To Buffa10 with Love – Part 2

I have to learn to take more pictures.  When I travel I’m so intent on absorbing the mood and fabric of a place that I don’t look through my lens as often as I could.  Buffa10 was one of those places.  The city’s parks have an Olmstead pedigree and its streetscapes are a feast of gardens.

But oh! the architecture.  Just about every 18th, 19th and 20th century style of American vernacular architecture can be found here.  Federal mingles with Gothic Revival with Queen Anne with Victorian Italianate and American Tudor–often on the same street.  Now that the city is experiencing a renaissance that tradition of American building continues in the 21st century.  As I’ve already said…I’m often too busy storing images in my brain to take pictures, but here are some of buildings that I saw in just a few days. These don’t even begin to depict the depth and breath of what’s in Buffalo.  I’ve made absolutely no attempt a chronology either–they’re just what I saw.

Art Deco City Hall

City hall at sunset with a new building that will ultimately be covered in glass when completed.  This was the view from my hotel window.

Detail of the 19th century Lord & Burnham Glass house

The conservatory at the Buffalo and Erie Botanical Gardens was once the largest public greenhouse in the country.  It is the jewel in Olmstead’s South Park.

The Mansion on Delaware hotel

An incredible of example of Second Empire Mansard style.  (Am I getting too geeky yet?)  This was built in the late 1860s and is now a 28 room luxury hotel.  The gardens in front are traffic stopping when in bloom!

Visitor's Center at the Martin Complex

This photo is not by me, it’s from the Darwin D. Martin Complex website, but I did visit the building.  The Eleanor and Wilson Greatbatch Pavilion was designed by architect Toshiko Mori and completed in 2009.  The use of glass and aluminum echos Wright’s use of brick and stone in the adjacent complex.   It is not at all out of place within the context of Wright’s buildings on the property.

Wright's Martin House
Dwight D. Martin house

The only compound designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Dwight D. Martin (1904-1905) house is currently an asbestos clean-up site.  Tours of the property are on the outside–you can see Mori’s pavilion in the upper left corner.  The second view shows a re-constructed pergola and the ‘Martin’ bird houses…they never were actually home to any birds.

Albright Knox Gallery

To understand just how modern Wright was, all you have to do is go across Delaware Park (another Olmstead) to the Albright Knox Gallery.  The Neo-Classical style was typical in 1905 and was designed by architect E.B. Green.  Green was a Buffalo based architect whose work is visible throughout the city.  It is a world class modern art museum.

American Four Square

Two American Four Square houses with fantastic paint color.  This style of early 20th century residential architecture can be found all over the United States.  My grandparents lived in one–many years later I lived in a duplex on the top of another.

Charles Rohlfs Arts and Crafts Style House

Up the street from the Four Squares is the Arts and Crafts style former home of Charles Rohlfs – a fine furniture maker and contemporary of Gustav Stickley.  There’s going to be a retrospective of his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this fall.  The building is way more austere than his over the top furniture.  Click here for the photo credit for this one.

The Buffalo Design Collaborative

I walked by this amazing Art Deco building on Delaware Avenue on my way home from dinner.  I went back to find photos by the resident photographer, Katie Schnieder.

The Cottage District

The cottages in this distinct residential district were built between the mid 19th and early 20th centuries.  Small cottages just like the one I live in now.  The difference is that there are several blocks of these so they don’t seem like the smallest home in town–and mine’s painted a conservative grey.  The doors will soon be purple though–and that’s because I loved what I saw in Buffalo–I could even picture myself living there.

I saw so much more that I might have to have a Part 3…

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15 thoughts on “To Buffa10 with Love – Part 2

  1. Lovely stroll through an architectural gallery.

    It is so fun to walk around the city because there’s one garden or architectural gem after another. Glad you stopped by!–s

  2. I love this post – the architecture in all its variety was a highlight. You got some great shots!

    It certainly was! I’m a building junkie from way, way back. It was a paradise of sorts…and I never thought I’d being saying that about Buffalo, NY!–s

  3. These are really nice photos of these buildings – you’ve done a great job capturing them for your readers. Photography is not an after thought for you. Thanks for the arch review of Buffalo. Best. From a native Buffalonian.

    I thought your city was charming. I didn’t think that on my last visit. It’s amazing how many of these are still standing. I was thrilled to say the least.–s

  4. Susan,
    Thank you for the Buffalo architectural photos. I’ve never been, but see that trip is a architectural buff’s requirement. Spring, summer or fall??? Love the Mansion on Delaware Hotel and cottages. Will you be able to sneak more trim color on your cottage after the painters finish?

    I don’t think I’ve ever been somewhere with so many great buildings in one place. I missed some I wanted to see and will definitely go back.–s

  5. Wow, who knew? … the strength in all those gardens and diversity of architecture! I appreciate your posts and am thoroughly impressed with your ability to process it all.

    I’m an inspiration junkie. I need a 12 step program…then again, maybe not! –s

  6. Yahoo, paint those doors purple! Cottages are made for fun color. I had purple doors on my former home and loved the zing they added. Plus green plants look so nice next to them.

    First test color up on the doors already…Benjamin Moore ‘Summer Plum’ it’s a bold choice for my neighborhood!–s

  7. I was wowed by the architecture too. I loved all the Queen Anne houses with the gingerbread, painted 3, 4, or 5 different colors.

    They were beautiful! I went to school in Rochester and some of the towns there had a few great examples here and there, but nothing like this!–s

  8. I don’t blame you–architectural photography is not for a hot day anyway.

    Almost every single one of the major buildings you have written about has been under the threat of demolition, including the Martin House, the Mansion, Schneider’s studio, and the glasshouse. It really takes constant vigilance.

    Is there a watchdog group? It’s a national treasure that should be protected. Our culture is too quick to pull things down just because they want something new…it’s the dark side of consumerism. –s

  9. Your invidiual building are so well captured, Susan, especially love your pics of the conservatory, where you singled out little vignettes instead of trying to get the whole structure in. Gets the flavour of them across so beautifully.

  10. Great stuff, Susan, and keep the geek coming! Also great spending time with you in Buff – you’re one smart cookie. S

    Geek it I will. Loved talking with you–definitely a highlight. Back at you with the smart cookie stuff!–s

  11. Thank you for the publicity of our fair city. I have to agree with Eliz, however-despite the increasing recognition for the richness of our architecture nationally, we still suffer from little-to-no stewardship from our leaders (and a general disregard for the issue from the populace) to preserve these architectural assets. The truth is, we have lost a LOT of tremendous architecture in Buffalo (Frank Lloyd Wright’s Administration building is one such example), and truly only have what we still have because we were too poor and disorganized to demolish more. International recognition of these assets, however, helps us working to fight for preservation by arming us with an economic reason to do so: “save the buildings for tourism.” So, please keep spreading the word.

    I have seen too many great buildings gone by neglect, the wrecker’s ball or mysterious fire. Buffalo’s architecture needs to be preserved. It’s incredible…and I didn’t even realize it was there.–s

  12. There are preservation groups though–much better than it was! I think mainly in the 50s-70s, the value of historic architecture was not understood throughout the US, not just in Buffalo. This was when we lost the original Penn Station, for example.

    I agree that politicians still don’t get it; srsly, what do they get?–but there are plenty of effective citizens’ groups both here and elsewhere who do.

    Fantastic. It would be a shame to loose it.–s

  13. I’ve just discovered your blog and am very impressed with your “spot on eye”. I too often regret that my eye doesn’t get behind the lens enough… I’m now very sorry that I didn’t visit Buffalo when visiting my son at Vassar. I’m an architecture lover with a keen interest in the Arts and Crafts Movement. Very much looking forward to the Rohlfs Show Coming soon to California. I’m surprised that his arts and Crafts Bungalow wasn’t better cared for. Wonder who lives there now. If you think you are too Geeky showing the example of Second Empire Mansard style, just know that you have a friend in me! When will you get add part 3??? Really!

    I feel in love with architecture and decorative arts early in life and it has stuck with me. The Rohlfs house is actually in much better shape now, I didn’t have a great photo so it’s from a few years ago. Part 3 was a bit different…it’s the post A Tale of Two Fences from last week.–s

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