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Thursday, August 01, 2002

IMAGES OF THE WEEK





Side view of Buffalo City Hall, taken from the waters of Lake Erie.





Front view of Buffalo City Hall and Niagara Square.

:: The city of Buffalo is blessed with an abundance of fine architecture, much of it dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The most prominent architectural gem in Buffalo is City Hall, a 26-story structure that blends Art Deco and Classical styles to create an imposing but beautiful structure. The building can be seen most dramatically from the Canadian side of Lake Erie, where it is the foremost structure in the city skyline. It is the second tallest building in Buffalo, superseded only by the 40-story HSBC Center. That building, though, is on the southern tip of downtown and therefore does not detract from City Hall's ability to draw the eye. The building was built between 1929 and 1931.

The tall obelisk seen in the second photograph stands at the center of Niagara Square, which is one of the hubs of Buffalo's original radial street layout. (This, in turn, was based on the radial layout of Washington, DC.) That street layout has since been compromised by development -- most notably, the cutting off of arterial Genesee Street by the city's Convention Center -- and has been cited as a necessary component in any revitalization of downtown. Over the last few decades, the city has aimed business development almost exclusively at its Main Street corridor, which has concentrated most economic activity along a single street as opposed to fostering a cluster of vital streets within downtown. Alternatives to that way of thinking are now being discussed.

The images link to informative sites on Buffalo in general and the City Hall in particular, via Skyscrapers.com. This fascinating site contains architectural information on dozens of cities. (BTW, I had no idea that Tulsa, OK was that big!!)

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