The Wonder Bread factory, built in 1923, was once an industrial icon of Buffalo’s East Side. While it was in operation, the facility produced that classic midcentury staple, as well as Hostess brand snacks. The first floor held massive Wonder ovens, making the surrounding neighborhood smell faintly of bread.
The 180,000-square-foot, steel-reinforced concrete building was built with tall ceilings, large south-facing windows, and an open layout to maximize the natural light. The blond brick exterior was topped with Roman arch-style windows that were popular with mill buildings in the late 19th century.
The factory closed in 2004, and has sat empty ever since, in an ever-worsening state of decay. Around 2010 (the same year the building was listed for sale for $800,000), the letter “B” from the giant “Wonder Bread” sign at the top of the building mysteriously went missing. Some months later, the “N” followed, and later the “E.”
The factory remains abandoned today, with just enough fading letters intact to make out its former name.
Know Before You Go
It does have asbestos warning signs, so if you must explore, make sure to wear a mask! It is easy to find, as it is right next to a school. It is also easy to get into. Go around the left side of the building into the alley for access inside. Enter at your own risk.