Niagara Gazette

Opinion

April 10, 2014

GLYNN: Moore had its offices in the 'Chocolate Building'

Niagara Gazette — That ugly assault on the former Moore Business Forms Inc. left a scar on a landmark structure that was once a pillar of Niagara industry.

For decades it was the Eastern Division headquarters of Moore, which included 12 manufacturing plants, eight regional and 51 district sales offices in a 13-state area. By the early 1960s the company operated three plants in the Niagara Falls area, on Highland Avenue, Buffalo Avenue and Lockport Road. 

In that era, the Highland Avenue site (formerly Carter-Crume co. Ltd.) was considered the world’s largest business forms manufacturer. That same Buffalo Avenue administration building — where the vandals spray-painted racist graffiti — is now owned by B.F. Patel, who plans to convert the property into a five-star Marriott Courtyard hotel. In fact, some of the renovation is already under way. “It’s an ideal location too,” he said. At present he operates the Econo Lodge at 200 Rainbow Blvd.    

“That was my dream building where I came here (in 1996),” Patel said, adding that he wanted to own it from the day he first saw it. By the 2015 tourist season, it will become his second downtown hotel property. Tourists arriving will have no trouble finding the new hotel, on the corner of the first street off the Robert Moses ramp to John Daly Bouvelard.

Patel also is aware of the building’s unique story, starting in 1912 when it was opened as the Niagara Chocolate Co. that made the chocolate then used in the Shredded Wheat Co.’s Triscuit division.

As he sat in his office Wednesday, he was still upset by the youthful gang that defaced the building which he is eager to open next year. Meanwhile, police said they will continue to search for the suspects.

•••

‘HISTORY ON WHEELS’: The History Center of Niagara is completing plans for its 2014 Spring Bus Trip on June 7, a day-long tour that will start at 9 a.m. from the center at 215 Niagara St., Lockport. The first stop will be the Buffalo History Museum, off Nottingham Terrace and near Delaware Park. Lunch is set for the landmark Lafayette Hotel and its Pan-American Grill and Brewery. A tour of the hotel also is scheduled.

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