Lafayette Square


1804: part of Ellicott’s original urban plan.

1810-1813: The square hosted the Niagara County Courthouse from 1810 until it was destroyed by the British Army during the Burning of Buffalo (war of 1812).

1818: The original Erie County court house was built facing the square park.

1821: Erie County was created  meaning Buffalo was no longer the county seat of Niagara County

1825: American Revolutionary War veteran and French General Lafayette visited the square during his historic tour of the United States and gave a speech in the square.

1831: the Holland Land Company gave the deed of the public park to the city.

1833: a jailhouse was added adjacent to the park in the rear of the courthouse and notable Daniel Webster spoke.

1841: Erie County Fairs was held in the square and behind the courthouse.

1842:Notable Henry Clay spoke.

1848: the Free Soil Party, which was absorbed into the Republican Party in 1854, held its national nominating convention in Buffalo. The party selected Martin Van Buren as their nominee.

1853: the city fenced in the square and installed a $30,000 ($789,360 in current dollar terms) fountain.

1861: President Elect, Abraham Lincoln spoke at the square.

1867: the trees that lined the square were removed.

1870s: Erie County Sheriff Grover Cleveland once personally hanged a criminal in the square.

1879: the name of the square was changed from Court House Park to Lafayette Square.

1882: Then-Mayor of Buffalo, Grover Cleveland, laid the cornerstone of Soldiers and Sailors monument in the center of the square.

1887: A Cyrus Eidlitz Buffalo Public Library building was erected on the Court House’s location.

1905: the iron fence that surrounded the square was no longer.

1963: The current Buffalo and Erie County Public Library building replaced Eidlitz’s building.

1986: was the kick-off year in which  Buffalo Place, Inc. has hosted a free concert series, called Thursday at the Square.

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