Record ID: 44

Site Name

Buffalo

Type

Inland Ports

Description

city ( 2000 pop. 292,648), (cap.) Erie co., W N.Y., on L. Erie and the Niagara and Buffalo rivers; 42�53'N 78�51'W. With over 37 miles of waterfront, it is an important port of entry and a commercial port (called Gateway Metroport). However, improvements in the St. Lawrence Seaway in the late 1950s, creation of a natl. system of superhighways (and subsequent rise of trucking), and improvements in the Welland Canal in the early 1990s have all contributed to a substantial decline in Buffalo�s port and break-in-bulk functions. A village laid out (1803) here by Joseph Ellicott for the Holland Land Co. was almost completely destroyed by fire (1813) in the War of 1812 and recovered slowly until the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. Transportation was a primary factor in the city�s growth, and Buffalo became a major Great Lakes port. The city developed as a major flour-milling center and thrived on heavy industry such as steel milling and automobile and locomotive mfg., as well as tanneries and breweries. However, these industries all fell into serious decline and by the 1980s, Buffalo had lost its traditional economic base.