One of the most recognizable buildings in the Buffalo skyline, the Electric Tower was originally opened in 1912. It was designed in the Beaux Arts style by local architects Esenwien & Johnson and was patterned after the Tower of Light from the 1901 Pan American Exposition. This building’s historical significance however, runs much deeper than its architecture.
It’s most important historical influence was that of helping to sell the public on the uses and value of electricity. This building was built as a showcase to the public, a giant advertisement for electricity. It represents the widespread introduction of a new technology which in one quantum leap, forever changed the world in which we live in today. Electricity in the early 1900’s was the modern day revolutionary equivalent of the Internet, and just as we had to be convinced in the 1990’s about the potential of the Internet, the public had to be sold on the benefits and merits of electricity a century ago.
When Iskalo Development acquired the Electric Tower, the company knowingly took on the responsibility of restoring a highly recognizable building with a history that has mirrored that of the City of Buffalo. Built during Buffalo’s run as one of America’s largest and most progressive cities, the building, through a series of changes over the years, lost some of its original luster and had become functionally obsolete by today’s standards. After 18 months of planning and design and 15 months of construction, this historic property was now prepared to participate in downtown Buffalo’s renaissance.
The renovations were comprehensive and go beyond mere aesthetics. They started with the restoration and reconstruction of the two-story lobby space, and the build-out of tenant office suites.
Today, the building combines all of the modern Class A office space amenities desired by tenants, with a Central Business District address and the charm and character present only in a true landmark setting.
The Electric Tower also serves the community as the host of the annual New Year’s Eve ‘Ball Drop’ at the stroke of midnight which includes a fireworks extravaganza witnessed by tens of thousands Western New Yorkers each year.
Named “Building of the Year” by the Greater Buffalo Building Owners and Managers Association and recipient of the Brick By Brick award for “Best Historic Restoration,” the revitalization of the Electric Tower, as it did over 100 years ago, serves once again as a symbol of Buffalo’s renaissance and recognition as a truly great American city.