Western New York Heritage

The Commercial Slip: The Last Stop on the Erie Canal

"Mouth of the Erie Canal" Keystone Stereoview, 1915. Image source: private collection.

Cargo from canal boats awaits transfer to lake boats in this early 20th century scene along Front Street, taken next to the Commercial Slip. At left is the wooden Watson Elevator. Curving along at right is a portion of the Anchor Line (passenger) terminal and beyond that the wooden Bennett and Union elevators. Barely visible behind the steamship in the harbor are the coal docks of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western railroad situated along the entrance to the harbor.

The same view in 2008.

Visible indications of canal district reconstruction opened in 2008, with the Central Wharf area and Commercial Slip open to visitors. This view shows USS Little Rock occupying the location of the barrels in the earlier photo. The elevators and coal docks have long been replaced by the recreational Erie Basin park and harbor.

View of the bowstring bridge over the Commerical Slip, looking toward downtown Buffalo, date unknown. Image source: WNY Heritage Press

The same view in 2008.

The Whipple bowstring bridge was reconstructed across the re-watered Commercial Slip.

Another view of the Whipple bridge, designed for the Erie Canal by Squire Whipple in the early 1850s. It is a mathematical marvel.

Harper's Magazine illustration, 1885. Image source: private collection

The same view in 2008.