25 Niagara Square
Current Name: 25 Niagara Square
Former Name: Townsend Hall
Former Name: Women's Educational and Industrial Union
Location: Downtown, Lost Buildings
The original Townsend Hall was located at 25 Niagara Square (where the City Court Building stands today) in the City of Buffalo. The building was donated to the University's infant College of Arts and Sciences program by the Women's Educational and Industrial Union of Buffalo in 1915, provided that the University raised $100,000 towards a future endowment. On February 22, 1916, Grace Millard Knox donated $250,000 in memory of her late husband, Seymour H. Knox. This was more than enough to assure the future of the growing institution.
The conditions of the gift also required that the building be named "Townsend Hall" and that "if said premises be sold by the University of Buffalo, this name shall be perpetuated by the University." In 1922 the College of Arts and Sciences moved to Foster Hall on the University's new campus on Main Street and Townsend Hall on Niagara Square became the home of UB's Millard Fillmore College and the School of Social Work.
In 1954, after the building on Niagara Square was vacated by the University, the Townsend name was transferred to the Biology Building on the Main Street Campus.
Townsend Hall was named for Harriet A. Townsend (1839-1916) who founded the Women's Educational and Industrial Union of Buffalo in 1884. The organization was dedicated to promoting "the material, moral and intellectual welfare of the women of our city," and did so with lectures, classes and vocational training at the original Townsend Hall on Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo.
- 1892 -- Construction of the building at 25 Niagara Square began
- 1894 -- Construction of the building at 25 Niagara Square was completed
- 1916 -- With the generous donation of $250,000 from Grace Knox, UB was able to meet the conditions of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union's donation of the building at 25 Niagara Square. Soon after, the building became the home of UB's College of Arts and Sciences.
- 1922 -- (January 5) A two-alarm fire broke out in Townsend Hall when high winds caused sparks from a chimney to land on the building's tower. The resultant blaze caused $25,000 damage.
- 1922 -- The College of Arts and Sciences moves to the newly completed Foster Hall on UB's campus. Townsend Hall became the home of the Millard Fillmore College
- 1936 -- The School of Social Work becomes a separate division of UB, headquartered in Townsend Hall
- 1954 -- (December) UB vacated Townsend Hall and transferred the name to the current Townsend Hall on UB's South Campus.