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Map Collection

First Ward


Buffalo River Grain Elevator

This Buffalo neighborhood centers on South Park Avenue. The I-90 Thruway runs along the northern side, and the Buffalo River forms the southern boundary of this industrial district.

The First Ward is bordered by Downtown and the East Side. Many streets take their names from states, such as Tennessee St., Kentucky St., Mississippi St., and Illinois St.


Perry St. (N); Smith St. (E);Buffalo River (S); Illinois St (W).

Neighborhood Association

Valley Community Association, 93 Leddy Street

Community Center

Old First Ward Community Center
62 Republic Street

Read more about the neighborhood: Old First Ward Community

Medical Care

Mercy Health Center

Until the 1960s, Buffalo was first in the world for grain refining. Now aging elevators await their fate.

The Old First Ward was settled in the nineteenth century by Irish immigrants who worked in the local coal and lumber yards, and most notably the grain elevators along the Buffalo River. Small houses line streets with such names as Alabama, Louisiana, and Ohio.

The Irish-American population went to St. Bridget's Roman Catholic Church and school on the corner of Fulton and Louisiana Streets. After St. Bridget's was demolished, the neighborhood's spiritual center became Our Lady of Perpetual Help on O'Connell Avenue.

Today the neighborhood is in transition as its ethnic population diversifies.

Religious Institutions

  • Saint Stephens Roman Catholic Church
  • Saint Claire Roman Catholic Church
  • Saint Valentines School
  • Saint Francis School
  • Catholic Charities of Buffalo
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church

Night Life

  • Adolph Bar
  • The Swannie
  • Cooks Bar
  • Mc Carthy’s Restaurant
  • Morrisey Irish Pub
  • Malamute Tavern

Photographs with "4" in lower right by David Freundschuh and Olivia Christman, who also supplied portions of the text.

If you have more to share on this neighborhood, please contact us.