Looking Backward: Fisherman's Wharf, circa 1980

by / Aug. 19, 2017 9am EST

64 West Chippewa Street was a downtown fixture for 120 years. Built in 1880, the building prominently featured a three-story round brick tower with a flared conical roof, emphasizing the corner location. Pictured here in 1980, the building is painted yellow and black, a sort of “pop art” color scheme that was pleasing in its own way, though it attempted to simplify and suppress its elaborate and complex Queen Anne style detailing. Vacant by the time it was granted landmark protection in 1989, the building last did business as Fisherman’s Wharf, a bar of ill repute, and before that as Gandy’s Seafood House. Though a 1981 City of Buffalo report on Chippewa Street concluded that “the reclamation and highlighting of this corner building’s original grandeur can be especially symbolic for the whole area,” Commissioner of Inspections and Community Revitalization Joseph Schollard arrived at an alternative conclusion. He ordered an emergency demolition of the landmark structure on February 17, 1993. The site is now occupied by the SoHo Burger Bar.