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Buffalo: Economy

Buffalo: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Buffalo has suffered from a decline in population that started after the second World War, and in 2003 a state oversight authority was established to nurse Buffalo back to fiscal health. Buffalo has worked hard to capitalize on its strengthslocation and natural resourcesto build a diversified economy based on financial services (three major banks are headquartered there), life science research and services, and high-technology and computer equipment manufacturing. Concurrently, Buffalo has held on to some of its largest traditional employers (automotive parts manufacturers and the flour industry). The emphasis, however, has been on development of the "Byte Belt" of 700 high-tech companies in the region, with the Mayor's Information Technology Council encouraging the growth and sustenance of companies in the area. Buffalo is considered one of the most wired municipalities in the U.S., with extensive fiber optic networks that are attractive to the high-tech entrepreneur.

Situated as it is on the U.S.-Canada border, Buffalo has capitalized on the opportunity for foreign trade since 1988, when a free trade agreement was forged between the two countries. Prior to the tragedies of September 11, 2001, more than 400 foreign-owned manufacturers had established an economic presence there, with Canada a major player and increasing interest being shown by Far Eastern countries such as Japan. At present, homeland security legislation has made it more difficult for companies headquartered outside the U.S. to locate branches in this country.

Western New York is one of the state's centers of high technology and research, and retail sales is a healthy and growing segment of the region's economy. Buffalo is located about 25 miles south of Niagara Falls, one of the world's premier tourist attractions drawing more than 10 million visitors annually. Toronto, Ontario, is less than two hours away from Buffalo. Tourists, shoppers, and theater-goers visiting these popular spots add significantly to Buffalo's economy.

Of increasing importance to the area's economy are the University of Buffalo's two campuses in Buffalo and Amherst, which support more than 50 research centers, some of global importance. The university's technological resources are made available to private industry through its alliance with Insyte Consulting, Inc., part of the Western New York Technology Development Centers network. Generally speaking, Buffalo has been the source of major leaps in research and development, particularly in the life sciences; success stories include creation of the first internal cardiac pacemaker, development of the prostate cancer screening procedure, and Beta-interferon therapy for multiple sclerosis. Between Toronto in Ontario, Canada, and Syracuse, New York, there are approximately 850 companies studying life science issues, researching interventions, and developing products.

Items and goods produced: pharmaceuticals, chemicals, plastics and polymers, automotive components, fabricated metals, industrial machinery, computers, medical instruments, commercial printing, food and food products, aerospace and defense technology

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

The Buffalo Economic Renaissance Corporation (BERC), a nonprofit entity, was created in 1978 by the City of Buffalo in an effort to create more jobs, recruit and retain growth-industry businesses, and provide a centralized access point for business resources. The BERC staffs three small business support centers in the city of Buffalo, with individual counseling, internet services, fax machines, and other equipment vital to a start-up operation; the BERC also provides excellent information on local incentives.

The U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement, which took effect on January 2, 1989, eliminated tariffs and most other trade barriers, laying the groundwork for enhanced competitiveness of both countries in the world marketplace. Buffalo has been ideally situated to benefit from the agreement.

Local programs

The Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) offers local real property tax exemptions in certain industry sectors for new construction or purchase/renovation of an existing facility, a sales tax exemption on construction materials and non-production equipment, and a mortgage recording tax exemption. Qualified industries may be eligible for the county's Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) program. ECIDA also provides assistance for businesses residing within Neighborhood Revitalization/Redevelopment boundaries. The city of Buffalo administers the Commercial Area Revitalization Effort (CARE) as a method of rehabilitating retail and commercial properties in six identified distressed communities in Buffalo. The legs of the program include Operation Facelift (providing an immediate and visible upgrade to the community), the Storefront Facade Program (offering rebates of up to 50 percent of the cost of renovations), and the Security Grant Program (up to 50 percent rebated costs for security system upgrades and installations). Finally, the University at Buffalo has established the Canada/US Trade Center, designed to facilitate the flow of trade between western New York state and southern Ontario, Canada. The center provides marketing analysis and consultation and statistical data for businesses engaging in trade with Canada.

State programs

Empire State Development (ESD), the state agency responsible for promoting economic development in New York, has programs available to assist businesses that are expanding and creating jobs. Qualified businesses that locate in an Empire enterprise zone can be exempted from sales tax, benefit from tax reductions, or receive credits on real property and business taxes. Enterprise zone businesses may additionally save money on utilities, receive technical assistance, or receive tax credits on wages for newly-created jobs. Even outside of an Empire Zone, businesses that create new jobs can capitalize on Investment Tax Credits. Companies specializing in research and development are eligible for tax credits on 9 percent of their corporate facility tax and may receive a capital credit for their investment in emerging technologies. Machinery and equipment, facilities, property, fuels, and utilities dedicated to research and development activities may also qualify for sales tax exemptions, and the state operates more than 50 high-tech business incubators to further develop the industry. New York State has additionally partnered with electric and gas utility companies to create the "Power for Jobs" program in which companies that fulfill the requirement of retaining or generating a specified number of jobs then receive a break on their utility costs that can be as much as a 25 percent savings.

Low interest loans can be accessed through the ESD by small manufacturing enterprises, small service operations that are independently owned and operated, businesses located within an Empire zone, businesses located in "highly distressed" areas, businesses owned by women or minorities, defense industry manufacturers, and small businesses seeking to increase their export activities. Other loan programs range from direct financing through the ESD to interest subsidies and loan guarantees. Depending on the financing source, funds can be used for building construction, equipment acquisition, building purchases, and working capital. New York State's progressive tax structure combines tax credits, deductions, exemptions, and write-offs to help reduce the tax burden on businesses.

Federal funding underwrites the Renewal Communities designation of the Buffalo-Lackawanna region, providing tax incentives designed to encourage creation or relocation of businesses in eligible neighborhoods. Benefits include deductions on business expenses that contribute to commercial revitalization, increased deductions on equipment and machinery, federal tax credits for existing and new employees, and a zero percent capital gains rate for qualified businesses. The United States Small Business Association offers benefits to businesses that located within historically underutilized business zones, known as HUBZones.

Job training programs

The Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Development Consortium, Inc., is the umbrella agency for a number of local programs that train and retrain employees. The Buffalo Employment & Training Center (BETC) offers access to national job listings, computer literacy classes, tutorials, counseling, and resume assistance for job seekers. Employers can benefit from BETC's job matching and recruitment programs. The Business Services Division of the Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Development Consortium can customize training programs for businesses, coordinate on-the-job trainings, help transition displaced workers, conduct remedial workshops for basic skills, and assist in tax credit assistance for participating businesses. The Consortium also operates several youth employment centers in the Buffalo area that can offer school-to-work training, aptitude testing, GED preparatory courses, resume development, and counseling. Several area academic institutions offer programs to train and retrain prospective workers and are generally responsive to requests to develop specific programs both on and off campus. Locally, the Center for the Development of Human Services provides skill-building workshops for professionals in the state social services system, and Erie Community College's downtown campus provides retraining and workforce development programs that feature partnerships with local industries. The Buffalo Economic Renaissance Corporation offers targeted training sessions for the entrepreneur.

Development Projects

Health-related industries have become the fuel in Buffalo's economic engine. The Roswell Park Cancer Institute, which works in partnership with the University at Buffalo, is in the process of building a $60 million research facility that will add 170,000 square feet of space in which scientists will study genetics and pharmacology. In the summer of 2005, Contract Pharmaceuticals Limited decided to locate in Buffalo and will be taking over the Bristol-Myers Squibb Company facility. The packager of prescription and over-the-counter medicines will continue to contract with Bristol-Myers. As part of the Queen City Hub plan proposed by the city of Buffalo, $100 million will be poured into the new headquarters of HealthNow New York, a healthcare insurance and referral company.

The Queen City Hub strategic plan being proposed by the city of Buffalo and its economic partners has laid out development projects in five different districts of the downtown area: the Erie Canal Harbor and Waterfront, the new Downtown Education and Public Safety Campus, the Theatre District, the Financial District and Government Center, and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. A primary project on the Erie Canal Harbor waterfront is renovation of the historic Memorial Auditorium, locally known as the "Aud" and reputed to be an eyesore, in an effort to create a massive mixed-use space. Tenants are expected to include specialty stores, a hotel, an Erie Canal heritage museum and interpretive center, and a theme restaurant. The city is proudest of its major committed new tenant and anchor of the space: Bass Pro Shops is a wildly popular outdoor gear retailer that attracts shoppers from miles away with its combination of vast amounts of fishing, hunting, boating, and other equipment along with outdoor education, conservation information, and entertainment.

The proposed Downtown Education and Public Safety Campus is envisioned as a consolidation of the Erie Community College and the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, plus a newly-constructed Public Safety Campus that will address homeland security and law enforcement in Buffalo and New York State. It is anticipated that the project will cost about $80 million and will produce hundreds of new jobs in the downtown area. On the campus of Buffalo Niagara Medical, the strategic plan calls for another $250 million in research and development facilities, matching the amount expended over the past decade in design and construction of the new Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and the Hauptman-Woodward Research Center.

Rounding out the Queen City Hub plan will be residential construction projects creating more concentrated and affordable housing, along with supportive retail. Ultimately, the plan will play off the strengths of the radial lay-out of the city as designed by Joseph Ellicot in 1804 and the park system created by Frederick Law Olmsted, linking attractions and drawing people downtown to a safe, pedestrian-friendly zone.

In 2005 the Niagara Falls International Airport is in the process of constructing a $7.4 million Flight Research facility on the grounds of the airport. The eventual tenant will be Veridian Corporation, doing business on behalf of General Dynamics. When completed, the building will be 30,000 square feet containing office and research space in addition to an aircraft modification center and a flight operation center.

Economic Development Information: Buffalo Niagara Partnership, 665 Main Street Suite #200, Buffalo, NY 14203; telephone (716)852-7100; toll-free (800)241-0474

Commercial Shipping

In one day of travel, more than 55 percent of the U.S. population can be reached from Buffalo; approximately 65 percent of Canadians and 70 percent of Canadian manufacturing firms can be accessed within the same span of time. Buffalo is uniquely situated to transport goods by all means, including air, water, rail, and road.

Buffalo's port system maintains specialized grain storage, milling, and processing facilities and is said to rank first in the world in grain handling. The deep-water Port of Buffalo is an important shipping center for manufactured goods from the East Coast. The Welland Canal links the region to the St. Lawrence Seaway. In terms of rail service, Buffalo is one of the nation's largest railroad centers with access to major U.S. and Canadian lines such as CSX, CN, CP, and Norfolk Southern linking the area to points north, south, east, and west.

The Buffalo Niagara International Airport can handle international and domestic air cargo through any of five cargo airlines, including Airborne Express, United Parcel Service, Menlo Forwarding, FedEx, and Superior Cargo Services.

Niagara Falls International Airport, located just outside of Buffalo to the north, offers a Foreign Trade Zone next to the airport, allowing for short-term storage of imported goods without full U.S. Customs scrutiny. Within 90 miles from Buffalo is the Hamilton International Airport-Canadian, which offers customs clearance that is much faster than that available in Toronto, along with an on-site U.S. Customs service. From a sixth to a quarter of U.S.-Canadian trade clears customs at Buffalo.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, approximately 74.6 percent of Buffalo citizens have achieved a high school degree or its equivalent; an additional 18.3 percent have gone on to earn a bachelor's degree or higher. For the region of western New York State, which includes Buffalo, it's anticipated that manufacturing and production jobs will continue to decline through the year 2012, with a loss of almost 5,000 jobs projected. Transportation and farming employment will remain essentially the same in number, while construction, wholesale and retail trade, food services, education, and healthcare technology, practitioner and support occupations will see growth.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 547,500

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 20,300

manufacturing: 66,400

trade, transportation, and utilities: 102,000

information: 9,800

financial activities: 34,900

professional and business services: 64,100

educational and health services: 84,000

leisure and hospitality: 47,300

other services: 22,900

government: 95,300

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $17.78 (April 2005)

Unemployment rate: 5.1% (April 2005)

Largest employers Number of employees (2004)
HSBC Bank USA 2,848
Roswell Park Cancer Institute 2,800
American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. 2,500
Buffalo General Hospital 2,400
M & T Bank 2,368
Ingram Micro 2,000
Verizon 2,000
Ford Motor Co. 1,840
National Fuel Gas Co. 1,425
ClientLogic 1,400
Univera Health Care 1,380
Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. 1,300

Cost of Living

Buffalo is one of the most affordable areas in the country, leading Forbes.com to rank the city #7 in the nation in regard to cost of living in 2005. Housing costs in the city remain comparatively low for the northeast region, and the real estate value per acre is high. Some experts believe that a real estate market boom will take place within the next 20 years.

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Buffalo area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average Home Price: $230,914

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 96.3 (U.S. Average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: Ranges from 4.0% to 7.70%

State sales tax rate: 4.0%

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: 4.25% (Erie County)

Property tax rate: $37.41 per $1,000 of full valuation; county rate is $4.59 per $1,000 of assessment

Economic Information: Buffalo Niagara Partnership, 665 Main Street Suite #200, Buffalo, NY 14203; telephone (716)852-7100; toll-free (800)241-0474

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Buffalo: Recreation

Buffalo: Recreation

Sightseeing

Buffalo is a city noted for its architecture, and the works of such notable figures as Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan are well represented. A great place to get the overview of Buffalo is from the Buffalo City Hall's Observation Tower, which affords an aerial view of the city and surrounding waterways. Popular sights in the downtown area include Sullivan's Guaranty Building, a 13-story skyscraper opened in 1896, and Darwin Martin House, a fine example of Wright's philosophy of "organic architecture" done in the Prairie style.

Architectural walking tours are offered by the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historical Site from April to October by reservation. The site, a Greek Revival structure that originally served as an Army officers' headquarters, contains late Victorian furniture and artifacts; in its library Roosevelt took the oath of office after the assassination of President William McKinley. The building is located on Delaware Street, Buffalo's famous promenade of mansions, most of which now house religious and charitable institutions.

The Buffalo Main Lighthouse, located on Black Rock Canal at the mouth of the Buffalo River, was built in 1818 and deactivated in 1914. The structure is open to the public and is located near Veterans Park Museum. The Peace Bridge to Fort Erie, Ontario, offers visitors a chance to celebrate this nation's unity with Canada.

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, open year-round, display a large collection of exotic plants in 12 greenhouses. Displays include a shrub garden, Gardens Under Glass, and the Arboretum. The Buffalo Zoo is the third oldest in the nation, and it started humbly as a deer park. The facility is committed to educational and conservation efforts; emphasis is placed on natural habitats for the animals housed at the zoo. The zoo is a participant in captive breeding programs with certain endangered species, such as clouded leopards and Puerto Rican crested toads. Special programming is coordinated throughout the year, and the zoo houses a dining experience called "The Beastro."

Visitors to Buffalo might consider the half-hour scenic car trip north to Niagara Falls, about which missionary Father Louis Hennepin wrote in 1678: "The Universe does not afford its Parallel." The falls are commonly thought to be one waterfall, but there are three distinct sections: American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Canadian or Horseshoe Falls. Water plummets at the rate of 150,000 gallons per second off the 176-foot drop. Just 20 minutes east of Niagara Falls is the Lockport Cave and Underground Boat Ride, which operates a 70-minute guided tour of the hidden history of the Erie Canal. A return side trip might also include a visit to Fantasy Island, located between Buffalo and Niagara Falls and featuring rides, shows, and a water park.

Arts and Culture

Buffalo's rejuvenated Theatre District houses some of the finest facilities in the country, offering performances to suit a wide variety of tastes. The ornate Shea's Performing Arts Center, home of the Greater Buffalo Opera Company, presents Broadway shows, concerts, ballet, and opera from October to May. The renowned Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra performs at the acoustically acclaimed Kleinhans Music Hall, designed by Eliel Saarinen, and at various other sites throughout the year. Studio Arena Theatre presents seven plays during its September to May season. Pfeifer Theatre, home of the University at Buffalo theater and dance department, stages classical, modern, and experimental plays. Buffalo State College houses the Promise Theatre Company, where the cast performs in musicals that have a Christian underpinning. The nonprofit Shakespeare in Delaware Park program stages free productions of the bard's works in Delaware Park from June to mid-August. Theatre of Youth (TOY) presents a full season of child-oriented performances at the Pfeifer and other area theaters.

The Theatre District is also home to the Alleyway Theatre, an intimate facility that focuses on new and original plays and is located in the rear of a police precinct station. Other theaters in the city include Upstage New York, the Buffalo Ensemble Theatre, the Irish Classical Theatre Company, the Jewish Repertory Theatre of Western New York, the Kavinoky Theatre at D'Youville College, Pandora's Box Theatre (primarily female cast), Kaleidoscope Theatre Productions, and the Ujima Theatre Company which focuses on works by African American and Third World playwrights. The Paul Robeson Theatre company performs at the African American Cultural Center on Masten Avenue. Buffalo's only professional musical theatre troupe, the MusicalFare Theatre Company, stages its performances on the Daemon College Campus in nearby Amherst.

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, housed in a 1905 Greek Revival building separated from a modern addition by a sculpture garden, maintains a notable collection of nineteenth and twentieth century American paintings. The works of watercolorist Charles E. Burchfield and other western New York State artists are displayed at the BurchfieldPenney Art Center at Buffalo State College; the gallery presents an annual juried display of crafts by artists from across the country. The Anderson Gallery at the University at Buffalo features a large collection of contemporary paintings, sculpture, and graphics. The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, located in the only building remaining from the Pan-American Exposition of 1901, contains an extensive display of western New York artifacts. The Buffalo Museum of Science features a children's discovery room and the Tifft Nature Preserve environmental education center. Other museums of note include the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Servicemen's Park museum, the Cofeld Judaic Museum of Temple Beth Zion, the Mark Twain Musuem, and the Buffalo Fire Historical Museum. The Buffalo region is also home to unique institutions such as the Original American Kazoo Museum (in Eden, New York), the Daredevil Museum (in Niagara Falls), the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum (in Tonawanda, New York), and Q-R-S Music Rolls, Inc., said to be the world's largest and oldest manufacturer of paper rolls for player pianos.

Festivals and Holidays

A variety of festivals and special events are celebrated throughout the year in the Buffalo area. St. Patrick's day in March is celebrated by a parade said to be the largest of its kind west of New York City. May is time for the Annual Buffalo Hellenic Festival, honoring the traditions, music, and cuisine of the Greeks. In June the Allentown Village is the scene of an outdoor art show displaying works by artists and craftspeople from across the country; and Martin Luther King, Jr., Park celebrates the freeing of the slaves in 1865 at its Juneteenth Festival, which features a basketball shoot-out, a parade, storytelling, and an Underground Railroad tour. Also in June, the city of Buffalo rocks with the annual Guitar Festival, with local, regional, and national musicians on display at different stages in the festival area.

In Buffalo, the July 4th holiday is observed with the Friendship Festival, planned with Fort Erie, Ontario. The date is significant for both Canada and the U.S.Canada was formed on July 1st, and the U.S. achieved its independence on July 4th, and together the two North American countries have enjoyed 200 years of peaceful relations. The Taste of Buffalo in mid-July is a celebration of local eateries and food specialties that lasts two days and regularly sees 400,000 people savoring the eats, entertainment, and music. The Italian Heritage and Food Festival follows in mid-July; the four-day event is one of the largest Italian street fairs in the nation and spotlights the arts, crafts, music, and culinary delights of the area's Italian community. Various other ethnic festivals are scheduled throughout the year in the Buffalo area, including Dingus Day (Polish) and the Buffalo Karibana International Parade and Festival (Caribbean). August brings the Erie County Fair and Exposition, one of the oldest and largest county fairs in the country. Each August, a Teddy Bear Picnic is held at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site. Opening night for the Theatre District is marked by Curtain Up!, a black-tie event encompassing outdoor theater performances, dining, and dancing.

Fall in Buffalo signifies the National Buffalo Wing Festival in early September. The home of the buffalo wing celebrates with recipe contests, a 5K "Running of the Chickens" race, cooking demonstrations, and a "Bobbing for Wings" contest. The festival also sponsors the U.S. Chicken Wing Eating Championship semifinals. From late November to early January, Niagara Falls is the scene of the Festival of Lights, showcasing holiday decorations, animated displays, and other entertainment. First Night Buffalo, a family-friendly celebration of the arts, rings in the new year.

Sports for the Spectator

Buffalonians are sports enthusiasts, with six professional teams and one on the way. The Buffalo Bisons play in the Triple-A International League and are an affiliate of the Major League Cleveland Indians. Minor league ball is a great place to preview the major league's future stars, as well as a chance to see some of the majors taking a break. The Bisons play baseball from April to October at Dunn Tire Park. Since 1969, the Buffalo Sabres have been scoring goals and fighting opponents in National Hockey League action. The team has employed such hockey greats as Gil-bert Perreault, Dave Andreychuk, and goalie Dominik Hasek. The Sabres play their home games at the HSBC Arena during an October to April season. The 73,967-seat Ralph Wilson Stadium is home to the National Football League's Buffalo Bills, whose season extends from August to December. The Buffalo Bandits Lacrosse team plays in the National Lacrosse League from January through April, with home games at the HSBC Arena. The arena is also the home field for the Buffalo Destroyers arena football team, playing in the Arena Football League. In 2005, Buffalo started recruiting for its American Basketball Association expansion team, the Buffalo Rapids, with play expected to start in the 2005-2006 season.

Canisius College competes in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, with varsity teams in men's and women's basketball, cross-country, track, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, and diving; many other colleges and universities in the area support athletes in a variety of intercollegiate sports. The University at Buffalo boasts top-rated new athletic facilities for amateur competitions including track and field venues, and a natatorium. Buffalo State University competes in NCAA Division III play in 8 men's and 11 women's sports; Medaille College and D'Youville College also play in Division III of the NCAA.

Racing of various types is popular in the Buffalo area. Harness racing fans are entertained at Fairgrounds Gaming and Raceway in Hamburg, while auto racing is presented at Lancaster Motorsports Park (drag racing) and Holland Speedway (NASCAR).

Sports for the Participant

The New York State Canalway Trail System extends for 240 miles of multi-use recreation access, with the primary sections following the path of historic and present-day canals. The 100-mile Erie Canal Heritage Trail runs from Tonawanda to Newark in western New York, and is excellent for biking or hiking in warmer weather. All sections of the trail are open for cross-country skiing in the winter, while snowmobiling and horseback riding are allowed on some designated sections of the trail. A longer bike trip along the entire trail system is possible thanks to campsites along the route.

Held annually in late May, Buffalo Marathon participants can choose from a full marathon, half-marathon, marathon relay, or the children's mini-marathon. The course is advertised as flat, fast, and scenic. The Corporate Challenge road race draws thousands of corporate teams and individuals to run the 5K event and then party with their corporate colleagues.

Buffalo's park system, covering about 1,500 acres, affords ample space for sporting enthusiasts, offering opportunities to engage in tennis, horseback riding, camping, and sledding. Delaware Park is the largest and is home to the Buffalo Zoo; overall the city park system operates 3 ice rinks, 10 outdoor pools, 2 indoor pools, 10 recreation centers, and numerous ball fields of all varieties. Three city golf courses are available for play: Delaware Park, a par 65 course with 18 holes; Cazenovia Park, a par 35 course with 9 holes; and South Park, another par 35, 9-hole course. Other notable golf courses in the region include Glen Oak in East Amherst and the Legends of the Niagara course in Chippawa, Ontario.

A number of ski areas are located within a 90-mile radius of the city. Groomed trails are available at most resorts, and several offer cross-country and snowshoeing trails. Tubing and sledding are also great fun in the winter, and all that's needed is a simple sled and a slope. In warmer weather conditions, boaters, swimmers, and fishing fans enjoy the many lakes and rivers in the area. Lake cruises are available aboard the Miss Buffalo and Niagara Clipper Cruise ships.

Shopping and Dining

Buffalo provides a wide variety of downtown, neighborhood, and suburban factory outlet shopping experiences. In downtown Buffalo, the Main Place Mall boasts a pedestrian mall lined with department stores, specialty, and clothing shops, while Elmwood Avenue in the university district features funky small shops, bookstores, and cafes. Broadway Market is a traditional European-style market that has served the Buffalo community for more than 111 years; it offers ethnic delicacies such as kielbasa, fresh ground horse-radish, bratwurst, and pierogi. The Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga contains more than 200 stores, including national chains and regional favorites, and deep discount shopping can be experienced at the 150 name-brand stores of the Prime Outlet center in Niagara Falls. East Aurora has preserved its historical flavor even when it comes to shopping on its Main Street, with art galleries, antique dealers, an ice cream shop, and an old-fashioned five-and-dime store. Buffalo's Allentown neighborhood is also good hunting ground for the antique seeker.

Buffalo boasts hundreds of restaurants with cuisines ranging from continental to ethnic, served in casual or high style according to the eater's preference. Chinese food eateries lead the way, with more than 20 restaurants listed for the area. Establishments featuring Italian, Mexican, and steaks and chops are also popular and remind the diner of the eclectic groups that together built Buffalo. Local specialties include Buffalo chicken wings served with celery sticks and blue-cheese dip, and "beef on weck," a roast beef sandwich served on a Kummelweck roll with horseradish. Pizza in Buffalo is described as a cross between the thin, foldable New York-style pizza and the deep-dish variety favored in Chicago. Buffalo's proximity to lakes and rivers makes seafood a popular item on restaurant menus; Friday fish fries are enjoyed at locales ranging from restaurants to neighborhood pubs. About 14 coffeehouses are located in Buffalo, serving up sophisticated European brews and plain old java.

Visitor Information: Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau, 617 Main Street, Suite 200, Buffalo, NY 14203-1496; toll-free (888)228-3369

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Buffalo: Education and Research

Buffalo: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Buffalo operates one of the premier public school systems in New York State; it is noted for its successful model magnet school system developed in 1976 to attract students with special interests, which include science, bilingual studies, and Native American studies. Specialized facilities include the Buffalo Elementary School of Technology; the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Multicultural Institute; the International School; the Dr. Charles R. Drew Science Magnet School; Build Academy; the Buffalo Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts; the City Honors School; the Riverside Institute of Technology; and the Emerson School of Hospitality. Students of the public school system consistently produce high SAT scores, and the overall drop-out rate is significantly lower than that of the New York State public school average.

Buffalo Public Schools has begun to tap into its valuable university, college, and community college resources with partnership programs through which college students mentor K-12 students, provide tutoring in subjects such as math, support female K-12 students in getting and staying involved in the sciences, and much more.

In the 2002-2003 school year, five schools were closed as a cost-saving measure, addressing the declining population and enrollment in the district.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Buffalo public schools as of the 2003-2004 school year.

Total enrollment: 38,000

Number of facilities

elementary/middle schools: 50

senior high schools: 18

Student/teacher ratio: 13:1

Teacher salaries

minimum: $32,000

maximum: $60,000

Funding per pupil: $10,572 (2003)

In addition, about 70 private elementary and high schools are located in the city, including the Buffalo Seminary, a college preparatory school for girls and western New York's oldest private high school. The Nichols School is noted for its outstanding coeducational, non-denominational college preparatory program. The Academy of Theatre Arts prepares young actors between the ages of 8 through 18 for the rigors of stage, television and film performance, and production.

Public Schools Information: Buffalo Public Schools, 713 City Hall, Buffalo, NY 14202; telephone (716)851-3500.

Colleges and Universities

More than 20 public and private colleges and universities in Buffalo and its environs offer programs in technical and vocational training, graduate, and professional studies. The University at Buffalo is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system of public institutions of higher education and is the largest public research university in the state. Millard Fillmore, who later became president of the U.S., was the first chancellor at the school, which has graduated its share of Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, journalists, and filmmakers. The university started as a medical college and it has retained its health-oriented academic focusdegrees in dental medicine, medicine and biomedical sciences, public health, nursing, and bioinformatics are available, as are concentrations in education and the arts. Buffalo State College, also in the SUNY network of schools, enrolls more than 11,000 students per year and is renowned for its programs linking the liberal arts with professional training. It also is one of only five schools in the country offering graduate programs in the preservation of neglected or aging works of art. Its "Buffalo State Works at Night" program places special emphasis on non-traditional students returning to school.

The city branch of the Erie Community College is located in downtown Buffalo and is also part of the SUNY system. The school offers associate's degrees in 58 programs and certifications in 7 areas of study; credits can also be transferred to 4-year institutions.

Other academic institutions in the Buffalo area include Canisius College (independent with a Jesuit heritage), Villa Maria College (Catholic two-year), D'Youville College (in-dependent four-year institution), Trocaire College (two-year community college), and Medaille College (private four-year institution).

Libraries and Research Centers

Libraries have been important to Buffalonians since the city's early days, when the first library was established in 1836. In the middle of the twentieth century, the Erie County Library system merged with the City of Buffalo Public Library, becoming the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, an impressive library network that ranks as the country's seventh largest. The library system contains 2,335,013 books, 79,316 audio items, 30,835 video materials, and about 15,970 serial subscriptions. Erie County residents are served by a central library in downtown Buffalo and another 52 facilities scattered throughout the county municipalities; a bookmobile program fills in the gaps. The Rare Book Room, established in the 1940s following a theft of valuable books, is open by appointment only; it contains more than 8,000 volumes on Americana, the manuscript of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, and more than 2,000 volumes of American literary works, including first editions of Henry James, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and others. The library also specializes in resources for the business and academic communities, offering more than 65,000 books on business and related subjects.

The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society maintains a 20,000-volume collection of works on Erie County and U.S. history, including the manuscript collection of Millard Fillmore. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery's Art Reference Library contains 31,000 books on modern art. Buffalo is one of seven U.S. cities to house a Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum. The museum's comprehensive collection is the largest of its kind in the world. College, medical, law, and corporate libraries proliferate throughout the city.

A major research center in Buffalo is the University at Buffalo, which maintains more than 75 research facilities, including the Microarray and Genomics Core Facility, the Salivary Research Center, and the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis. University of Buffalo's Center for Computational Research is considered one of the leading high-performance computing sites in the world. Perhaps the university's most ambitious research effort to date is the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences. The $200 million center was completed in 2002; located on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, the initiative was designed to centralize life sciences expertise in a concerted effort to study and intervene in human disease while also stimulating the economy by forging partnerships between the university and industry. Roswell Park Cancer Institute, one of the world's oldest cancer research facilities, operates in close cooperation with the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and is considered one of the top oncology research and treatment facilities in the country. The Roswell center's work focuses on the areas of immunology, cancer prevention, cancer genetics, cellular stress biology, and pharmacology and therapeutics.

Buffalo State University operates a fleet of research ships and an on-shore laboratory as part of its Great Lakes Center for Environmental Research and Education. Among the major defense- or industry-related research facilities in the area is the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory. Major companies such as duPont and Paper Allied Industrial Chemical also conduct research in Buffalo.

Public Library Information: Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, One Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY 14203; telephone (716)858-8900

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Buffalo: History

Buffalo: History

Erie's Earliest Beginnings

Lake Erie was the first Great Lake to form during the retreat of the Wisconsin glacier at the close of the last ice age approximately 15,000 years ago. As the ice gradually melted, it formed lakes within its boundaries and eventually left rock moraines that acted as natural dams in the creation of the Great Lakes system. The glacier scoured and smoothed the land as it left what would become the U.S. and created channels here and there where water would flow out of the lake to carve rivers such as the Niagara. It wasn't a completely barren landscapemammoth bones have been unearthed in western New York state, dating to the last period of glaciation. About 3,000 years after the glaciers vacated the area, early man moved in to the neighborhood. Called Folsom Man due to the arrowheads used in hunting, they were a nomadic Stone Age people and were eventually replaced by a series of primitive native peoples, the fore-bears of the Iroquois.

The Iroquois settled in western New York and began to develop sophisticated systems of community and architecture. These early inhabitants of Buffalo were peace-loving, matriarchal hunters and farmers who would settle in an area temporarily, farm the soil until it needed a rest, then move on to a new location. Other native tribes in the region included the Hurons, the Eries, and the Neutral-Wenro; from time to time, there were conflicts among the groups. Ultimately, though, the Iroquois were as almost as well-known for building coalitions as they were for their most famous member, Hiawatha.

The first European settler in the region of present-day Buffalo was a French trader who established a short-lived settlement in 1758 in a territory inhabited by the Iroquois tribe. At the conclusion of the French and Indian War, Great Britain took control of the entire area. In 1790 the Holland Land Company purchased four tracts of land in western New York and sent surveyor Joseph Ellicott there in 1803 to draw up a plan for a city on Lake Erie and the Niagara River, which he called New Amsterdam. Residents of the area did not approve of this choice of name, preferring the name Buffalo. One legend has it that Buffalo was a mispronunciation of the French beau fleuve (beautiful river), possibly referring to the nearby Niagara River.

The Price of Freedom

In the late 1700s and early 1800s, settlers in the New England area and beyond were becoming uncomfortable with British rule for a number of reasons. The U.K. wasn't allowing U.S. ships to trade with France; they were pressing American seamen to serve in their war; the settlers in the U.S. were desirous of more territory; and, possibly of most concern to residents of early Buffalo, it was feared that the British in Canada would incite Native American violence against people living in what was then the frontier. On the east coast, there were additional concerns regarding increasingly oppressive taxation, and the United States decided it had had enoughwar was declared against Britain. During the War of 1812, the British burned every building in Buffalo with the exception of a jail, a blacksmith shop, and one residence, but the town was quickly rebuilt by an undaunted citizenry. In the 1820s Buffalo was chosen as the western terminus of the Erie Canal, connecting the Great Lakes to the Hudson River and ultimately to the Atlantic Ocean, thereby opening the West to trade. By 1825 Buffalo was a major port. The city's commercial importance was increased during the Civil War of the 1860s when alternate transportation routes to the West were needed. New York State and Buffalo were part of the union, contributing materials, money, and men to the war effort. Buffalo itself became a terminus on the Underground Railroad system, hiding escaped slaves and aiding their relocation to Canada before, during, and after the war between the states.

In the mid- and late-1800s, Buffalo was becoming a heavy manufacturing center as Joseph Hibbard began building steam engines there and Joseph Dart invented the steam-powered grain elevator. The city developed into one of the largest grain storage and processing centers in the world, a distinction it still holds, attracting immigrants from throughout Europe and growing from a population of 10,000 people in 1831 to 352,000 people in 1900. The harnessing of hydroelectric power from the Niagara Falls in the early 1900s brought electricity-consuming industries to the area, including the iron and steel industries, which until the 1980s made up the city's major industrial sectors, together with the transportation-equipment manufacturers who still fill that role.

Buffalo in the Twentieth Century

The Pan-American Exposition of 1901, held in Buffalo to celebrate a century of progress in the Western Hemisphere, contributed to the city's growth as well as to its notoriety. After delivering the opening speech at the exposition on September 6, 1901, U.S. President William McKinley was shot, dying eight days later. Immediately Vice President Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office in Buffalo, assuming the presidency.

In 1927, the Peace Bridge opened, creating an international link between Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ontario. The associated celebration hosted luminaries such as British royalty (including a couple of future kings), a prime minister or two, the U.S. Vice President, and the Governor of the State of New York. Unfortunately, things soon took a downhill turnafter World War II, when automation began to replace heavy industrial employment and companies began to move out of the area, Buffalo suffered a severe population loss. The next big economic blow was the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1957, allowing for goods to be transported by a series of locks and canals to the St. Lawrence River and completely bypassing Buffalo. Industries began to shut down and only about 50 percent of the population at its peak was left as many fled the Rust Belt for better economic and atmospheric climes.

Buffalo Today

Efforts have been underway since the 1970s to stem the population loss and to attract new industries that will in turn attract workers who will come to Buffalo and stay. Stabilizing the tax base has been a primary mission of Buffalo city and New York state government for nearly 60 years. Progress on urban renewal began slowly, with the Buffalo Economic Renaissance Corporation leading the way. In the 1990s, Buffalo initiated a massive rebuilding of the downtown business district that enhanced historical structures, increased office space, and improved amenities. Unfortunately the terrorist attacks felt nationwide in the new century took a toll.

The repercussions of the tragedies of September 11, 2001, still are felt today in Buffalo. Aside from the city's compassion for the pain of New York City dwellers, the effects of the Patriot Act and other legislation linked to homeland security have both tightened up the U.S.-Canada border for trade purposes and have discouraged Canadian students from attending college in the nearby Buffalo region, regardless of the reputation of the local research programs.

The city is striving to level the Sun Belt and suburban flight out by creating a new niche in life science research, which utilizes much of the wisdom of the city's industrial past while keeping an eye to the future. A low cost of living, innovative employment opportunities, and the beauties of Lake Erie and Niagara Fallswill continue to keep Buffalo buoyant.

Historical Information: Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, 25 Nottingham Court, Buffalo, NY 14216; telephone (716)873-9644

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Buffalo

BUFFALO

BUFFALO. The city of Buffalo, New York, lies at the northeast end of Lake Erie where it flows into the Niagara River, and then into Lake Ontario. Because of its strategic position, Buffalo became a shipping and transportation hub in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Buffalo was established in 1804 as part of the speculative land development of the American West. In the War of 1812, it was seized and burned by British forces from Canada. Buffalo, as a gateway to the Great Lakes, was selected as the western terminus of the Erie Canal when it was constructed in the 1820s. With the opening of the canal in 1827, Buffalo became the storage and transshipment center for the flow of grains and raw material out of the American Midwest, and for the flow of manufactured goods into that burgeoning region.

By 1840, Buffalo's population had grown to 18,000, making it the largest city west of the Appalachians. The railroads arrived in the 1840s, enhancing Buffalo's role as a transportation center and gateway to the Midwest. By the mid-nineteenth century, the need for iron and steel for both ship construction and the railroads prompted the beginnings of heavy industry at Buffalo.

The combination of Lake Superior iron ore from the Mesabi Range in Minnesota and proximate coking coal from Pennsylvania, both cheaply moved by lake steamers, made Buffalo an ideal location for steel foundries and fabricators. By 1900, Buffalo was the second largest producer of steel in the country. With strong shipping, commercial, and industrial activity, Buffalo's financial and service sectors also expanded. This strong economic growth attracted waves of immigrants both from the American countryside and from Europe. These workers became increasingly militant, creating a strong union movement.

The twentieth century opened with bright prospects for further expansion of the heavily industrialized Buffalo, particularly with the opening of automobile factories and related industry. Indeed, the period during the two World Wars saw strong employment and prosperity in the city. But the Great Depression of the 1930s showed the fragility of industrial concentration, and the city of Buffalo defaulted on its debts and went bankrupt. Further, the rise of national corporations took local control away from Buffalo. Finally, with the opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in 1959, ships were able to move directly from the Midwest to the Atlantic Ocean, and Buffalo's commercial and shipping activities contracted sharply. The attendant economic difficulties and labor unrest precipitated the flight of manufacturers, which further aggravated the decline of the Buffalo economy.

Buffalo's urban problems and "white flight" led to population declines from 530,000 in 1950 to barely 300,000 in the 1990s. New York State attempted to ease the city's social and economic difficulties by funding public work projects and rebuilding the State University of New York at Buffalo. At the end of the twentieth century, Buffalo—as part of the Great Lakes Rust Belt—continued to struggle with the decline of manufacturing urban centers throughout the American Midwest.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Brown, Richard Carl. Buffalo, Lake City in Niagara Land: An Illustrated History. Woodland Hills, Calif.: Windsor, 1981.

Goldman, Mark. High Hopes: The Rise and Decline of Buffalo, New York. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1983.

———. City on the Lake: The Challenge of Change in Buffalo, New York. Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus, 1990.

Larned, Josephus Nelson. A History of Buffalo, Delineating the Evolution of the City. New York: Progress of the Empire State Company, 1911.

MichaelCarew

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Buffalo: Communications

Buffalo: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

The Buffalo News is the city's major daily newspaper, published "all day" Monday through Friday and on weekends in the morning. The Buffalo Criterion, an African American community newspaper, along with several papers featuring business, lifestyle, community, religious, or ethnically-oriented topics, are published weekly. The State University of New York at Buffalo publishes a student-run paper, The Reporter, in print on a biweekly basis and online weekly. The Alt Press operates as an independent source for local, national, and international news, with a bit of a left bent; the paper is published in paper and online formats.

A number of magazines and special interest journals are published in Buffalo, including Gun Week, The Buffalo Law Journal, and Free Inquiry, a philosophical journal.

Television and Radio

Buffalo is home to television broadcasting stations affiliated with all the major networks as well as PBS, UPN, FOX, and the WB. A local independent broadcaster operates out of Buffalo, and the city has a cable company, satellite service providers, and pay-per-view companies. The city is home to a number of local radio stations, including four AM stations that focus on sports and talk radio and eight FM broadcasters with formats including jazz, urban and adult contemporary, National Public Radio, R & B, alternative, and classic rock. Radio stations reflecting a variety of cultures and religions also broadcast in or near the area. Buffalo receives radio transmissions from Canadian radio and television stations as well; the city's proximity to Toronto has encouraged greater access to international programming such as the BBC.

Media Information: The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, Box 100, Buffalo, NY 14240; telephone (716)849-3434; toll-free (800)777-8640

Buffalo Online

Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. Available www.bechs.org

Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. Available www.buffalolib.org

The Buffalo News. Available www.buffalonews.com

Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau. Available www.buffalocvb.org

Buffalo Public Schools. Available www.buffaloschools.org

City of Buffalo Home Page. Available www.ci.buffalo.ny.us

Erie County Government. Available www.erie.gov

"Everything Buffalo." Available www.buffalo.com

Health care information. Available www.infobuffalo.com

Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum. Available www.karpeles.com

Selected Bibliography

Devoy, John, A History of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, Including a Concise Account of the Aboriginal Inhabitants of This Region; the First White Explorers and Missionaries; the Pioneers and Their Successors (Buffalo, N.Y., The Times, 1896)

Gerber, David A., The Making of an American Pluralism: Buffalo, New York, 1825-60 (Urbana, IL, University of Illinois Press, 1989)

Goldman, Mark, High Hopes: The Rise and Decline of Buffalo, New York (Albany, N.Y., State University of New York Press, 1983)

Immigration to New York (Philadelphia, PA, Balch Institute Press; London, UK, Associated University Presses, 1991)

Siggelkow, Richard A., Dissent and Disruption: A University Under Siege (Buffalo, N.Y., Prometheus Books, 1991)

Snow, Dean R., The Iroquois (Oxford, UK; Cambridge, MA, Blackwell, 1994)

Williams, Lillian Serece, Strangers in the Land of Paradise: The Creation of an African American Community, Buffalo, New York (Bloomington, IL, Indiana University Press, 1999)

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Buffalo: Health Care

Buffalo: Health Care

Nationally known as a center for medical care, research, and preventive medicine programs, metro Buffalo is home to nearly a dozen hospitals. Buffalo General Hospital, one of eight teaching hospitals affiliated with the University of Buffalo, is licensed for 511 beds and, in addition to its acute care function, has been established as a major multi-organ transplant center. Buffalo General's specialties include gastroenterology, urology, cardiac rehabilitation, and dialysis. Roswell Park Cancer Institute has been designated a comprehensive center by the National Cancer Institute; its patients may participate in clinical research on new therapies. The institute recently completed work on its new Center for Genetics and Pharmacology, continuing Roswell Park's position on the cutting edge of cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment.

The Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo offers services that include obstetrics and gynecology, the country's first intensive care nursery, and care of children with disabilities. The hospital is licensed for 160 juvenile patients and 60 adult maternity patients. Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital's branches in Buffalo and Williamsville support a western New York State Hand Center and a Sleep Disorder Center; its Dent Neurology Center conducts ongoing research on beta interferon treatment for multiple sclerosis. The Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), which is licensed for 550 inpatient beds, has an outstanding trauma center and staffs a 156-bed skilled nursing home in the facility. ECMC is the primary teaching hospital for the University at Buffalo medical school. Mercy Hospital of Buffalo is renowned for its intensive care unit; medical services such as diagnostic imaging, cardiac rehabilitation, obstetrics, and general surgery are supported by an ethic of spiritual care along with physical care. Its sister hospital, Sisters of Charity, has a cancer care specialty and is also home to the Wildermuth Reproductive Treatment Center.

Military veterans can access the services of the VA Western New York Healthcare System at Buffalo, providing a 167-bed inpatient medical center. Surgery, cardiology, long-term care services, and comprehensive cancer care are all accessible. Inpatient substance abuse treatment is available at Brylin Hospital, and the Buffalo Psychiatric Center offers inpatient, residential, and outpatient treatment of adults diagnosed with serious mental illnesses.

A number of walk-in acute care and general medical clinics operate in Buffalo, along with a healthy supply of generalist and specialized private practitioners. Those seeking alternative health care have access to acupuncturists, massage therapists, and hypnotherapists.

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Buffalo: Transportation

Buffalo: Transportation

Approaching the City

The Buffalo Niagara International Airport, 10 minutes northeast of the downtown area, runs more than 100 flights daily. The airport has service from major airlines such as Continental, Delta, United, Jet Blue, and Southwest. A total of 14 airlines operate out of its expanded $56 million terminal, serving more than 3 million passengers annually.

Northeast Buffalo is connected to points east by Interstate 90, which connects with Interstate 290 going south along Buffalo's eastern boundary. Northwest Buffalo is accessible via Interstate 190, which passes through the city's west side, cuts across town and connects with Interstate 90. The city can be approached from the south via a network of highways connecting with Interstate 90. The city is connected to Canada by the Peace Bridge and the Queen Elizabeth Highway (QEW).

Passenger rail service is provided by Amtrak; the city is also served by the Niagara Frontier Transit Authority bus and light rail system throughout Erie and Niagara counties. National bus service includes Greyhound, and regional bus travel can be arranged via New York Trailways.

Traveling in the City

The city's street design, based on the plan for Washington D.C., consists of broad streets branching off from the downtown area in a radial pattern. Some of the primary spokes that intersect in downtown include Cherry Street, Elmwood Avenue, the New York State Throughway, Fourth Street, and William Street. A pedestrian mall, from which many of the city's attractions are easily accessible, runs from the northern part of the city to the Naval Park in the south. A modern rail line, with 14 stations that are embellished with a million dollars' worth of art work, traverses this area and offers free rides to all attractions in the downtown area. Bus service throughout Erie County is provided by Niagara Frontier Transport Authority; buses also travel to and from Niagara Falls. Light rail service is free for passage above ground, and there is a charge for subway travel. A specialized ParaTransit program offers curb-to-curb service for riders who are unable to board the NFTA vehicles. Traffic jams are said to be rare in Buffalo, and one can reach suburban destinations from downtown in 20 minutes or less. More bike paths are being developed all the time, particularly in the vicinity of the colleges and universities in the downtown area.

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Buffalo (city, United States)

Buffalo, city (1990 pop. 328,123), seat of Erie co., W N.Y., on Lake Erie and the Niagara and Buffalo rivers; inc. 1832. With more than 37 mi (60 km) of waterfront, it is a major commercial and industrial port and railroad hub. Buffalo is a diversified manufacturing and financial center, with a large health-care industry.

In 1803 a village was laid out on the site by Joseph Ellicott for the Holland Land Company. Almost destroyed by fire (1813) in the War of 1812, it recovered slowly until the opening (1825) of the Erie Canal, after which it became a major Great Lakes port. The city developed as a flour-milling center and later thrived on steel milling, automobile and locomotive manufacturing, and other heavy industries. These all fell into decline, however, and by the 1980s Buffalo had lost its traditional economic base. The area has since benefited from the free trade agreement (1988) between the United States and Canada, attracting Canadian investment in real estate and manufacturing, but the city's population has continued the decline that began after World War II. By 2003 the decline led to a city financial crisis, and the state established an oversight authority to restore the city to fiscal health.

Buffalo's educational institutions include the State Univ. of New York (the city's largest employer), with campuses at Buffalo and suburban Amherst; Canisius College; and D'Youville College. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Buffalo Museum of Science are well known. Notable buildings include the city hall (1932) and the Guaranty Building (1895–96; formerly the Prudential Building), designed by Louis Sullivan. Buffalo has a music hall and a philharmonic orchestra and a noted park system created by F. L. Olmsted. The city is home to the National Hockey League's Sabres, and the National Football League's Buffalo Bills play in nearby Orchard Park. The Peace Bridge (1927) connects Buffalo with Fort Erie, Ont.

Grover Cleveland became mayor of Buffalo in 1882. Here in 1901, at the Pan-American Exposition, President McKinley was assassinated; Theodore Roosevelt took the presidential oath in Buffalo. The McKinley monument and the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site (see National Parks and Monuments (table)) commemorate the two events. Millard Fillmore's home was in Buffalo.

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Buffalo: Population Profile

Buffalo: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents (MSA)

1980: 1,243,000

1990: 1,189,340

2000: 1,170,111

Percent change, 1990-2000: -1.6%

U.S. rank in 1990: 33rd

U.S. rank in 2000: 42nd

City Residents

1980: 357,870

1990: 328,175

2000: 292,648

2004 estimate: 282,864

Percent change, 1990-2000: -10.8%

U.S. rank in 1980: 39th

U.S. rank in 1990: 50th (State rank: 2nd)

U.S. rank in 2000: 69th (State rank: 2nd)

Density: 7,205.8 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 159,300

Black or African American: 108,951

American Indian and Alaskan Native: 2,250

Asian: 4,093

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 120

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 22,076

Other: 10,755

Percent of residents born in state: 77.4% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 20,768

Population 5 to 9 years old: 22,773

Population 10 to 14 years old: 21,466

Population 15 to 19 years old: 20,948

Population 20 to 24 years old: 24,031

Population 25 to 34 years old: 42,150

Population 35 to 44 years old: 43,741

Population 45 to 54 years old: 35,097

Population 55 to 59 years old: 11,976

Population 60 to 64 years old: 10,371

Population 65 to 74 years old: 19,803

Population 75 to 84 years old: 14,516

Population 85 years and over: 5,008

Median age: 33.6

Births (2002, Erie County)

Total number: 10,667

Deaths (2002, Erie County)

Total number: 10,010 (of which, 87 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $14,991

Median household income: $24,536

Total households: 122,720

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 26,041

$10,000 to $14,999: 13,848

$15,000 to $24,999: 22,274

$25,000 to $34,999: 17,005

$35,000 to $49,999: 17,022

$50,000 to $74,999: 15,090

$75,000 to $99,999: 6,319

$100,000 to $149,999: 3,314

$150,000 to $199,999: 729

$200,000 or more: 1,030

Percent of families below poverty level: 23% (35% of which were female householder families with children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 19,017

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Buffalo: Convention Facilities

Buffalo: Convention Facilities

Buffalo's principal meeting facility is the Buffalo Convention Center, located downtown within easy reach of the Theatre District, shopping, restaurants, and lodging. The center features an Exhibit Hall with 64,410 square feet of space that can accommodate up to 366 booths, or which can be set up to seat 7,000 people. The Ballroom on the Marquee Level can seat 1,000 people. The center offers catering on-site and fully equipped to handle any audio-visual need. Approximately 1,250 rooms downtown and a total of more than 6,500 rooms in the greater Buffalo metropolitan area are available for conventioneers in need of rest. Just 15 minutes west of the city is the International Agri-Center in Hamburg, a 75,000 square foot facility that can accommodate conventions, exhibitions, trade shows, and other events. The exhibit space is approximately 50,000 square feet with a ceiling height of 35 feet, with space for about 250 booths. Loading docks, audio-visual capabilities, catering, and staging round out the offerings. About 20 miles east of Buffalo, in Clarence, is the Western New York Event Centre; billing itself as being closer to the western New York State population base than any other convention facility, the center provides 45,000 square feet of exhibition space that can accommodate more than 250 booths. The facility adds four smaller meeting rooms to the mix. More than a dozen major hotels in the metropolitan area maintain facilities for large and small groups.

Convention Information: Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau, 617 Main Street, Suite 200, Buffalo, NY 14203-1496; toll-free (888)228-3369

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Buffalo

Buffalo

Buffalo: Introduction
Buffalo: Geography and Climate
Buffalo: History
Buffalo: Population Profile
Buffalo: Municipal Government
Buffalo: Economy
Buffalo: Education and Research
Buffalo: Health Care
Buffalo: Recreation
Buffalo: Convention Facilities
Buffalo: Transportation
Buffalo: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1803 (incorporated 1832)

Head Official: Mayor Anthony M. Masiello (D) (since 1994)

City Population

1980: 357,870

1990: 328,175

2000: 292,648

2004 estimate: 282,864

Percent change, 1990-2000: -10.8 %

U.S. rank in 1980: 39th

U.S. rank in 1990: 50th (State rank: 2nd)

U.S. rank in 2000: 69th (State rank: 2nd)

Metropolitan Area Population

1980: 1,243,000

1990: 1,189,340

2000: 1,170,111

Percent change, 1990-2000: -1.6 %

U.S. rank in 1990: 33rd

U.S. rank in 2000: 42nd

Area: 52.51 square miles total (2000)

Elevation: 599 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 47.7° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 38.5 inches of rain; 93.3 inches of snow

Major Economic Sectors: Healthcare services, transportation, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, tourism, research

Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (April 2005)

Per Capita Income: $14,991 (1999)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 19,017

Major Colleges and Universities: University of Buffalo; Buffalo State College; Erie Community College

Daily Newspaper: The Buffalo News

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Buffalo: Introduction

Buffalo: Introduction

Buffalo is the second largest city in New York State and its largest inland port. Nicknamed by Millard Fillmore as "The Queen City of the Lakes," the city derives vitality from its waterways. Buffalo is located at the eastern end of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River; the lake has made the city one of the nation's leading inland ports, while the hydroelectric power supplied by Niagara Falls has attracted a diverse array of industries. Buffalo characterizes itself as the City of Good Neighbors and is a cosmopolitan municipality with strong ethnic loyalties and a record of good inter-group relationships. Its stalwart citizens, who twice rebuilt the city when it was destroyed by fire, have succeeded in creating an international lakefront city rich in culture and notable for its architecture and many beautiful parks. In 2002, the National Civic League again named Buffalo an "All-America City," designating it as one of the ten best communities in the country in which to live. In recent years, Buffalo has struggled against a declining population and a poor public perceptionbut the city that rebuilt after two major fires continues to look forward to its future.

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Buffalo: Municipal Government

Buffalo: Municipal Government

Buffalo, the seat of Erie County, operates under the mayor-council form of government. All nine members of the common council are elected by the individual Buffalo districts that they represent, and the mayor is elected by the general citizenry to serve a four-year term in office. The council president serves a two-year term, as do the other council members. Elections occur in odd-numbered years, with office being assumed the following January. The mayor is the head of the executive branch of the government, while the council tends to participate primarily on the legislative end of the spectrum.

The city has embarked on an aggressive campaign to cut Buffalo's deficit, including cutting the number of city employees by almost 40 percent.

Head Official: Mayor Anthony M. Masiello (D) (since 1994; current term expires 2006)

Total Number of City Employees: 2,587 (2005)

City Information: Buffalo City Hall, 201 City Hall, 65 Niagara Square, Buffalo, NY 14202; telephone (716)851-4200

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Buffalo: Geography and Climate

Buffalo: Geography and Climate

Buffalo is situated on level or gently rolling terrain at the eastern end of Lake Erie at the head of the Niagara River and at the terminus of the Erie Canal.

Buffalo has a reputation for severe winters, which is slightly exaggerated. The effect of below-freezing winds gusting across the warmer lake water produces lake effect snow in amounts higher than most northern states. The lake effect also produces a somewhat longer winter season, but additionally contributes to frequent thaws. The same winds over Lake Erie create cool breezes in summer, which arrives suddenly in mid-June.

Area: 52.51 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 599 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 24.2° F; July, 70.7° F; annual average, 47.7° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 38.5 inches of rain; 93.3 inches of snow

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Buffalo

Buffalo Industrial city and port on the e shore of Lake Erie, nw New York, USA. It was first settled in 1803 by the Holland Land Company. Its rapid industrial growth was encouraged by its position at the w terminus of the Erie Canal (opened 1825). President William McKinley was assassinated at the Pan-American Exposition held here in 1901. It is home to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and has two universities. Industries: flour milling, motor vehicles, chemicals, railway engineering. Pop. (2000) 292,648.

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