Ellicott Square Building - Table of Contents

EXTERIOR - Ellicott Square Building
295 Main St., Buffalo, New York

Erected:
1896
(One year total)
Architect:
D. H. Burnham & Co,
Charles Atwood, principal architect
Style: Italian Renaissance Revival   ... Beaux Arts Classical
Exterior materials:
Pressed brick and terra cotta. Painted gray in 1971
Status:
Contributing building in the Joseph Ellicott Local Historic District

In 1895, the Ellicott Company commissioned architect Daniel H. Burnham of Chicago to design what they referred to as an "office block" in downtown Buflo. The result was a building occupying the entire space between Main, South Division, Washington, and Swan Streets. Its 10 stories, 60 offices, and 40 stores, along with its central court, made it one of the world's largest office structure of its time, at a cost of 3.5 million dollars. It was on May 30, 1896, only one year following its inception, that the Ellicott Square Building -- perhaps the largest, finest, and most complete office building in America -- took its place as a finished structure in the front rank of the notable features of the city of Buffalo.

Like Burnham and Root's Rookery in Chicago, it is constructed around a large interior court. The elaborate terra-cotta exterior, now painted gray, which in its essential lines follows Richardson's Marshall Field Wholesale Store in Chicago, was conceived by Charles B. Atwood (1849 - 1895), the designer-in-chief of the World's Columbian Exposition and master of "all artistic matters" in the Chicago-based firm of D. H. Burnham and Company.

The architecture of Ellicott Square may be termed "Italian Renaissance," with refined and classic ornamental features. To the top of the second story, the outer walls consist of granite, iron, and terra-cotta , with a veneer of pearl-gray brick and terra cotta trimmings above -- the whole being adequately crowned with a cornice of massive proportions and great beauty (removed in the 1970s). The effect was to reproduce the quiet dignity, repose, and impressive grandeur of the great palaces of Rome and Florence.


Sources:
  • "Ellicott Square: Celebrating 100 years of Excellence and Commitment to Buffalo 1896-1996" brochure
  • "Buffalo Architecture: A Guide." Cambridge: MIT Press, 1981
  • Classic Buffalo: A Heritage of Distinguished Architecture, by Richard O. Reisem
  •  Encyclopaedia Britannica: Charles B. Atwood (online December 2019)


Joseph Ellicott


......
Daniel H. Burnham   ...    Photo source: Chicago History Museum   ...   Charles B. Atwood, principal designer of the Ellicott Square Building, the designer-in-chief of the World's Columbian Exposition










Postcard    ...    Note cornice on top of building



10 stories tall


South elevation   ...  At left: Fidelity Trust Bank/NYS Dept. of Labor




Cornice, 9th, 10th stories    ...    Cornice removed in 1971 and partially restored    ...    Corrugated steel was added in 1971



Top: Terra cotta figures ... Anthemia feature Medusa superimposed on a palmette ... Egg-and-dart molding below:



Medusa



10th story     ...    Below the cornice:  Egg-and-dart molding  ...  Bead-and-reel molding  ...  Dentils and bellflowers  ...   Putti flanking crowned cartouche and laurel leaf wreath   ...   Grotesque with pendant bellflowers below



10th story    ...      Egg-and-dart molding  ... Bead-and-reel molding ...  Dentil molding  and bellflowers  .. Grotesques with pendant bellflowers below ... Laurel leaf  band course



10th story    ...    Grotesque with pendant bellflower  ... Side panels with leaf-and-dart molding



9th story    ...    Laurel leaf  band course    ...   Ancone-shaped keystone in center of the arch decorated with Egg-and-dart molding
and rosettes




7th story    ...    Dentil molding ... Quoins ... Vermiculated ancone keystone ... Pendant bellflower



6th story    ...    Greek key molding  ...  Dentil molding ...  Vermiculated bands on  pilasters ... Vitruvian wave molding



6th story    ...    Vermiculated band   ...    Vitruvian wave molding  features bellflowers   ...   Dentil molding



2nd story    ...    Egg-and-dart molding   ...   Quoins



1st story    ...    Cast iron and glass ...  Detail of south elevation where the Statler Restaurant was located in the Ellicott Square Building   ... Three details below:


1st story detail #1 - Cast iron and glass ... Guilloche molding ...  Bead-and-reel molding



1st story
detail #2 - Cast iron and glass



1st story detail #3 - Guilloche molding ...  Bead-and-reel molding   ...   Acanthus leaf above dentils





Entrance Surround


Entrance surround   ...    Terra cotta ornamentation painted gray in the 1970s    ...    Details below, from the top:


Entrance surround    ...    American eagle is a finial in a broken pediment    ...    Flanking pilasters with putto  capital     ...  Two details below:


Entrance surround    ...  Detail #1 -   Terra cotta ornamentation:  Eagle   ...  Anthemion    ...     Lion head     ...    Laurel leaf garland



Entrance surround    ...   
Detail #2 -   Acanthus leaves (top)    ...   Egg-and-dart   ...   Laurel leaves   ...   Leaf-and-dart  ...   Volutes   ...    Putto








Entrance surround    ...    Banded columns    ...   Details below:


Entrance surround    ...     Frieze: Paterae ... Triglyphs and drops 



Entrance surround    ...     Leaf-and-dart ... Putti and egg-and-dart ...  Laurel leaves ... Flutes



Entrance surround    ...     Banded columnC scrolls ... Bellflowers



Entrance surround    ...   
  Classical figure keystone



Entrance surround    ...  
Classical figure keystone



Entrance surround    ...    Classical figure keystone ...  Flutes



Entrance surround    ...  
   Banded columns ...   Cast iron lamppost  




Entrance surround    ...   
Cast iron lamppost:  Torches ... Grotesque ... Ribbons ... Festoon



Entrance surround    ...   Nike   ...    "Nike alone was winged. She also appears carrying a palm branch, wreath, or Hermes staff as the messenger of victory."- Encyclopaedia Britannica (online March 2018)



Entrance surround    ...   Anthemia on globe     ...    Guilloche on fanlight



Entrance surround    ...   Hermes / Mercury



Entrance surround    ...   
Bead-and-reel






Photos and their arrangement 2021  Chuck LaChiusa
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