C. W. Miller Livery Stable
75 West Huron St., Buffalo, NY

2014 photographs beneath text

Erected

1892-1894

Architect

Lansing & Beierl

Style

Romanesque Revival
Size:
100,000 sq.ft.

Status

National Register of Historic Places ....
Buffalo landmark
Significance:
Once considered once of the finest stables and horse storage facilities in the country.
Additional information:
Mixed-use Project Planned for historic C. W. Miller Livery Stable Buffalo Rising (online April 2014)

Nomination to the National Register of Historic Places by Francis R. Kowsky and Martin Wachadlo
Next door neighbor to the east:
Curtiss Building
C. W. Miller's home:
C. W. Miller House, 172 Summer St.

At the time of its construction, the Miller stable attracted national attention in the engineering press for its system of construction and the ample accommodations it provided for horses and the storage of carts, carriages, and sleighs. Charles W. Miller (1837-1921),  a prominent Buffalo businessman who had made his fortune in  urban horse transportation businesses  .... The local press hailed it as a "palace for horses" and claimed it was the finest stable in the United States. [p. 8]

By 1900, there were five horses for every eighteen people in Buffalo, a trend that mirrored a nationwide transportation phenomenon ... The parkways that Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux planned for Buffalo in 1868, which were arranged primarily with non-commercial carriages and horseback riders in mind, were the first in an American city and are still among the most notable examples in the United States.  [pp. 8-9]

But the discovery of a bed of quick sand many feet deep at the site presented [architect Williams] Lansing with unforeseen problems ... Rising to the challenge, Lansing overcame for his client the dilemma presented by the wet ground by resting the building on one thousand wooden pilings and by providing for a pumping system to remove the constant flow of water from an underground spring. [pp. 9-10]

Unfortunately, the stable quickly lost its usefulness as the automobile gained popularity. By the end of World War I, the Miller Livery was converted to a parking garage for cars and renamed the Huron Street Garage, and later the Hertz Garage. Eventually with downtown businesses fleeing to the suburbs, a multi-story parking ramp was no longer a viable use for the building. It has remained vacant since around 2000. 

- Waymarking.com (online April 2014)


Livery stable: a stable where horses and vehicles are kept for hire and where stabling is provided; called also livery barn.
"The facade features three major vehicle bays surrounded by cut sandstone walls, an arcade of pilasters and round arches, and an attic of rectangular windows. 
"Wood floors are suspended from steel trusses in the attic ...
"Ramps, modified in the 1920s, provide vehicular accesses between floors." - Nomination to the National Register of Historic Places



Sixth story ... Hay was stored on the sixth floor. ... Classical overhanging cornice with modillions and swags removed years ago


5th story features arches... Hoodmolds ... Voussoirs ... Brick Tuscan pilasters ... Brick spandrel panels ... The fourth floor was originally used for carriage storage and the fifth floor housed repair shops.   



First, second and third stories
The second and third floors originally housed stalls for approximately 250 horses. 






Molded window surround



Romanesque Revival window on first floor



Left bay, one of three vehicle entrances.
Beneath the sidewalk is a boiler, out of service, manufactured by the local firm of Farrar & Treffts.  Cf., a boiler by the same company in the Perot Malt house at Silo City.



"Wood floors are suspended from steel trusses in the attic ... Thus, the outer brick walls support only their own weight; they are not load bearing. This system had the advantage of producing a ground floor unobstructed by any interior supports" - p. 10, Nomination to the National Register of Historic Places


Note voussoirs and stone sill



Page by Chuck LaChiusa in 2014
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