BUFFALO, N.Y. - When it was built in the 1870s, Erie County Hall was known as City and County Hall and housed the offices of both.
For 36 years, it was the tallest building in Buffalo before it was eventually replaced by the Electric Tower. The land on which it sits - Franklin Square - was a cemetery for decades, mostly for those killed in the War of 1812.
When the "new" City Hall opened at Niagara Square in 1931 the county paid about $1.5 million to take ownership of the building and its grounds.
Atop the building's tower sit 4 statues. They represent Justice, Mechanical Arts, Agriculture, and Commerce.
Many political careers started inside the building, most notably Presidents Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland. Another former president is eternally associated with Old County Hall.
William McKinley was assassinated during the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo. On September 15, 1901 after a rainy procession through the city, his casket was brought to the building.
His successor, President Theodore Roosevelt, was among the first to pay respects. Almost 100,000 people walked by his casket. A plaque remains in the marble floor to mark the spot.
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