On the corner of Michigan Avenue and Seneca Street in downtown Buffalo sits the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum. What was once a Mack Truck showroom and dealership is now home to a wide array of vintage, classic, marvelous, unique, and intriguing motor vehicles, telling the story of our epic journey from horse to horsepower.
The museum first opened in 2001 and has utilized the space afforded by the venue extraordinarily well; the motor exhibition feels completely at home inside the ex-dealership showroom, although it must be noted you can’t test drive or take home any of the antique vehicles showcased within. It all began in the hearts of Jim Sandoro and his wife Mary Ann. Together, they have spent around 45 years assembling a veritable fleet of motor memorabilia. The collection specifically shines a spotlight on the transportation industry of Western New York and the contribution and evolution that took place therein. A particular focus is upon the namesake of the museum, the Pierce-Arrow, as well as the E.R. Thomas Motor Company and a few other automobile specialists based out of Buffalo. The collection spans from the beginnings of the motor industry into the modern age and there is no other like it in the country.
To compliment the already impressive display of vehicles on site, the Sandoros have a slightly more ambitious and original plan. They have secured the designs and plans that famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright put together for an innovative fueling station, which was intended to be built on the corner of Cherry Street and Michigan Avenue but unfortunately never saw fruition. The fueling station, which Frank Lloyd Wright called an “ornament to the pavement,” was decades ahead of its time, as were most of Wright’s works. The finished project would include a two 45-foot totem poles, an overhead gravity-fed gas distribution system, an attendant's quarters, a copper roof, restrooms, and a second story observation deck. Once completed it is hoped that the station will be an attraction all of its own and another example of Buffalo’s pride in the work of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, whose other works you can view at several other locations in the city. It has not yet been completed and the museum is currently accepting donations and funding to help finance the project.
The museum does offer group tours that provide an in-depth and fascinating insight into the history and story of the museum’s collection. These are available request for groups of 30 people or more at $20 per person, and they also occasionally have scheduled tours that you can join by checking the website. For both, you will need to visit the museum's webpage and book well in advance but the experience is definitely worth it.
Admission and Opening Hours
Entry to the museum is $10 for adults and $5 for children aged 6 to 15. Children aged five and under are admitted for free.
The museum is open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11:00am to 4:00pm. They are closed on major public holidays.
263 Michigan Ave, Buffalo, NY 14203, Phone: 716-853-0084