Our Namesake: Just Who Is This “Grosvenor”?

Pronounced Grove-ner, our name comes from the Grosvenor Library that existed in Buffalo from 1871 until 1963. For most of its existence, the library occupied a building at Franklin & Edward Streets.  Part of the collection was later housed in the nearby Cyclorama building.  For many years it maintained one of the largest genealogy collections in the country.  The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library inherited this collection, and it forms the core of the current Grosvenor Room Genealogy collection.

Seth Grosvenor, 1786-1857

 The old Grosvenor Library was originally named in honor of the “City’s Greatest Benefactor”—Seth Grosvenor.  As a young man, he helped defend Buffalo during the War of 1812, and played a prominent role in helping to rebuild the devastated community.  Later, as a merchant in New York City, Grosvenor kept his ties to the city by maintaining investments and philanthropic efforts in Buffalo.  He died in 1857, leaving $40,000 to the city that was intended to help establish a public library. 

Source: Rooney, Paul M. 150 years, 1836-1986 : Buffalo and Erie County Public Library.  [Buffalo, N.Y. : Grosvenor Society, 1986].  Buffalo Collection Z733.B93 R58 1986.

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