The Buffalo History Museum was founded in 1862 by a group of visionary history makers. Originally known as the Buffalo Historical Society, the organization quickly established itself as a prominent institution dedicated to preserving and sharing the rich heritage of the region.
Over the years, the museum experienced significant growth, necessitating a move to its current location on a sprawling campus composed of three buildings. Designed by renowned Buffalo architect George Cary, the New York State Building (which had served as the hostess for the 1901 Pan American Exposition) was transformed into the permanent home for local history. This marked an important milestone in the museum’s evolution, as its mission expanded and the focus shifted toward the creation of engaging exhibitions that showcased the extensive collection.
The museum’s catalog now boasts an impressive assortment of artifacts, including handwritten business ledgers, pioneering industrial innovations, cherished photographs of neighborhoods, and meticulously preserved soldiers’ footlockers. These treasures vividly depict various aspects of Western New York’s history, ranging from the profound impact of westward expansion and industrialization to the stories of resilient immigrants and the region’s significant contributions to transportation, politics, and social progress. In essence, the museum’s collections proudly mirror the broader narrative of our nation.
In 2012, on the occasion of its 150th Anniversary, the institution underwent a rebranding, officially becoming known as The Buffalo History Museum. This change not only signaled its commitment to preserving the past but also its dedication to fostering a vibrant future for the community.
Today, The Buffalo History Museum stands as a custodian of nearly half a million artifacts, each with its own story to tell. By sharing these stories, the museum plays a vital role in showcasing the rich tapestry of Western New York’s heritage and captivating the attention of a global audience.
Locations: 1 Museum Ct, Buffalo, NY 14216