At 10 stories high – with the capacity to support 10 more floors – and 500,000 square feet , the Ellicott Square Building was the largest office building in the world for the sixteen years after it opened in 1896. It was built at a cost of $3.5 million in less than one year. The building was named after Joseph Ellicott, the planner and surveyor who laid out the then-village of Buffalo.
It was designed by Charles Atwood of D. H. Burnham & Company, and completed in May, 1896. At the time of its completion, it was the largest office building in the world In 1896 and 1897, the building was the site of Edisonia Hall and the Vitascope Theater, which is the earliest known dedicated motion picture theater in the world.