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Buffalo, New York

HistoryEdit Main article: History of Buffalo, New York Buffalo Street Map, 1892 Prior to the Iroquois occupation of the region, the region was settled by the Neutral Nation. Later, the Senecas of the Iroquois Confederacy conquered the Neutrals and their territory, c. 1651.[23] The city of Buffalo received its name from a nearby creek called Buffalo Creek.[24] CaptainJohn Montresor makes reference to 'Buffalo Creek' in his journal of 1764, which may be the earliest recorded reference using the current spelling of the name.[25] There are several theories regarding how Buffalo Creek received its name.[26][27][28] While it is possible that Buffalo Creek's name originated from French fur traders and Native Americans calling the creek Beau Fleuve (French for "Beautiful River"),[26][27] it is also possible that Buffalo Creek was named for the American bison, whose historical range may have extended intoWestern New York.[28][29] Buffalo Panorama 1911 In 1804, Joseph Ellicott, a principal agent of the Holland Land Company, designed a radial street and grid system that branches out from downtown like bicycle spokes.[30] Although Ellicott named the settlement "New Amsterdam", the name did not catch on.[31] Drawing of the Erie Canal system downtown, 1905 During the War of 1812, on December 30, 1813,[32][33] Buffalo was burned by British forces.[34] On October 26, 1825,[35] the Erie Canal was completed with Buffalo a port-of-call for settlers heading westward.[36] At the time, the population was about 2,400.[37] The Erie Canal brought a surge in population and commerce which led Buffalo to incorporate as a city in 1832.[38] Buffalo has long been home to African-Americans; an example is the 1828 village directory which listed 59 "names of coloured" heads of families.[39] In 1845, construction began on the Macedonia Baptist Church, commonly known as the Michigan Street Baptist Church.[40]This African-American church was an important meeting place for the abolitionist movement. On February 12, 1974, the church was added to the National Register of Historic Places.[39] Abolitionist leaders such as William Wells Brown made their home in Buffalo.[41] Buffalo was also a terminus point of the Underground Railroad[42] with many fugitives crossing the Niagara River from Buffalo to Fort Erie, Ontario in search of freedom. During the 1840s, Buffalo's port continued to develop. Both passenger and commercial traffic expanded with some 93,000 passengers heading west from the port of Buffalo.[43]Grain and commercial goods shipments led to repeated expansion of the harbor. In 1843, the world's first steam-powered grain elevator was constructed by local merchant Joseph Dart and engineer Robert Dunbar.[44] The "Dart Elevator" enabled faster unloading of lake freighters along with the transshipment of grain in bulk from lakers to canal boats and, later on, rail cars.[43] By 1850, the population was 81,000.[38] Abraham Lincoln visited Buffalo on February 16, 1861,[45] on his trip to accept the presidency of the United States. During his visit, he stayed at the American Hotel on Main Street between Eagle Street and Court Street.[46] In addition to sending many soldiers to the Union effort, Buffalo manufacturers supplied important war material. For example, the Niagara Steam Forge Works manufactured turret parts for the ironclad ship USSMonitor.[46] Between 1868 and 1896, building on Joseph Ellicott's spoke-and-hub urban blueprint and inspired by the parks and boulevards of Paris, France, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux laid out Buffalo's public parks and parkways system, one of Olmsted's largest works.[47][48] Grover Cleveland served as Sheriff of Erie County (1871–1873),[49] and was Mayor of Buffalo in 1882. He was later Governor of New York (1883–1885), 22nd President of the United States (1885–1889) and 24th President (1893–1897).[50] In May 1896, the Ellicott Square Building opened. For the next 16 years, it was the largest office building in the world. It was named after the surveyor Joseph Ellicott.[51][52] At the dawn of the 20th century, local mills were among the first to benefit fromhydroelectric power generated via the Niagara River. The city got the nickname City of Light at this time due to the widespread electric lighting.[22] It was also part of the automobile revolution, hosting the brass era car builders Pierce Arrow and the Seven Little Buffaloes early in the century.[53] City of Light (1999) was the title of Buffalo native Lauren Belfer's historical novel set in 1901.[54] Niagara Square c. 1912 President William McKinley was shot and mortally wounded at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo on September 6, 1901.[55] He died in the city eight days later[56] andTheodore Roosevelt was sworn in at the Wilcox Mansion as the 26th President of the United States.[56] An international bridge, known as the Peace Bridge, linking Buffalo to Fort Erie, Ontario, was opened on August 7, 1927,[57] The Buffalo Central Terminal, a 17-story Art Deco style station designed by architects Fellheimer & Wagner for the New York Central Railroad, opened in 1929.[58] During World War II, Buffalo saw a period of prosperity and low unemployment due to its position as a manufacturing center.[59][60] The American Car and Foundry company, which manufactured railcars, reopened their Buffalo plant in 1940 to manufacture munitions during the war years.[61] Pan-American Exposition – EthnologyBuilding at Night With the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1957, which cut the city off from valuable trade routes; deindustrialization; and the nationwide trend of suburbanization; the city's economy began to deteriorate.[62][63] Like much of the Rust Belt, Buffalo, home to more than half a million people in the 1950s, has seen its population decline as heavy industries shut down and people left for the suburbs or other cities.[62][63][64] Like other rust belt cities such as Pittsburgh, Buffalo has attempted to revitalize its beleaguered economy and crumbling infrastructure. In the first decade of the 21st century, a massive increase in economic development spending has attempted to reverse its dwindling prosperity. $4 billion was spent in 2007 compared to a $50 million average for the previous ten years.[65] As of 2012, the population has continued to decrease, despite the efforts of city officials.[66] In the early 2010s, new project proposals and renovations to historic buildings started to emerge, especially in the downtown core. Entrepreneurs, such as Buffalo Sabres ownerTerrence Pegula, have helped with larger scale projects such as HarborCenter a mixed-used complex near the Erie Canal Harbor. Other Buffalo-area developers have helped revitalize and repurpose abandoned buildings within the city, such as the Larkin Squareproject, and projects similar to this continue.[67]

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