If you’ve spent time in Buffalo or you’re an architecture buff, you are familiar with Buffalo’s gorgeous architecture. From the old beautiful mansions on Delaware to the majestic churches, the Art Deco influence seen in City Hall and the mid-century modern homes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Buffalo buildings represents the very best of American architecture over the late 19th and 20th centuries. If you want a firsthand experience of American architecture, Buffalo is the place to find it. (Indeed, there are many Buffalo tours that do focus on architecture, including ones offered by Preservation Buffalo Niagara.)
Unsurprisingly, then, would Buffalo Humanities Festival include Gregory Delaney’s timely discussion of architecture and the Buffalo renaissance. Professor Delaney will speak to how architecture in Buffalo’s renaissance will set the tone for the city’s future and how it will understand the past.
In 2008, Nicolai Ouroussoff in The New York Times Art and Design section described Buffalo’s architectural history and its contemporary preservation movement:
The architects who worked here were among the first to break with European traditions to create an aesthetic of their own, rooted in American ideals about individualism, commerce and social mobility. And today its grass-roots preservation movement is driven not by Disney-inspired developers but by a vibrant coalition of part-time preservationists, amateur historians and third-generation residents who have made reclaiming the city’s history a deeply personal mission.
This tradition, this architectural history, is truly a big part of Buffalo’s identity. Even now, Buffalo continues to attract architects wanting to work with the city’s historic landscapes, which Ouroussoff mentions in his article. Modern architects include the New York-based Gwathmey Siegel & Associates, responsible for the “sleek new zinc-and cast-stone-clad home for the Burchfield-Penney Art Center,” where Professor Delaney’s talk will take place.
Are you an architecture junkie? Then don’t miss Gregory Delaney’s BHF talk, “Architecture and the Buffalo Renaissance: Building Momentum,” from 2:30-3:30pm on Saturday 9/24 in the Burchfield-Penney Auditorium.
Gregory Delaney is Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at UB. He is a graduate of the Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University, where he also taught courses in architecture and landscape architecture. His teaching emphasizes the history of architecture as a vehicle for contemporary design.