The Larkin Soap Company was one of the most innovative of its time. John D. Larkin started the company, producing just two products. But through its marketing innovations, led by Elbert Hubbard, Larkin Soap Company expanded its market and product lines to food and various household items to make it a fixture in the growing city of Buffalo. Taking Larkin's innovative lead, the Larkin Center of Commerce offers a multitude of types of spaces and various leaders to guide you through the leasing experience.
Leading the Way
We are ready to grow the next crop of innovators. In our incubators, we encourage creative, imaginative and diverse tenants, no matter what size they are, no matter what stage of growth. The best way to celebrate Buffalo’s history is to encourage the qualities that birthed it and that’s what we’re doing here at the Larkin Center of Commerce.
Turning The Corner To a Brighter Future
The Larkin Center of Commerce is emblematic of the qualities that have made Buffalo and the region what it is today. They are resilient and hard working people, respectful of the past, while also looking to make for a better tomorrow.
The Larkin Gallery
The Larkin Gallery is now open for your viewing pleasure. Located in and funded by the Larkin Center of Commerce at 701 Seneca Street, Buffalo, NY 14210. The exciting new gallery focuses on the history of the Larkin Soap Co., founded in 1874.
The Gallery received items from several noted collectors including Mary Larkin, the great granddaughter of John D. Larkin Sr., art professor Jerome Mead, Larkin history enthusiasts Sharon Osgood and Jerome Puma. The opening of the Larkin Gallery also created an opportunity for Peg Meisenbach to fulfill the wishes of her late mother, Raeanne Roy, a longtime collector of Larkin related objects. Peg provided her mother’s entire collection as it was Raeanne’s wish that it be ‘donated to a Larkin museum.’
Private tours available by appointment.
Arnold B. Gardner Memorial Lending Library
The latest addition to the Larkin Center of Commerce is a large collection of books generously donated by the family of Arnold B. Gardner. The hundreds of books are now on display adjacent to the Larkin Gallery and available for your lending pleasure.
Arnold B. Gardner lived a fascinating life as a lawyer in Buffalo with many public service and governmental interests. His personal passion was collecting books. At his death, he may have had as many as 8,000 books in his collection. The offering here is a sliver of that collection. Nonetheless, his eclectic collection was a reflection of his interests and how he thought. We offer this scaled down collection as a lending library at the Larkin Center for Commerce. We hope you enjoy it.
For more information about Arnold Gardner, we have included a biography which can be found in the library cabinet. Specific direction on borrowing books can be found on the check-out shelf.
From the Desk of Sharon Osgood
Resident historian Sharon Osgood shares her passion for the history of the Larkin Company and the many connections made in Buffalo and around the world in this monthly series. Each month focuses on varied pieces of Larkin related history and quickly enlightens the intrigued reader. Enjoy!