November 30, 1939 -- Sometimes big projects in Western New York take a long time to go from conception to result. Or, to put it another way, have you gone over the new signature Peace Bridge lately?
Not too many people can give a first-hand judgment as to whether the area had the same reputation in 1939, but there was a signal on this date that Buffalo was headed toward the sporting map. The cornerstone for Memorial Auditorium was placed in the ground around the end of Main Street.
The city was one of the biggest in the country, but it didn't have a facility to host large events. New York had Madison Square Garden, Boston had the Boston Garden, Chicago had the Chicago Stadium ... and Buffalo had the Broadway Auditorium.The federal government was helping to fund such projects in order to jump-start the economy in an effort to push the nation out of the depression. The $2.7 million project qualified.
Once the cornerstone was in the right spot at the foot of Main Street, the construction crews went right to work. The spiffy new facility that could seat more than 10,000 people was open for business in less than a year.
Maybe they were the Good Old Days.
--- Budd Bailey