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Flar and Everyone: Some more Buffalo info....

Flar: Thanks for the good word-I enjoy your photo tours.

I looked at that 1978 Buffalo and Niagara Frontier Visitors Guide and the Buffalo Savings Bank placed an ad about their main (in 1978) office in Downtown Buffalo that read:

The Buffalo Savings Bank Building opened its doors to its current (in 1978) Main Office in March 1901-just as the great Pan American Exposition was about to begin. Within weeks,visitors would arrive in Buffalo from all over the Americas and Europe and Buffalo would become internationally recognized as a center for culture and finance.

As Architecture,The Building reflects the achievements and aspirations of that period. The design by architects Green and Wicks is strikingly similar to the Ethnology Building and the Temple of Music,the two most magnificent structures at the Pan American Exposition. Elaborate murals were added to the interior in 1926 that celebrate the remarkable heritage of the Niagara Frontier region.

Also mentioned in that 1978 Guide were the Allentown and Elmwood Village neighborhoods-which were then already somewhat upscale areas. Both areas were spotlighted with maps and local business advertising.

This info describes that building well-and is a good footnote to the Buffalo pics. -Long Island Mike-
 
Thank you for the beautiful pictures!

Although many houses in residential areas close to downtown are quite plain and working-class (comparable to some long-ago demolished "wards" near downtown Toronto), there are some beautiful residential districts further north, dating from around the turn of the last century. These include the North Park and Central Park neighbourhoods (just north of Delaware Park), and the areas around Lincoln, Bidwell and Chapin Parkways. Like many of the parks in Buffalo, these neighbourhoods were laid out by Olmsted. They seem like the equivalent of Rosedale or Forest Hill, but the lawns and avenues are more spacious, and the architecture resembles New England or Eastern Canada more than Toronto (e.g. more wooden houses, Victorian/Queen Anne and Federal styles).
 
One of the good things about downtown Buffalo, especially in light of the Hamilton thread, is that its prewar architecture is largely intact. I'm sure they lost some stuff along the way - in fact, they lost the Larkin building, so that's a pretty big punch in the gut right there - but you can walk around the town and still get a feel for how an American downtown around 1950 might have looked. Of course, the whole place feels like a neutron bomb went off.
 
If Buffalo still had the Larkin Building, the city might be considered America's best Frank Lloyd Wright playground.

A punch in the gut indeed...

LarkinAdministrationBuilding1906.jpg
 
Why Spend on Highways When Local Streets Are Empty?

From streetsblog.net at this link:

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No cars, no bikes, no people: This is what some streets look like one mile from downtown Buffalo at rush hour.

That picture above? It’s a major local street near downtown Buffalo at rush hour. David Steel at Network blog Buffalo Rising says this situation should be a wake up call to reverse the region’s commitment to highways and long-distance travel at the expense of his city:

This picture shows the height of the morning rush hour last week in Buffalo on Genessee Street. This is less than a mile from downtown. There are no moving cars in sight and there rarely are. This is not a special situation. The street is not closed. This is the norm. This is also the norm for William Street, Broadway, Seneca, Clinton, and many other Buffalo streets. Kids could easily play street hockey in the middle of these streets in rush hour with little hassle. These streets all used to be major business routes in and out of the city. At one time they were packed with commercial and industrial establishments and very busy with cars and people at all times of day. The emptiness of this street and others like it is the result of 60 years of disinvestment in the city combined with over investment in auto-centric transportation infrastructure. The Buffalo metro region has built far more roads than it needs and more than it can afford to maintain.

This empty street is the image of absurdity and is proof that the nearby Kensington Expressway abomination is not needed. There should not be a highway trench where a parkway used to be especially with so much unused roadway infrastructure nearby. The people of the city of Buffalo do not owe their civic amenities to people who choose to drive long distances when so many nearby roads are unused waiting to service their driving needs.

The Kensington Expressway is currently getting a resurfacing which is predicted to last about 15 years. NYDOT officials say that the expressway will likely receive a major reconstruction at that time. Now is the time to start working to take any plan for reconstruction of this highway off the table as an option. Now is the time to start talking about its complete removal and replacement with the parkway that is supposed to be there.

Parking problems? What parking problems?

Congestion? What congestion?
 

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Is the Stanton Building a cast iron building like those in SoHo, NYC?
 
Great photos!

I can't lie though, the one time I went to Buffalo was on a chilly winter day. I had never been in such a depressing place before. The general dreariness was very depressing, and there were barely any people on the streets.

That was downtown Buffalo. I'm not sure what the suburbs are like.
 
I recently visited Buffalo. It seems to be making a comeback. Unlike Detroit, they've generally kept it free of blight, and old buildings are being restored and housing new businesses like craft liquor distilleries. The downtown is somewhat boring, but the neighbourhoods are beautiful. They also have the spectacular Elevator Alley with dozens of old grain elevators between shipping canals and railway yards--an unexpectedly scenic place. To that end, they've invested a lot of money into their waterfront with a lot of fine parkland. It's a city with a sense of community and ownership. There are many educated people there. I think it has a bright future as NYC and Toronto get less and less affordable.
 

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