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With the Buffalo Athletic Club Sale, History Takes a Hit

Postcard bac

As a Buffalo Athletic Club member, Buzz has a particular concern -- our only concern, actually -- regarding the club's sale to L.A. Fitness.

We are worried for the downtown location.

The BAC at 69 Delaware has an august history. Buzz's uncles have told us what it was like decades ago when it was an actual club. Gentlemen stored their clothes there and drank and dined -- and, yes, smoked -- in its dining rooms. Buffalo native Leonard Pennario, the internationally renowned concert pianist, used to ascend the club's marble steps when he was in town and go there. All kinds of important men did. It is one of the last surviving venerable Delaware Avenue clubs.

Even in recent years, the downtown Buffalo Athletic Club had a kind of exalted nature that lingered in spite of the crummy music and the cheap membership specials. You could walk on a treadmill and listen in as judges and lawyers discussed their cases. Buzz has rubbed elbows with all kinds of interesting and influential people including Judge Penny Wolfgang, Judge Curtin (he was in our Pilates class a few years ago), community activist Samuel Herbert and the artist and attorney LeRoi Johnson. 

There is also that beautiful pool, left over from more luxurious years.

This is the kind of brand that even bone-headed marketing has not been able to kill. It will be a shame to see this club lose its name and forfeit its history. It is a loss to the town.

Oh well. It seems something at the BAC has turned upside down.

The dumbbells are now in charge!



Fitness | History
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