Sample page from 1861 Buffalo Common Council Proceedings
Common Council Proceedings are a record of all of the motions, resolutions, and actions taken by Council at every meeting in a given year. They are important for architecture & house historians because the Buffalo Common Council used to approve building permits and then list them in the Proceedings. Finding the permit pretty conclusively dates a house or building.
The volumes listed here are online in full text.
|How To Find a Permit in Buffalo Common Council Proceedings|
|1832-1886||Turn to the index at the front of the book. Building permits are scattered throughout the index by surname, usually that of the property owner. Watch for anyone getting a permit on your street.|
|1887-1906||Index of building permits, 1887-1906, online courtesy of the librarians at The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. They’re sorted into A-Z order by address/street name. In the original volumes, they were indexed by name of owner or whoever took out the permit.|
|1907-1950||Turn to the index at the front of the book. Look for them under their own heading, Permits. They are listed in alphabetical order by street name. Council discontinued listing permits in the Proceedings after 1950.|
|These permits are now searchable at the City of Buffalo’s Open Data portal|
What about volumes that are not online? These libraries have them in hard copy.
Did your street get renamed after your house was built? Here’s a list of street name changes in Buffalo.
And since you read this far, let me assure you that Buffalo City Hall has not lost any records in a fire.