Buffalo Orphan Asylum (1908-1911) 1500 Elmwood Avenue

McKinley Vocational School - formerly Buffalo Orphan Asylum. Photograph 1930. (Scroll left and right)

Here Esenwein & Johnson applied the factory aesthetic to a public institution. These buildings featured exposed concrete frames, flat roofs, and multi-pane windows largely devoid of ornamentation, presaging Modernism. This design was built instead of Esenwein & Johnson's original Tudor conception. The complex, which stood across Elmwood Avenue from the Historical Society, was sold to the city in 1922 for use as the McKinley Vocational School. The original buildings were demolished in 1966 and replaced by the present structure.


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