W.T. Grant Company

Main, Huron, Pearl Streets

architect: Alfred S. Alschuler and Raymond Loewy

owner: Grant’s

years built: 1939

demolished: 1980

The inspiration of industrial architecture is even more evident in this department store. The contrast with Green and Wicks’ Bank of 1900 and the General Electric Tower of August Esenwein and James A. Johnson displays the changed direction of American architecture. Light horizontal forms instead of solid vertical masses, smooth surfaces of fine materials, precision of outline and windows in continuous bands set this building apart as the only example of modern design in Buffalo.

Heavy mouldings around the side windows exaggerate the horizontality unnecessarily. The corner placing of the rear show window is an arbitrary display of the possibility of cantilevering. The great curving windows on the street floor at the front are handsome and effective. The interior in general compares favorably with the exterior.

W.T. Grant Co
W.T. Grant Co now

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