17 Court St.
Event Hours: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Last Admittance: 3:30pm
Filming and photography permitted; Tripod prohibited
Handicap accessible: Yes, first floor
Public restrooms: No
Visitor Experience: The first floor lobby will be accessible for visitors where a photograph of the building as it appeared in 1929 will be displayed.
Building Description: The former Buffalo Industrial Bank is an Art Deco gem dating from 1929. Designed by Buffalo’s own Bley and Lyman, the building is clad in limestone and features several large window bays – bathing the upper floors in natural sunlight – particularly on the Pearl Street facade. Note the exuberant decoration on the spandrels: the horizontal panels between windows. On Court Street, surmounting three massive, recessed bays, is a dynamic frieze with both ancient and modern details celebrating history and technological advancement that is typical of Art Deco design. The central figure with arms outstretched and head in profile, appears to be Egyptianesque: note the stylized sun motif behind her head. At the far left, a man representing agriculture, holds a shovel and a pair of oxen. Next to him, a figure wields a mallet and a mechanical cog or gear wheel indicating the Industrial Revolution – this was Industrial Bank after all! A mother, or teacher, is seen supporting a small child in one hand while resting her other hand on a stack of books. On the right side of the frieze is a kneeling figure sporting a winged helmet: the Greek messenger God, Hermes, who also fittingly ruled over wealth and fortune, is shown next to the bow of an ocean liner with a huge plume of smoke rising from the smokestack. His right arm hovers directly over a locomotive. With his left hand, Hermes offers a small airplane to the woman standing next to him. Finally, we see symbols of electricity and chemistry, both emblematic of human advancement in the modern age that Art Deco exalts. Moving inside, delightful Art Deco details of geometric flourishes and stylized plant motifs can be found throughout the lobby.