Swearingen.
 

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Here's the original proposal by Gordon Bunschaft / SOM for a mile-long megastructure for the SUNY University of Buffalo Amherst Campus. The building would have housed all academic departments, classrooms, libraries, laboratories and research facilities, offices, and recreational facilities for a university with a projected enrollment of 40,000 students. It would have been bigger than the Pentagon, and construction costs were estimated at $600-$650 million, about $4.7-$5.1 billion in 2020 dollars.

From The Spectrum, 11-17-1967:

bunschaft 01.jpg


bunschaft 02.jpg


The Spectrum, November 10, 1967:

bunschaft 03.jpg
 

Dan

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Three more unbuilt malls.

The Amherst Mall (spring 1966) was a proposed 150 store mall on a 160 acre site at the southeast corner of Niagara Falls Boulevard and Ridge Lea Road. Frank Zappala, F.J. Mascone, and Maret Corporation of Pittsburgh were the developers, and the architect was [drumroll please] Victor Gruen Associates! I don't know why the project died, and I can't find any plans.

In March 1969, International Business & Realty Corporation presented plans for an 800,000 square foot, four anchor mall with 6,500 parking spaces (!) to the Village of Depew Board. The mall site was a 56 acre tract on Walden Avenue, east of Dick Road. I can't find any plans or other specifics.

The original architect of Main Place Mall was supposed to be ... again, Victor Gruen Associates! However, they quit the project in May 1965, because they were "unable to come to agreement on certain design problems and approaches which we as architects and planners feel are of great importance to the successful execution of the project,"

gruen main place mall.jpg
 

Dan

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Here's a proposal for the Peace Bridge "signature span".


From the YouTube page: Today began a series of open houses both in Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ontario regarding the peace bridge expansion project slated to be completed... wait for it... 2018.

201 Ellicott. Yeah, that didn't happen.

201 ellicott.jpg


201 ellicott.jpg
 

Doohickie

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From the YouTube page: Today began a series of open houses both in Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ontario regarding the peace bridge expansion project slated to be completed... wait for it... 2018.
So is the Peace Bridge still the same old Peace Bridge, no new capacity? I thought it was busting at the seams and the second span was sorely needed. I remember hearing about it when it was announced but not hearing anything since.
 

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They would have killed Thruway Mall, which wasn't covered over until 1974.

About as much as Como Mall did, in my opinion, which isn't that much. Thruway Mall would still have been the closest mall to parts of Cheektowaga west of the 90, and still-dense neighborhoods on Buffalo's East Side.

(We had split mall loyalties in 14215. Some folks considered Boulevard Mall to be their "local mall", and others preferred Thruway Mall.)

I'm wondering what anchors would go into a "Depew Mall". Thruway Mall had AM&A's, JC Penny, Sears, and L.L. Berger. Como Mall wasn't built until the 1970s. Construction started on Eastern Hills Mall in 1969, and the mall was heavy with anchors - AM&A's, Hengerer's, Jenss, Sears, and JC Penny. Demographics around the Depew Mall were solidly blue collar, so I doubt The Sample would open there, much less another Jenss or Hengerer's. Maybe Sattler's (a Polonia favorite), Kobacker's, and Hens & Kelly? Montgomery Ward was an everywhere-but-Buffalo chain, but still, maybe? None of those chains survived past the early 1980s, so the Depew Mall probably would shut its doors way before the Walden Galleria came along.

What about the Amherst Mall? Boulevard Mall had JCP and a huge Sattler's. Northtown Plaza had Kobacker's, Hens & Kelly, and LL Berger. I'm guessing AM&A's (nearest stores at University Plaza and Sheridan-Delaware Plaza), Sears (nearest store on Main Street in Buffalo), Hengerer's (closest: freestanding store at Main Street and Eggert Road in Amherst), and maybe Montgomery Ward? Bier's from Niagara Falls? One of the Rochester or Cleveland chains? The long-rumored American side Eaton's? I think Amherst Mall would still be around, because of its location. However, the retail apocalypse would have taken out Boulevard Mall years earlier.

I'm geeking out here.

So is the Peace Bridge still the same old Peace Bridge, no new capacity? I thought it was busting at the seams and the second span was sorely needed. I remember hearing about it when it was announced but not hearing anything since.

No new capacity. The project was put on hold because there was a fear of bird/bridge collisions, increased air pollution in the neighborhood near The Front, and disagreement over the location of each country's customs checkpoints.
 

Doohickie

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About as much as Como Mall did, in my opinion, which isn't that much. Thruway Mall would still have been the closest mall to parts of Cheektowaga west of the 90, and still-dense neighborhoods on Buffalo's East Side.
Totally different scenario. Como Mall was a small mall first of all, and didn't open until several years after Thruway Mall was roofed over. The Depew Mall would have been just another mile or two down the road and would have predated the roofing over of Thruway Mall in 1974.
 

Dan

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Totally different scenario. Como Mall was a small mall first of all, and didn't open until several years after Thruway Mall was roofed over. The Depew Mall would have been just another mile or two down the road and would have predated the roofing over of Thruway Mall in 1974.

I have to disagree. Boulevard Mall didn't kill Northtown Plaza, which was just a half mile away. Eastern Hills Mall didn't kill Transittown Plaza, also a half mile away. Same thing with Seneca Mall and Southgate Plaza, about a mile away.

In my opinion, Thruway Mall's competition at the time was the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood on the East Side, which along with the Broadway Market, still had a couple of department stores, a bunch of large furniture and appliance stores, and a lot of smaller shops. Also IMHO, the glory days of Broadway-Fillmore lasted as long as they did, despite it being a working class neighborhood, only because the population density in the surrounding area was so high.

Here's what I think will be a future unbuilt. Sure, it's a proposal, but the Summit Park Mall site in Wheatfield has long been a land of broken dreams. Developers in the 1960s proposed a large planned community in the area -- never built. Chrysler had plans for an auto assembly plant just to the south. Never built. Land of Oz? Never built. I think the Niagara International Sports and Entertainment Center will be another one for the Unbuilt Buffalo books.

sports_center_wheatfield.jpg


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From the February 7, 2020 Buffalo News:

Crack!

The sound of a baseball bat connecting with a ball rips across the vast room, as players from Niagara County Community College's team practiced their swings Thursday morning amid a sea of netting.

But this isn't your ordinary setting for batting cages.

This is the inside of the former Sears store at Summit Park Mall – part of the new Niagara International Sports & Entertainment Center.
And it's just the beginning of what owner Zoran Cocov envisions as a $2.2 billion reuse project to bring new life to an aged but empty retail complex, while drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors to Western New York.

That is, if he can pull it off, without a strong track record of accomplishment, on a site that has confounded previous attempts at redevelopment. The mall has been mostly vacant for years, a prior attempt to buy and release it fell through, and the adjacent property that Cocov owns was previously targeted for a $600 million theme park that was abandoned when financing collapsed.
Now, the Canadian developer – who purchased the vacant and derelict Wheatfield mall in 2014 – is kicking off the first phase of a multiyear effort to convert the 48-year-old mall and 560 acres of land into an entertainment and sports destination rivaling some of those found in other parts of the world.

Cocov's goal is to create a facility capable of hosting practices, games and tournaments – attracting school-age teams and their fans from hundreds of miles around. At the same time, the complex would provide other entertainment and dining options to satisfy visitors and locals, including a microbrewery and sports bar, a fitness club, a family fun center, an adventure park and sports spa.
And there's plenty of parking in the mall's existing lot: 4,700 spaces.

[snip]

But long-term plans include a 600-room hotel, a 10,000-seat hockey arena anchored by a new Ontario Hockey League team, an indoor water park, a domed theme park and a senior residence with independent living, assisted living and memory-care units.

[snip]

Besides batting cages, the gym and the basketball-volleyball court, Cocov carved out a space for bumper cars, and is bringing in a bicycle shop and an sports-specific training and fitness facility.


Those will move once he builds two identical 96,000-square-foot metal fieldhouses on part of the back parking area, with three turf fields and a set of three smaller rubber-floor courts in each. They will be connected to each other and to the center of the mall through a 1,500-square-foot covered walkway and common area.

[snip]

The fieldhouses will host volleyball, indoor hockey, basketball, baseball, soccer, softball and lacrosse, and can also host trade shows, conferences and concerts. They will include sport-specific training space, batting cages and bullpens, warmup areas, hospitality, offices and classrooms. Outdoor baseball diamonds will be built.

That will be followed by converting former Toys R Us and Save A Lot space into the 29,000-square-foot Big Thunder Brewing Co. microbrewery, tap room, dinner theater and sports bar restaurant. There's an outdoor bar and gathering space. A fitness club and personal training studio will occupy another 40,000 to 50,000 square feet.

There's a 50,000-square-foot indoor trampoline and adventure park to be completed this year, a 50,000-square-foot family fun center for 2021, a 50,000-square-foot complementary medicine and sports spa and a food court.

A sporting goods store and uniform shop are planned. The fun center would feature miniature golf, bowling, laser tag, an arcade, electric go-carts and party rooms. There will be a 5K obstacle course inside.

Cocov would construct the Lantern of Niagara senior community, with 60 to 120 units.

For the $195 million second phase, Cocov would construct a dual-rink hockey arena and event venue centered around the 20-team OHL's fourth U.S. franchise, with an attached hotel of 600 suites. About 200 suites would double as private boxes for 12-14 guests. The arena and hotel building would feature an 80,000-square-foot water park.

In Phase 3, Cocov wants to take one of the three lakes on the adjacent land and transform it into a domed saltwater beach pool resort, along with an outdoor amusement park and live performance theater. The 2-million-square-foot phase would cost $2 billion.

$2 billion. American Dream in New Jersey cost $5 billion.
 

Dan

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Another unbuilt mall, this one in downtown Buffalo on Main Street, between Chippewa Street and the Shea's Buffalo theater. From the February 7, 1967 Courier-Express: Main Place Mall was under construction at the time.

downtown mall 2-7-1967.jpg
 

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Here's "The Carlo", a 14-story mixed-use building proposed by Carl Paladino in 2014, for a 5½-acre site at Erie Basin Marina. The proposal includes a 143-room hotel, 36 apartments, 120'2 of office space, spa, pool, two restaurants, 15,000'2 of retail space, and a parking ramp.

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2012 proposal for the $1.4 billion "Greater Buffalo Sports and Entertainment Complex " waterfront stadium. The architect was Dallas-based HKS Sports & Entertainment.

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oh-stadium.jpg


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Dan

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At this point, I think it's safe to add the Willoughby Exchange apartment building to the list of unbuilts.

willoughby_exchange.jpg


From the Buffalo News, 6-28-2017:

Ever wonder what happened to Willoughby Exchange?
It hasn't gone away. But it did go back to the drawing board.

Craig Willoughby's proposal for a 10-story apartment building at Main and East Ferry streets created some furor in the surrounding neighborhood when the auto insurance purveyor first promoted it over a year ago. So he and his partners have been tweaking it through a series of community meetings to overcome resistance.

"This is a real development that has not been abandoned," said Colby A. Smith, president and CEO of Colby Development LLC, an adviser on the project. "It's basically still in development analysis."

Under the $26 million proposal unveiled in April 2016, Willoughby would knock down the one-story, red-and-white building at the corner that houses his insurance agency's longtime home, and replace it with a residential and commercial building that he dubbed Willoughby Exchange.

The development group is also still working to line up financing.

"We have investors watching and analyzing the project approvals and timing before committing resources," Smith said.
Proposed updated rendering of Willoughby Exchange at Main and East Ferry Streets.

The project, aimed at downtown, university and Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus workers, would feature more than 100 apartments and a 7,380-square-foot urban market, as well as Willoughby's agency office. Willoughby plans to live in the two-story penthouse owner's apartment.

According to the original plans by Silvestri Architects, the 125,000-square-foot red-brick and glass building would include eight stories of apartments above one floor of commercial and retail space on the ground level. The market-rate apartments would include 64 one-bedroom units, of about 990 square feet each, and 37 two-bedroom units, with about 1,140 square feet in each. The apartments would rent for $1,200 and $1,500 per month, respectively, plus $75 per month for covered parking.

The project also featured 19,000 square feet of commercial space, a three-story fitness studio with a pool and one level of underground parking.
But the proposal faced resistance from neighbors on Otis and Woodlawn, who complained that the building would be out of scale with the area, and would cast shadows on their homes. They called for Willoughby and his partners to reduce the building's size and impact.

The development team has continued meeting with neighbors, most recently in a large community forum in April. That's "generated some design considerations" that are being considered, alongside "additional financial modeling" and a further market study, Smith said. There's been no change to the overall density of the project or the height, but the size of the apartments and the number of one- and two-bedroom units has changed, he added.
There's no indication when it might come back before city agencies for consideration.
 

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Master plan for Audubon New Community in Amherst, from the New York State Urban Development Corporation and LLewelyn-Davies Associates, 1970. Notice the footprints of buildings at the University at Buffalo North Campus that were never built.

audubon.jpg


Future land use map from 1972.

audubon.jpg


From the text:

Audubon is being developed by the New York State Urban Development Corporation as a means of helping the town of absorb the impact of the new Buffalo campus of the State University of New York, which will have an estimated 26.000 students by 1977 The site, which incorporates the new campus at its southern edge, is pierced with existing subdivision developments that have been incorporated into the plan The plan calls for the development of 9.000 residential units for an estimated 27.500 persons The neighborhoods will be interspersed with commercial, office, and community facilities, as well as schools, playgrounds, and man-made lakes Some 625 acres will be devoted to open space and recreational areas A variety of housing types for a wide mix of income groups, including students and the elderly, will be dispersed throughout the site. Nearly 2.000 units will be subsidized Total acres: 2,000

The site today.
 

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How about some old time unbuilt? Here's The Gardens, a proposed but unbuilt apartment building at the corner of Linwood Avenue and Barker Street. (Buffalo Times, January 28, 1920)

The_Buffalo_Times_Sun__Jan_18__1920_.jpg


Planned but never built municipal office building, at the corner of Franklin Street and Church Street. It's now the site of the former Buffalo Police Headquarters, where a developer is proposing a residential adaptive reuse project. (Buffalo Times, November 23, 1918)

The_Buffalo_Times_Sat__Nov_23__1918_.jpg
 

Dan

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Another old-timey never-built building: a mixed use development that includes a 22 story hotel with 1000 rooms, and a 9 story office building and printing plant for the Buffalo Commercial, one of the city's many now-defunct daily newspapers. The building would have taken up an entire block, bounded by Main Street, Eagle Street, Pearl Street, and Niagara Street; now the site of Main Place Tower and part of the mostly-dead Main Place Mall.


(Buffalo Commercial, April 24, 1919)

The hotel would be 232' tall. The tallest buildings in the city at the time were the New York Telephone and Marine Bank building, both topping out at about 235'.

The reaction to this proposal? A proposed law from the Buffalo's nascent City Planning Committee, to limit the maximum height of any building downtown to 150', with a special permit needed for anything higher, as long as there was a stepback of 1' from the property line for every 3' of additional height. Buffalo's first zoning code was still about eight years away, but the "threat" of skyscrapers was the talk of the town. According to city councilman Arthur Kreinheder, "I don't believe in these high buildings. Some people are afraid to go into them:" City Council voted to table the height limits. The skyscraper boom so many expected didn't happen.
 

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A not-so-serious proposal to extend the Aurora Expressway (NY 400) from its current terminus in the Town of Holland to Olean.

400 extension.jpg


From the Wellsville Daily Reporter, August 26 2019:

County nixes push to revive Route 400 extension

By Chris Potter / Wellsville Daily Reporter

Proposal defeated in committee, 5-1

BELMONT — A push that reached its peak a decade ago will not be revived by Allegany County, as a proposal in committee was voted down for the first time in 2019 this week.

Legislator Bill Dibble (R-Little Genesee) proposed the county push for the extension of state Route 400 across Allegany County to the Village of Wellsville. Dibble suggested the measure be added to the county’s Comprehensive Plan and requested a study be performed by DOT and the Appalachian Regional Commission, using a resolution passed in 2009.

A decade ago, the county requested the state conduct a corridor study of extending Route 400 from South Wales in Erie County southeasterly to a point of intersection with state Route 417 in the Village of Wellsville.
“It would be great for this region. It’s a longterm thing, way down the road,” Dibble said in reintroducing the proposal. “If we don’t kick things along, they’ll never happen. This is an attempt to have DOT look at it and get New York state to fund the corridor. It’s looking down the road, longterm.”

In 2009, county officials said the four-lane highway would better connect Allegany County with Buffalo and Canada, providing better access to the county’s manufacturers while easing travel for tourists. The extension would intersect I-86 at Exit 30 near Belvedere, providing a more direct trucking route from Canada, Buffalo and the Niagara frontier to major East Coast seaports in New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia.

Dibble’s updated request in 2019 was shot down this week in the Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting, 5-1.

“Building this highway diagonally right through the center of Allegany County, just makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever,” said Legislator Phil Curran (R-Alfred). “We have the routing for the traffic. To add a diagonal highway when there’s already a rectangle, I think is pretty strong overkill.”

Legislator Judy Hopkins (R-Fillmore) agreed.

“The cost of this would be so prohibitive,” Hopkins added. “There have been estimates that per mile it’s in the neighborhood of $5-6 million. That does not include the cost of bridges. That is well over a billion dollars, including the cost of the study. It makes no sense to me. Our legislature did pass a resolution in 2009 which went nowhere. Quite honestly, I don’t have the confidence that New York state would follow through on this at all. If they have a billion dollars to spend, they can fix the roads and the bridges that they don’t fix now.”

Board Chairman Curt Crandall (R-Belfast) noted the county has taken on many more responsibilities in the last 10 years, and cautioned against spending resources on an effort that may never bear fruit.

Legislator Steve Havey (R-Wellsville) said the highway would ease travel but doubted its feasibility. “When I saw this proposal from Mr. Dibble I thought, we’ll probably never see it, but wouldn’t it be nice?”
 
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