Buffalo Common Council Proceedings

Sample page, 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.

To find a permit, browse the Index, which is at the front of each volume. You can also search the full text of a volume. Please be aware of how their indexing practices evolved:

1832-18861887-19061907-1950
Turn to the index at the front of the book. Permits are scattered throughout the index by surname, usually the property owner. Watch for your street name.New! 1887-1906 index of building permits, 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.Turn to the index at the front of the book. Look for them under their own heading, Permits. They’re now listed in alphabetical order by street name. Council discontinued listing permits in the Proceedings after 1950.
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1861
18641864
18791879
18801880
18811881
18841884
18851885
18881888
18911891
18921892
18951895
19001900
19041904
19091909
1912
1915
19161916
19171917
19181918
19191919
19211921
19221922
1990-
present
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Need a year that has not been digitized? Here are the libraries who 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.

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