Google Maps view of 168 Clinton Street Buffalo, NY 14203

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Google Maps view of 280 Broadway Buffalo, NY 14203

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Sanborn Map Volume 3 (1900) Section 222 depicting 280 Broadway Buffalo, NY 14203

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Sanborn Map of Buffalo Volume 2 (1926) Section 157 depicting 168 Clinton Street Buffalo, NY 14203

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168 Clinton Street Buffalo, NY 14203 (Primary) (1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961)
280 Broadway Buffalo, NY 14203 (Secondary)

Establishment Type(s)


Physical Status



The original location of the Elite Lodge was a large structure at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Clinton Street. The structure contained 443, 445, and 447 Michigan Avenue to the west and 164, 166, 168, and 170 Clinton Street to the south. The Clinton Avenue addresses, three of which were labeled as stores on the 1926 Sanborn map, were all two-story and separated by frame partitions. 443 and 445 Michigan Avenue, labeled a restaurant, were three-stories, with a window on the top floor facing north. 447 Michigan Avenue was labeled a store with a "hall" on the second floor.

In the mid-1940s, the business moved to a three-story building on the corner of Broadway and North Pine Street, facing south onto Broadway. The brick building was 40 feet from street level and had a fire wall eighteen inches above the composition roof. The wall thickness differed between floors: sixteen inches for the first and second floor; twelve inches for the third floor. The 1900 Sanborn map, which showed the building before this use, labeled it a drugstore.

Detailed History

The Elite Lodge was the dining area of the Elk Lodge No. 119 of the Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World (IBPOEW). The IBPOEW was an African American fraternal order first established in 1897, with branches across the United States.

Elk Lodge No. 119 moved to 280 Broadway from 168 Clinton Street by the late 1940s. The lodge was frequently investigated by police for serving food and alcohol to non-members. In March 1952, an explosive device was found in one of the clubrooms at 280 Broadway; thankfully it was discovered before it ignited. Currently, a contemporary building and parking lot are on the land 280 Broadway occupied.

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