This is one of my favourite buildings in Niagara Falls:

4M6C2259.CR2: 5D Mk.III, EF 24–105mm 1:4L @ 28mm, 1/200, f/8, 100 ISO

4M6C2259.CR2: 5D Mk.III, EF 24 – 105mm 1:4L @ 28mm, 1/200, f/8, 100 ISO

It’s certainly seen better days and I can’t imagine that it’s salvageable. Even if it could be repaired, I can’t imagine anyone is willing to pay for the required work.

Construction of the building began in 1883 and it opened in 1885 to serve as a post office and customs building. Located on the north-east corner of Clifton (now Zimmerman) Avenue and Park Street, it’s ideally located to serve both purposes as it was two blocks from the Canadian end of the Suspension Bridge at the Whirlpool Rapids (in the same location as the current Whirlpool Rapids Bridge), and in the centre of what was the downtown business district at the time. To put this timeframe into perspective, 1885 was also the year the city replaced the oil street lamps with electric lights.

In 1927 a fire in the building led to the customs headquarters moving elsewhere. When the post office moved to its current location on Queen Street in 1931, this building was renovated to again house the customs headquarters. After the customs headquarters moved in 1952, the structure was vacant for a time until the City of Niagara Falls bought it and used it as the city police headquarters until 1978. In that same year, it was added to the Canadian Register of Historic Places. I have no idea what use was then made of the building though I do know it’s been unused for at least two decades.

It’s certainly possible that after being designated as a historic building, it was abandoned, which seems to me a very sad thing.

Information from:

Niagara Falls Canada: A History, William J. Holt, Ed., 1967

The Canadian Register of Historic Places, via Jeff…thanks!