Fort Porter "The Castle"


Colonel James McKay, a British Army officer and Scotsman, began construction on his home at Prospect Hill, a site
in Buffalo that overlooked the Niagara River and is now the eastern terminal of the Peace Bridge. He modeled his home
on a Scottish castle design; it was one story with numerous rooms and a central passage that ran from front to back.


McKay never finished his home and sold it in 1847 to the U.S. government which incorporated it into the new
Fort Porter. The building was used by a military engineering corps. In 1926, Fort Porter was eliminated
as a military post and the land it occupied was divided between the City of Buffalo and the new Fort Erie
Public Bridge Company. The 'castle' was on bridge land and the City of Buffalo paid to have it dismantled and
moved onto the city's portion of the tract. It served as an office for the Buffalo Parks Department; a portion
was used by the Girl Scouts.


The post-World War II traffic necessitated expansion of the Peace Bridge plaza and the
'castle' was again in the way. This time the cost of moving the building was more than the
City of Buffalo was willing to pay, and it was demolished in 1953. The white marble fireplace
above and some stone from Mckay's 'castle' were saved and incorporated into the Peace Bridge
Authority Administration building, completed in 1954.

 

Back to WNY Heritage Press Home Page