What Stood Where Kleinhans Music Hall Is Today? A Mansion, Of Course! [BUFFALO: THEN AND NOW]
I love how old-school venues like Kleinhans Music Hall are: the big brass doors, the decor, the fancy feel of the whole place. I’m a fan of dingy little clubs, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve seen some awesome shows at Kleinhans.
I’ve never given much thought to what used to be where the venue now stands; honestly, it’s one of those buildings I just sort of assumed had been there basically forever. Turns out I was wrong.
The land on Symphony Circle — known simply as The Circle before it was renamed in 1958 — used to hold a greenhouse and some smaller homes, until Truman Avery bought it in the 1890s to build the giant mansion you see above.
But then local men’s store owner Edward Kleinhans passed away in 1934 and left $1 million to build a music hall in memory of his wife Mary Seaton Kleinhans and mother Mary Livingston Kleinhans. Designs were submitted, architects were chosen, and in 1938, construction began where the Avery Mansion had stood (the Avery estate’s heirs offered the land to the City of Buffalo for the project).
Kleinhans Music Hall opened in October 1940. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989.