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E.M. Hager & Sons’ Planing Mill

E.M. Hager & Sons' Planing Mill Before Rehab
E.M. Hager & Sons' Planing Mill After Rehab
E.M. Hager & Sons' Planing Mill Before Rehab
E.M. Hager & Sons' Planing Mill After Rehab
1st Floor Before Rehab
1st Floor After Rehab
1st Floor Before Rehab
1st Floor After Rehab

E.M. Hager & Sons’ Planing Mill

141 Elm Street, Buffalo, NY

  • Date Built: 1878-1920
  • Total QREs: $5,400,000
  • Total HTCs: $2,700,000, Federal; $2,700,000 State.

Preservation Studios’ Role:

Preservation Studios completed the Part One, Two, and Three Historic Preservation Certification Applications, along with the National Register Nomination.

History:

Edward M. Hager established the E.M. Hager & Sons Company in 1868 on Mortimer Street in the City of Buffalo. Hater’s company originally specialized in timber-frame construction and carpentry, the then most common construction method at the time. The company grew rapidly, helping to construct many of Buffalo’s early factories, grain elevators, churches, schools, and private residences. In 1873, Hager erected the scaffolding for Buffalo’s first public execution in Lafayette Square. As a result of his early success, Hager formed a partnership in 1883 with John Feist and Ralph Clark and new partnership built a planing mill at the corner of Elm and Clinton Streets.

An elaborate system of conveyor belts and steam engines powered machinery throughout the mill. The first floor of the planing mill was devoted to planing, lumber storage, and a sawdust vault. The second and third floors were used by employees to paint, carve, and assemble woodwork. “The mill kept in operations 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, producing in volume window frames, sash, doors, and miscellaneous millwork. It’s consumption of timber-dimension stock and finished woods was so enormous that the mill used quantities of lumber equivalent to 100 rail car loads annually.”

In 1894 E.M. Hager purchased the remaining interest in the company and was incorporated as E.M. Hager & Sons Co. with Edward M. Hager as president, George J. Hager as vice-president, and August C. Hager as secretary. The E.M. Hager Company would work on countless prominent projects including serving as one of the prime construction contractors for the Pan-American Exposition. The company also built many of Buffalo’s most beautiful and elaborate mansions, churches, schools, clubhouses, and offices. The company operated until the 1970s and the building was used for various restaurants until it was left vacant and finally rehabilitated into offices and apartments.


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