Western New York Heritage

Endnotes: "Building" Morale: More Images of Klienhans Music Hall

The familiar shape of Kleinhans Music Hall becomes apparent in this construction photo, ca. 1939.

Kleinhans Music Hall

It is late summer 1939. As peace in Europe is crumbling, scaffolds, excavations and mortar mark the construction of Buffalo’s Kleinhans Music Hall. It is a symbol of humanity’s capacity for art and good in a world that is soon to go dark.

Lauren Becker has given us the moving story of the hall’s role in “morale production” earlier in this issue.  In it, she shares stories of life, excitement and hope. But all of this would not have been possible without the very existence of the place itself.

As is so often the case, there simply wasn’t enough room in our pages to re-tell the story of the hall’s construction—which is a shame, since there are so many wonderful images documenting the process. Our favorites are those that give a glimpse of now-familiar features, easily identified by observant 21st century concert goers—the fabulous curves of the coat room in the first-floor lobby, the distinctive paneling of the Mary Seaton Room and the skeletal outline of the balcony—complete with snow covering the beams and floor!

Thanks to our gracious friends at Kleinhans, we ARE able to share a selection of these stunning images—in a special bonus feature on our website! So, read and enjoy Lauren’s evocative word-picture of the hall, then check out these bonus photos of the hall under construction and see if you recognize any features or places!

The full content is available in the Fall 2023 Issue.