Tag Archives: Buffalo

Beautiful Buffalo in Pictures, Part 1–Buildings

The bad news is, we ticked off some Buffaloians with some of the verbiage in our photography solicitations. The good news is, a bunch of them sent us photos offering some of the more appealing scenes in the City of No Illusions.

So now Buffaloians are going to show us what the city is all about.

We have received so many submissions that I had to break it down into a few categories. This first one is dedicated to Buffalo’s beautiful buildings. (Next post will be on natural landscapes.) Unfortunately, this won’t be an exhaustive look at all the fine architecture in Buffalo, just a taste of some of the more memorable. Thanks to everyone who submitted! Sorry about the inadvertent slight!

This fantastically detailed stained glass window adorns City Hall. This building is the reason I have been dying to visit Buffalo. The building was designed by Louis Sullivan, father of modernist architecture and mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright. Buffalo City Hall was primarily designed by John J. Wade- who was partnered at the time with George Dietel, and was assisted on the project by former State Architect Sullivan W. Jones. Here’s a few more views from the building. (Both photos courtesy of Cynthia Van Ness of Buffaloresearch.com.)

Buffalo is an architectural hotbed. Below is a photo of another of the city’s grand buildings, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, by the same photographer. The gallery displays modern and contemporary art and is home to Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, one of the nation’s first art institutions.

Here’s another gem: Buffalo’s Central Terminal. This photo was submitted by Marty Biniasz of ForgottenBuffalo.com. This 17-story art deco building once served 152 daily trains. It was abandoned in the ’80s only to be purchased by a preservationist in the late 1990s for $1.

Forgive me for this, but this was taken straight from Wikipedia:

Currently, the Buffalo Central Terminal is host to approximately twenty major fund raising events each year. Work continues to progress and new areas of the building are cleaned up and reopened to the public each year. Since 2003 over 90,000 people have visited the building. This is more than the local Frank Lloyd Wright properties of Western New York have had. The building has been a host to tours, art shows, local political events, train shows, annual Dyngus Day and Oktoberfest, weddings, as well as a temporary art installation by controversial artist Spencer Tunick in 2004.

Stay tuned. More great Buffalo photography coming soon!

-A.S.

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Rust Belt Tops List of Poorest Cities

This shouldn’t surprise anyone, but nevertheless:

#1. Detroit

#2. Cleveland

In chart form, if you prefer--via the Plain Dealer.

In chart form, if you prefer--via the Plain Dealer.

#3. Buffalo

#4. Milwaukee

#5. St. Louis

#6. Miami

#7. Memphis

#8. Cincinnati

#9. Philadelphia

Poverty workers in Cleveland blame the increase on unemployment.

This should send a message to the federal government. If we’re serious about addressing poverty in this country, we need to address the way the economic restructuring has affected Rust Belt cities. Taking tax dollars from the people in these cities and giving it to bankers in New York isn’t much of a solution.

-AS

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Report: Investment Needed to Solve Great Lakes’ Sewage Crisis

Billions of dollars of infrastructure investment are needed to stop untreated sewage from Great Lakes cities that flows into the Lakes, according to a study released earlier this month.

From January 2009 through January of this year, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Milwaukee and Gary, Indiana, discharged 41 billion gallons of untreated sewage and storm water into the Lakes, according to data analyzed by the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

“The Great Lakes are under siege from sewage overflows,” Jeff Skelding, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, said in a statement. “This report underscores that we have solutions to keep our beaches open, our people healthy and our economy growing. Inaction, however, will exacerbate a problem that is already very serious.”

These sewage overflows are one of the most serious problems facing the Lakes, the report states. Among the problems this pollution can cause- beach closures, harm to wildlife and damage to the tourism industry.

It recommends a two-pronged approach:
– cities must separate miles of combined sewer pipes into sanitary and storm sewers and
– installing “green” infrastructure — such as rain gardens, vegetated roofs and pervious pavement — to capture and cleans this storm water and reduce the volume of storm water flowing off the landscape.

The bad news? “Communities in the Great Lakes basin (are) facing a $23.3 billion tab. Reducing the incidence of (combined sewer overflows) to a level the EPA considers acceptable would collectively cost the cities of Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Milwaukee and Gary, Ind., about $3.7 billion.”

The good news? This investment would be good for public health and the economy, with thousands of jobs created, according to the group.

Read the detailed, 40-page report for more information about sewer overflows and to see what different cities are doing to fix this problem.

-KG

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Filed under Economic Development, Editorial, Green Jobs, regionalism, the environment

GLUEsters descend on Cleveland

Today, the Great Lakes Cities: Urban Laboratories conference kicks off in Cleveland. The program promises a mix of policy discussions, neighborhood tours of Cleveland and lots more.

Read what Bruce Fisher has to say about it in his column in Buffalo’s ArtVoice. He’s very enthused about “the hopeful, the engaged and the talented” who will convene in Cleveland. And he gives Rust Wire a shout out!

-KG

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Filed under Economic Development, Good Ideas, regionalism, Rust Belt Blogs

“Freegan” Squatters Helping Stabilize Buffalo Neighborhood

There’s a group of young people living in a boarded-up mansion in Buffalo.

They don’t pay rent. In fact, they try to avoid using money altogether.

This group is part of an ideology known as Freeganism. They live lives of scavengers, convinced that society wastes too much.

06squatters-t_ca1-articlelarge

What better place, then, than Buffalo, with its surfeit housing stock?

“It has a beautiful backyard with a lot of blackberry bushes!” a young resident tells the New York Times. With a handful of other misfits, Kit lives in the three-story house, which boasts 1,224 square feet on the first floor alone.

In the warmer months, travelers from around the world call the house home. The handful of permanent residents welcomes visitors, provided they help with the upkeep.

According to the Times, this group has earned the blessing of their neighbors and even a local judge.

The article explains a local judge was alerted to the squatters presence and he was considering placing the hosue in receivership, when he was approached by some neighbors at a baseball game.

“To the judge’s astonishment, the neighbors praised the young people, saying that they had kept the thieves, drug dealers and arsonists away. What’s more, they attested, the squatters were fixing up the place, making it less of an eyesore. Their presence, and the fact that the mansion was now occupied, had made it easier for people on the block to get homeowners’ insurance.”

-AS

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Why Buffalo Matters and Why it will Rebound

The Urbanophile is carrying an absolutely beautiful essay on the struggle and the purpose of remaking Buffalo and Rust Belt cities.

“It hurts. When a bigtime Harvard economist writes off your city as a loss, and says America should turn its back on you, it hurts,” writes the author of the passage, which originally appeared in Buffalo Rising. “To choose to live in the Rust Belt is to commit to enduring a continuous stream of bad press and mockery.”

But Buffalo is worth saving, the author writes.

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“The idea of disposable cities is one that is incompatible with a prosperous and sustainable future for our country. Fleeing Rust Belt cities for neo-Southern boomtowns is nothing more than sprawl writ large.”

And there are reasons to be hopeful.

“This new generation of urbanists sees these cities with fresh eyes. They see the decay, yes, but also the opportunity—and the possibilities for the present and future. To them this is Rust Belt Chic. It’s the place artists can dream of owning a house. Where they can live in a place with a bit of an authentic edge and real character. Where people can indulge their passion for renovating old architecture without a seven-figure budget.”

This is the best piece of writing I’ve ever seen on this topic. You should check it out in full text.

-AS

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Renn: “Buffalo, You Are Not Alone”

dsc_0175b-thumb-505xauto-11091From Buffalo Rising: Read Urbanophile Aaron Renn‘s pep talk to Buffalo.

(Though many people in Buffalo already know how cool it is!)

-KG

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Filed under Economic Development, Editorial, Good Ideas, Headline, Rust Belt Blogs, The Media