A HISTORIC PART OF BUFFALO’S HERITAGE
Built In 1895 By James Brisbane And James Mooney, The Brisbane Building Was Central To Some Of The Greatest Years In The City’s History.
Traditionally, it has been the home of lawyers and others who profit from its proximity to the courts, City Hall, Erie County offices, bank offices and other important functions. It was the long time home of the Kleinhans Company. Also, Brisbane was one of Woolworth’s first stores, the success of which was a fundamental building block for the philanthropy and civic involvement of Buffalo’s Knox family, the original owners of the Buffalo Sabres. Many tenancies have spanned generations. Stanley Hunt, Hunt Real Estate’s founder in 1911, ran his business there continuously for 47 years, until buying the nearby Hurst Building in 1960.
But the Building fell precipitously into disrepair as the City’s fortunes became more strained. In 1986, when the Building was purchased by Stanley’s son, C. Stuart Hunt, it was in desperate need of wholesale renovation, along with the shoring up of vacancies, among them its anchor, the Kleinhan’s Company. Stuart, Linda, Rick, and Joni administered this expensive and difficult renovation over several years until now, with virtually all new suites, mechanicals, windows, roof, and lobby, the Brisbane has been transformed into a new property. As a tribute to Stuart for his advocacy for downtown generally and his renovation of the Brisbane, Washington Street between Clinton and Eagle Streets is now “Stuart Hunt Way”.
Brisbane and the Future
As part of Brisbane’s continuous capital improvement efforts, there was uncovered in the Spring, 2010, the original Main Street façade. Between 2008 and 2010 there have been exciting renovation efforts in the immediate Washington Street neighborhood.
Jake Schneider has transformed a former warehouse at the northwest corner of Ellicott and Eagle Streets into modern loft apartments. In April, 2010, Rocco Termini completed his renovation of the former AM&As warehouse at the northeast corner of Washington and Eagle into another beautiful, fully leased loft apartment building. Mr. Termini closed on the purchase of the Lafayette Hotel at the southeast corner of Washington and Clinton in June, 2010 began its rehabilitation to modern apartments, a boutique hotel, and retail-restaurant space. This bustling area around the Brisbane has again become a Buffalo focal point.