It’s great when you see a city re-creating itself in all the right ways. BUFFALO, New York, 85 miles down the Queen Elizabeth Way from TORONTO is doing some good stuff – installing a network of bicycle paths, opening new downtown hotels, rebuilding its waterfront, reincarnating warehouses and at least one fine old hotel, and giving diners and culture vultures plenty to keep them busy. BUFFALO, a former industrial giant that fell on several decades of hard times, is getting back on its feet again.
Torontonians are rediscovering BUFFALO. TORONTO architects YOUNG AND WRIGHT obviously see value in the city. Their office is in a Larkin Square heritage building, and their signs appear on several old buildings downtown.
These days, the city offers much more than chicken wings and the Buffalo Bills.
<ABOVE> The extensive Olmsted Park system and the Parkside neighbourhood. Frederick Law Olmsted also designed Central Park in New York City.
<ABOVE> Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House, 125 Jewett Parkway. There are four Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Buffalo. This one is open for tours. Advice: book in advance.
<ABOVE> the restored Layfayette Hotel and inside – Mike A’s art deco bar and restaurant.
<ABOVE> Shea’s Buffalo Theatre. For a city the size of BUFFALO, there are numerous theatre companies and venues. This one is the grandest.
“Sweet Dreams, Baby! Life of Pop, London to Warhol” is this season’s big show at the Albright-Knox Gallery on Elmwood Avenue, The Gallery has one of the most extensive collections of American contemporary art anywhere.
<ABOVE> – renovated warehouses adjacent to LARKIN SQUARE; grain elevator in SILO CITY; art deco CITY HALL, downtown
BUFFALO is an architectural delight – with mansions galore, painted ladies (wooden houses painted in bright colours) in Allentown and Elmwood Village. <ABOVE> – a former daguerreotype studio on Chippewa Street at Ellicott. Chippewa Street, formerly a den of dive bars, is being gentrified.
Some excellent restaurants in BUFFALO – Rue Franklin, 341 Franklin Street, downtown; Sea Bar, 475 Ellicott Street, downtown; Hutch’s, 1375 Delaware Avenue off Gates Circle; Betty’s, 370 Virginia Street in Allentown; and Coles, Elmwood Village.