Buffalo Common Council Proceedings

Sample page from 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.

The volumes listed here are online in full text.

                        How To Find a Permit in Buffalo Common Council Proceedings
1832-1886Turn 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 your street name.
1887-1906New! 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.
1907-1950Turn 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.
2007-
present
These permits are now searchable at the City of Buffalo’s Open
Data portal
Archive.orgGoogle BooksHathiTrustOther
1861
18641864
18791879
18801880
18811881
18841884
18851885
18881888
18911891
18921892
18951895
19001900
19041904
19091909
1912
1915
19161916
19171917
19181918
19191919
19211921
19221922
1990-
present
Archive.orgGoogle BooksHathiTrustOther

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.