Imagine coming home to your towering, opulent mansion where, inside, a lavish Art Deco party is being held in your honor. Only the most sophisticated guests are invited and the only things brighter than the ladies’ diamonds are the bubbling glasses of champagne. While not everyone can live such a splendid life, Buffalonians still have a taste of luxury on Millionaires ‘ Row located on historic Delaware Avenue, one of the city’s most prominent and important roadways.
During the 1860s, successful commercial bankers and industrial traders flocked to Buffalo to earn their fortunes. With the surge of house-hunting millionaires arriving in Buffalo, large mansions on Delaware Avenue were constructed to provide them a comfortable living space.
With the turn of the 19th century, Delaware Avenue became one of the most prestigious streets to live on in all of Buffalo. The majority of the city’s 60 millionaires lived on the street until the end of World War II. In fact, at one point in history, Buffalo had more millionaires per capita than any other city in the United States. Most people in Buffalo can tell you a wild tale about someone famous attending a soiree on Delaware, some stories revolve around a lavish indoor pool that could be found in one of the mansions. You can read more about Delaware Avenue ‘s rich and famous residents in an article that appeared in The Buffalo News last October.
Changing times caused many millionaires to vacate their houses of grandeur, which led to some being demolished but many are now home to businesses and non-profits that are proud of their building ‘s history. While some of the glitz and glamour may have faded from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Buffalo’s Millionaires ‘ Row is a strong reminder of our city’s history that some may not know even existed.