Recreational Warehouse (555 River Road)

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Recreational Warehouse (555 River Road)


Located directly across River Road from the former Tonawanda Iron and Steel, this location has been host to a string of businesses, as well as long stretches of vacancy and theft. Some accounts have the "original" occupant as the Crane Company, manufacturer of plumbing supplies, who used the "pig iron" produced by their neighbor just to the north. Another account says Pierce-Brown was here first, making "gray iron castings" for local companies like Allan Herschell, Spillman Engineering, Wurlitzer, and Buffalo Scale. A correspondent tells us one building is labeled "Foundry."

Other concerns on the 555 River Road property were American Standard, Niagara Radiator, Semco Furniture Company, Strand-Buffalo, John D. Wood Product Co., Logan Platers., Niagara Platers, and Niagara Tube Products, Inc. The buildings are abandoned by 1963, and eventually foreclosed on for back taxes and purchased by the city in 1965. A lot of industry was leaving North Tonawanda at this time. In the early 70s the site became the target of industrial rehabilitation efforts, and bids for private development of the property were carefully reviewed. Recreational Warehouse began advertising its business here around 1975. In 1986 the River Road Flea Market operated for most of the year, before being destroyed in a million-dollar blaze in November.