Looking Backward: Broadway & Fillmore, 1949

by / Jun. 17, 2015 3am EST

This photograph of Broadway, taken for the International Railway Co., looks west from Fillmore Avenue toward downtown Buffalo. The year is 1949—Harry Truman is in the White House, Bernard Dowd is in the mayor’s office, and Buffalo is one year from clocking in at 580,132 residents, the city’s highest ever recorded population.

On the right, pedestrians peer into the windows of Sears, which opened that year at 950 Broadway, an art moderne structure built in 1940. Behind it, on the north side of Broadway, the signs for the Erie County Savings Bank, Krasner’s women’s clothing, Ruszkiewicz’s liquor, and Factor’s jewelry store are visible. On the south side of Broadway, signs for the Liberty Bank, Barmon Brothers women’s clothing, E. Wagner optometrist, Waldorf cafeteria, Lou-Etta bridal shop, Liberty Shoes, Meisel’s furniture and appliances, and Shea’s Roosevelt Theatre—built in 1927 with a seating capacity of 2,000—are visible. In the distance are the steeples of St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church and Christ Lutheran Church. In the foreground, the streetcar tracks of the Broadway and Hertel-Fillmore lines are still intact and in use.

Image courtesy of The Buffalo History Museum. Used by permission.