The Buffalo History Works' Erie Canal history site.
Photograph 66
Commercial Street - 1929

My apologies for not updating the photograph section in a while. I suddenly found myself fed up with Buffalo politics, lack of historic preservation, and ceaseless arguments about money for teachers, convention centers, and bridges over the Niagara River - I also had a strong desire to have my street plowed in the winter and heavy garbage picked up whenever I put something like that at the curb. End result? I moved out of the area. In short, I love Buffalo's history, it's the current conditions I can't stand. Like there's REALLY needs to be an argument about whether or not to uncover the old Commercial Slip and preserve it as an attraction for our so-called Waterfront Development. To me it's a no-brainer. It's our history. The Erie Canal ended at the Commercial Slip and millions of people entered Buffalo (and this country for that matter) by climbing out of canal boats and stepping onto Commercial Street.

Here is a view looking east up Commercial Street in 1929. The picture was actually taken from the bridge crossing the Commercial Slip and provides an excellent view of what people entering Buffalo for the first time would have seen. Of course, by 1929 almost all of the Erie Canal had been filled in. The Marine Trust Building can be seen in the back to the far right. By this period of the Canal District's history, most of the buildings had become tenements with living conditions for what was mostly Italian immigrants being deplorable.

For more history of Buffalo's Canal District as well as the Commercial Slip, visit