616 Niagara was originally made up of three mixed-use buildings on Niagara Street in Niagara Falls. The buildings date to the rapid growth of Niagara Falls in the early twentieth century and represent a relatively rare concentration of the historic mixed-use buildings which once made up much of Downtown. They characterized early twentieth century development as Niagara Falls became an industrial city.
As population growth and building construction at the turn of the 20th Century expanded the footprint of Niagara Falls, the area near 7th and Niagara Streets was ripe for development. Construction of the building at 610 Niagara began in 1908, and within three years, the buildings at 7th and Niagara Streets transformed the intersection into a mixed-use hub. Heralding this new development, the Niagara Falls Gazette described the 1912 completion of the final building as a sign of “renewed progress [on] a fine thoroughfare, which is bound to become one of the leading business streets in the city.”
In the years since, the buildings have been home to a number of residential tenants and commercial occupants, which included businesses such as Dooher & Seager Plumbing, the Cataract Grocery and Meat Company, Carl Hess Bakery, Perricelli Plumbing & Heating Co, and Ace Electric Appliances. It was common for shop owners and their employees to live in the buildings or within the immediate nearby blocks. This mixed-use commercial and residential character epitomized the urban lifestyle of Niagara Falls over much of the 20th Century.