With over 100 companies and growing, Tri-Main Center is cultivating Buffalo's creative community.  

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VOL. 18, Issue 5                                                                  August 2018
                                  A NEIGHBORHOOD HISTORY                    

The neighborhood that Tri-Main Center calls home has a rich and fascinating past, and future. Known as Fillmore-Leroy, the area has known famous architects, visionary businessmen and many cultures. The neighborhood continues to change and develop and looking back on where it was helps to define the future.

Tri-Main Center sits between the Masten District on the east side of Main Street and Parkside on the west. While Main Street acts as a barrier between these two neighborhoods, that was not always the case. Residents from both sides of Main Street remember shopping along Fillmore Avenue, attending church at Blessed Trinity RC on Leroy and sledding at Delaware Park.

Masten District

The neighborhoods comprising the Masten District were developed between 1885 and 1915. The houses were built primarily for higher-income workers. During the first half of the 20th century, primarily U.S. Germans, Polish, Canadians, Italians, Russians, along with a handful of African Americans, populated the area. The first immigrants to settle in Buffalo came from Germany. By 1855, nearly half of the 74,000 people living Buffalo were foreign born and nearly half of them (31,000) were German.

Central Park

Lewis J. Bennett bought land in Buffalo for a limestone source, needed to establish a cement factory. Starting in 1875 he acquired land on the east and west sides of Main Street. In 1877 he established the Buffalo Cement Company, operating a quarry and manufacturing stone and cement. Ten years later, he planned a residential subdivision on the company's lands with his son, Leslie Jay Bennett, and William Pierce, a co-owner of Buffalo Cement. They decided to call the area Central Park because of its geographic location near Delaware Park.

Central Park was in close proximity to the Beltline Railroad and a station was built in Central Park (at Starin and Amherst). Known as the Central Park Station, it was owned by Buffalo Cement and leased by New York Central Railroad and Hudson River Railroad.

On the east side of Main Street, the blue outline depicts the boundaries of the former Buffalo Cement Company.  A portion of the quarry still exists along East Amherst Street, adjacent to McCarthy Park.

The location was strategic due to its location along the Beltline Railroad.  In the age when the general population relied on public transportation, Central Park was one of Buffalo’s first suburbs.  The Beltline formed a belt around Buffalo and operated for approximately 30 years, impacting much of Buffalo’s industry and residential neighborhood development.


In the early 1800's, the Parkside area was known as Flint Hill. It was the site of an army encampment in 1812 and hundreds of soldiers are buried in the present meadow of Delaware Park. When the City of Buffalo was incorporated in 1835, this area north of the former village became known as Buffalo Plains.
The community’s urban design was influenced by the garden city movement. The neighborhood environment was filled with trees, green space, and fresh air, despite the heavy concentration of industrial lands and railroads in the Delavan-Grider and Fillmore-Leroy neighborhoods. Beginning in 1869, Frederick Law Olmsted designed a park system for the City of Buffalo, which included the construction of Delaware Park. In 1876, Olmsted laid out the Parkside neighborhood as a residential buffer or transition between the jewel of his park system and the City. He mapped out gently curving streets, none leading directly toward the city, to encourage leisurely travel. Maturing trees joining boughs over the streets would quiet the neighborhood.
The Community 
Businesses and organizations thrived in this area. Some left or closed but some have remained. Iconic buildings have been repurposed and have new life.  

On the west side of Main Street:

At the height of Parkside’s affluence, in 1904, Architects Green and Wicks designed the Highland Masonic Lodge on Main Street near Jewett Parkway. Many of the prominent Parkside residents were members, including Darwin Martin, of the Darwin Martin House. The building still stands across from Tri-Main Center and People’s Park.

In 1911, Central Presbyterian Church combined with the existing Park Presbyterian Church, creating one of the largest congregations east of New York City. The church stood at Jewett Parkway and Main Street until 2007 when it was sold to Mt. St Joseph’s Academy as a school, which closed. The building is now a charter school, Aloma Johnson.

And east of Main Street:

Koch Metal Spinning, continuing their business for almost 70 years at the corner of Halbert and Jewett, was started in 1939 on the West side of Buffalo. They moved into the 74 Jewett location in 1951 and bought the Ice House from Trico in 1987. 

Between 1929 - 1930, Pierce Arrow Motor Car Company moved the sales showroom for their luxury cars from downtown Buffalo to a new, state-of-the-art facility at Main and Jewett Parkway. The new Art Deco style building was near their target population, and it was just down the Beltline from their main production plant on Elmwood Avenue at Great Arrow. That building is now a Key Bank branch.

The Ford Motor Company opened a factory on Main Street, by the Beltline Railroad crossing, and began to crank out Model T automobiles in 1915. “FORD” is still visible on the chimney at the factory building, which later became an airplane plant, and is now Tri-Main Center. Today, the building houses 100 diverse businesses, including a number of artists’ studios.

Other treasures of the community that remain are Blessed Trinity Church on Leroy, Church of the Good Shepard on Jewett Parkway and 2171 Fillmore, originally the Liberty Bank Building designed by Wade & Dietel, the architects of Buffalo City Hall. 
Since Tri-Main Center opened in 1996, the neighborhood has seen many changes. The future is exciting as new residents, new energy and new initiatives develop. But the history and the evolution of this area remain through architecture, long time neighbors and institutions that endure.
45 Jewett Ave. offers unique urban space in a thriving campus and community. Abundant natural light, exposed brick, hardwood floors and views of the neighborhood and iconic Belt-line railroad make this a prime leasing opportunity for your business.  For leasing information call       835-3366 or click here
                     New entrance                                        New windows 
     View of the Belt-line tracks

Western New York Refugee Film Festival
4th Friday @ Buffalo Art Studio

(Suite #500) 5:00 – 8:00

Free admission to the gallery and gift shop on the fourth
Friday of the month. Opening receptions include artist talks
at 6:00 pm. Refreshments will include donation based wine
and beer as well as delicious offerings provided by Ashker’s. 

Opening July 27
                                                                                                                                                                             Lux by Muhammad Z. Zaman 

       and Interstitial Castings by Liz Lessner

Buffalo Arts Studio is proud to present a special summer 2018 project titled Connections. The project provides an opportunity to meaningfully link artists with communities to inform the creation of new work, with special emphasis placed on engaging underserved audiences. Connections is two intertwined exhibitions that work to bring us together to counter the differences that too often separate us. Muhammad Z. Zaman is a Buffalo-based, urban artist, specializing in calligraphy. His exhibition Lux uses language and text as cultural signifier, layering English, Bengali, and Arabic into richly-textured canvases. Liz Lessner's exhibition, Interstitial Castings, uses sculpture to capture the negative space between two people engaged in the intimate actions of teaching, caring, and sharing. Each object is a record of three interconnections: client, service provider, and artist.

Both of these artists aim to impact the community by spurring dialogue, spotlighting often overlooked segments of Buffalo’s population, and reframing conceptions of work, care, and community by presenting them in an innovative and joyful context.
                                  August 24

In partnership with Open Buffalo, 4th Friday will feature a panel discussion reflecting the current exhibit. 

                             September 28

An opening for Kurt Treeby and Jozef Bajus

The Journey's End Farm Stand will be in the lobby every Thursday from 1:00 - 4:00. They have freshly picked vegetables and flowers from their farm on Brewster Street. 
Flu Shot Clinic

Rite-Aid will offer a flu shot clinic in the lower lobby on September 12 from noon - 2:00. There will be a sign up the week of September 3 and those who are interested can sign up for an appointment during those hours. Appointments will be at 15 minute intervals. Most insurance plans cover the shots. Please bring your insurance card. If coverage is not provided, the cost in $39.99. 

           We welcome our newest tenants to the                Tri-Main Center community

Watergater, a Compression Capital Corp. is our new tenant in Suite # 443. __________________________
"This summer, Aspire of WNY Community Pre-Vocational Services is so grateful to have the opportunity to participate in Tri-Main's initiative to Go Green. They have given several hard-working individuals in our program the opportunity to gain occupational experience while simultaneously helping the environment. Every week the guys, dressed in their red shirt uniforms, help to beautify the area surrounding Tri-Main Center. They work side-by-side with their Employment Specialists, Erin and Joe, to get hands-on support. This unpaid work experience allows the class to learn the importance of workplace safety, productivity, time management, teamwork, focus, dexterity, coordination, and communication. Engaging in these cleaning experiences has broadened their horizons in ways they may not have been able to partake in otherwise. The guys have expressed they are learning a lot and enjoy helping their environment. We would like to thank Tri-Main for your continued support."
                The Aspire Interns have done a great job with extra clean-ups                                        around the building. They have cleaned up a mountain of                           
                cigarette butts - hopefully everyone will keep things looking                       
                as good as they do now! Thanks very much to the team and                     
                                                           Aspire of WNY!
Copyright © 2016 Tri-Main Development LLC, All rights reserved.
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Tri-Main Center · 2495 Main Street · Buffalo, NY 14214 · USA

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