Remains of a tower-LVRR Tift St?

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Remains of a tower-LVRR Tift St?

Postby SST » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:13 pm

While snow shoeing I came upon the this abandoned tower [I call it flak tower]. Been there forever. It is located on the southern side of the LVRR and maybe 300 to 500 feet on the north side of Tift St in Buffalo. It is on the west side of the CSX main.

Outside view:

Image

Remains of the inside:
Image
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Re: Remains of a tower-LVRR Tift St?

Postby CPSmith » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:04 pm

I can almost help, but not quite ... See that box car off its trucks in the weeds on the right? Your flak tower is just to the right of that (off camera, of course ...). Anyway, it gives you a relative position with regard to the LV. The tower is probably closer to the NYC than it is to the LV. One more thing to add - this photo was taken from the OLD Tifft St. Bridge, not today's alignment, so be careful trying to match things up with topos, aerials, etc.
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IMG_0022_Tifft.jpg
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Re: Remains of a tower-LVRR Tift St?

Postby Matt Langworthy » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:19 pm

There has some debate about the tower on FB- was it a water tower for LV or the City of Buffalo?
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Re: Remains of a tower-LVRR Tift St?

Postby CPSmith » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:33 pm

A better view here. And the link: https://www.american-rails.com/emd-sw900.html#gallery[pageGallery]/1/
...
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xLVSW900M.jpg.pagespeed.ic.m6ykPrzCWV.jpg
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Re: Remains of a tower-LVRR Tift St?

Postby nydepot » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:53 pm

You guys are all wrong. My nephew said it was a castle, " 'cause it has windows".
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Re: Remains of a tower-LVRR Tift St?

Postby SST » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:04 pm

I would say that this tower was not a water tower. There is one doorway and two window frames in the structure. The wood framing is still intact. Could it have been a conversion?

I had alway thought that the blue water tower at the north end of the yard was where the round house use to be. I just made the assumption that it was installed after the LVRR disappeared. But the two pictures provided show that the water tower is there while the LV is in operation.

Also, while leaving the "flak tower" [towards the lake-west] I crossed over 2 concrete pads. Either a loading dock or a foundation for a building. These pictures are helpful. Haven't pinned down what I walked over. Everything was snow covered. Not much has changed in 20 years since I first skied back there.
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Re: Remains of a tower-LVRR Tift St?

Postby pumpers » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:06 pm

Looking on http://www.historicaerials.com, it goes back before their first picture (1958).
I think I found it on an old Sanborn map (attached) from the 1940-50 time frame. It is just north (left in the map) of the old Tifft Rd, about 400-500 ft north of the new Tifft Rd, matching the current location. (attached) Also seems to southwest of an LV "main" track and northeast of some LV yard tracks. Labelled "100,000 gal RR W Tk, Wood Tk Elevd 30' on Conc. Tower" So it sounds like a railroad water tank allright. Doesn't say LV but given it is between LV tracks, I would assume LV.
Let me know if the pdf comes thru OK.
Buffalo.Tifft St area.1080.pdf
(102.19 KiB) Downloaded 69 times

Also, note the "L" of the old Tifft St in the map - you can make it out in the color photo CP Smith posted, with the tank in the location shown on the map.

Maybe the "windows" were just there for "dressing up the pig", so to speak. Back when the RR had money to spend. (or a later conversion as also noted).
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Re: Remains of a tower-LVRR Tift St?

Postby Matt Langworthy » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:19 pm

SST wrote:I would say that this tower was not a water tower. There is one doorway and two window frames in the structure. The wood framing is still intact. Could it have been a conversion?


My posse of fellow LV fans and I explored an LV water tower base in Richford, NY last year. It had doors and windows, too. With that being said, I am open to any input to determine the history of the water tower base at Tifft.
Last edited by Matt Langworthy on Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Remains of a tower-LVRR Tift St?

Postby CPSmith » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:22 pm

pumpers wrote:Looking on http://www.historicaerials.com, it goes back before their first picture (1958).
I think I found it on an old Sanborn map (attached) from the 1940-50 time frame. It is just north (left in the map) of the old Tifft Rd, about 400-500 ft north of the new Tifft Rd, matching the current location. (attached) Also seems to southwest of an LV "main" track and northeast of some LV yard tracks. Labelled "100,000 gal RR W Tk, Wood Tk Elevd 30' on Conc. Tower" So it sounds like a railroad water tank allright. Doesn't say LV but given it is between LV tracks, I would assume LV.
Let me know if the pdf comes thru OK.
Buffalo.Tifft St area.1080.pdf

Also, note the "L" of the old Tifft St in the map - you can make it out in the color photo CP Smith posted, with the tank in the location shown on the map.

Maybe the "windows" were just there for "dressing up the pig", so to speak. Back when the RR had money to spend. (or a later conversion as also noted).


Yes, the pdf comes thru just fine. Interesting to note the draftsman didn't bother to populate the yards - the wide gaps are just noted as "full of tracks" - ha! So it's a water tower. ...sigh... I was hoping for 'castle'
...
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Re: Remains of a tower-LVRR Tift St?

Postby pumpers » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:28 pm

The map also has a "W P" on the RoW of the old Tifft St, 16' on one side and 6' on the other. I'm guessing it is a "Water Pipe" (the maps were made for fire insurance purposes). That could be how the tank was fed.
EDit: there are also a number of "DP"s, mostly connected to the WP. Some kind of "D___ Hydrant"??
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Re: Remains of a tower-LVRR Tift St?

Postby SST » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:36 pm

Here is the Erie County aerial view from 1951. You can just barely make it out.

http://www2.erie.gov/aerial_photos/site ... _5H106.jpg

Aerial from 1927. Looks like it may be there but photo isn't clear enough. But I can see the round house.

http://www2.erie.gov/aerial_photos/site ... b6_g20.jpg
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Re: Remains of a tower-LVRR Tift St?

Postby CPSmith » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:42 pm

pumpers wrote:The map also has a "W P" on the RoW of the old Tifft St, 16' on one side and 6' on the other. I'm guessing it is a "Water Pipe" (the maps were made for fire insurance purposes). That could be how the tank was fed.


Actually a 16" diameter main with a 6" spur.

And to further that, "DH" means double (fire) hydrant - my guess (and only a guess) is the tank may have been used to supply local water as well as for fire fighting. Perhaps the city water pressure wasn't sufficient back in the day.

EDIT: OK, it says RR W tank, so I'm off track (no pun intended). Also, attached is a Sanborn Map cheat sheet.
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Last edited by CPSmith on Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Remains of a tower-LVRR Tift St?

Postby pumpers » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:48 pm

100,000 gallons sounds like a lot. Does anyone have an idea how large other big tanks were in major yards back in the day?
EDIT: From Google I see an LV S1 locomotive ("Mountain" class" from ~1925) had a 10,500 gallon tender. http://www.steamlocomotive.com/locobase ... ailroad=lv
So a 100,000 gallon tank is only ~ 10 fill-ups - not so big after all for a major yard I suppose.
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Re: Remains of a tower-LVRR Tift St?

Postby lvrr325 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:23 am

It's just the base of the tank; there was more structure to the top of it.

Some towers were closed in all the way to the ground to prevent freezing of the feed pipes and so forth. Doing this in Buffalo on/near the lakefront makes sense to me, given the winds and snow potential.

Along the LV ROW in Freeville there is a smaller, but similar tower base, concrete, hexagonal. I presume the actual wood tank sat on top of it.
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Re: Remains of a tower-LVRR Tift St?

Postby Matt Langworthy » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:58 am

The tower at Tifft Street as seen from the current bridge:

Image

This photo was taken by me Friday 7/18/2014 in Buffalo, NY.
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