Titanic Terminal
Photograph © Greg Meadows

The Oldest Building in Buffalo - Part II - Buffalo Lighthouse

*This is the second part of a five part series on some of the oldest buildings in Buffalo and Western New York. (See Part: I)

While the Dun Building may be the oldest skyscraper in Buffalo there are plenty of other buildings that are much older. Built in 1833 the Buffalo Lighthouse stands as the oldest building on the waterfront and the oldest building in the city on its original foundation. The limestone tower has stood vigil in blustering Lake Erie winters and colorful summer sunsets for over 180 years. During the years surrounding its construction 70% of crime reported across the entire United States was happening around Lake Erie or the Erie Canal. But the lighthouse was built and when construction was completed a local newspaper reported that it was “the most perfect work of its kind on this side of the ocean and perhaps in the world.

While the opinion might be a tad overzealous the Buffalo Lighthouse has become the symbol for the city as its the only Buffalo building to make it on to the city seal and flag. But the construction of the breakwater in 1868 decreased the need for the lighthouse significantly and by 1914 it was turned off altogether, only to be lit for high ceremony. When the Army Corp of Engineers attempted to demolish the lighthouse to widen the mouth of the Buffalo River in the 1950s the citizens of Buffalo came to its rescue demanding it remain and by 1962 it was receiving a restoration. Strangely, the lighthouse also adopted the nickname of another smaller tower that reminded people of a coolie hat that once sat beside it - Chinaman’s Light. Today the public has access to the little marine park surrounding its base.

Image 1 © RJ Gabor

Image 2 © Jodi Keklak

Image 3 © Jason Keklak

City of Buffalo New York Amazes with A Growing Buzz of Change
The Canadian publication Dream Travel Magazine featured an article on the “surprising and inspiring” travel destination of Buffalo, NY. The article features four of Buffalo’s premiere neighborhoods including Allentown, the Elmwood Village, Hertel Ave., and Canalside. Promising to share more about her trip in future posts the author declares “Buffalo’s Back!” and says:

"I’m really excited about what’s happening in the city of Buffalo today! In a short stay I experienced amazing dining and great visits to some amazing neighbourhoods that I didn’t even know existed. It is great to know that just a short drive away is a great and affordable weekend getaway."

City of Buffalo New York Amazes with A Growing Buzz of Change

The Canadian publication Dream Travel Magazine featured an article on the “surprising and inspiring” travel destination of Buffalo, NY. The article features four of Buffalo’s premiere neighborhoods including Allentown, the Elmwood Village, Hertel Ave., and Canalside. Promising to share more about her trip in future posts the author declares “Buffalo’s Back!” and says:

"I’m really excited about what’s happening in the city of Buffalo today! In a short stay I experienced amazing dining and great visits to some amazing neighbourhoods that I didn’t even know existed. It is great to know that just a short drive away is a great and affordable weekend getaway."

The Oldest Building in Buffalo - Part I - The Dun Building

*This is the first part of a five part series on some of the oldest buildings in Buffalo and Western New York.

What is Buffalo’s oldest building that still stands today? Well it depends - both on the type of building and how strict your boundaries are for Buffalo. The most grand type of building is the steel-framed skyscraper- the status symbol for any modern center deemed worthy of being called a city. Despite the widely held belief that the internationally famous Guaranty Building is the oldest highrise in the city, Sullivan’s most celebrated creation was built in 1896, one year after the lesser known Dun Building.

The nearly 120 year old Dun Building is an unusually thin 10-story building designed in a Neoclassical style by E. B. Green and William S. Wicks. Constructed in 1894 the Dun is only three years short of being America’s oldest existing skyscraper and that record is currently held by St. Louis’ Wainwright Building, another Sullivan creation  It was named for the R.G. Dun Company which ultimately became one of the largest credit businesses in the world - Dun & Bradstreet. At its base is a plaque that was fastened in 1902 marking the site of Buffalo’s first schoolhouse built in 1807 but “destroyed Dec. 30 1813 at the burning of the village by the British.

Photography by Robert Thuerck

Creative Commons License

Allentown Farmer’s Market
Photograph by Robert Thuerck

Allentown Farmer’s Market

Photograph by Robert Thuerck

Creative Commons License

New commercial development planned for East Side
Just after the announcement of $70 million in residential units coming to the East Side another big project could be in the works. The Buffalo Urban Development Corp. (BUDC) has agreed to purchase 11 acres in property at 537 E. Delavan for $250,000 with a long-term plan of private development.
BUDC has now purchased 20 properties in the immediate area in an attempt to follow the successful template of Riverbend, a location that is now center of hundreds of millions of dollars of development. While Riverbend was in a more remote part of the city the area along E. Delavan is already home to several businesses and located near ECMC.  The future of these properties could soon be home to another multi-million dollar project in a neighborhood where Buffalo needs it the most.
Photograph by Robert Thuerck

New commercial development planned for East Side

Just after the announcement of $70 million in residential units coming to the East Side another big project could be in the works. The Buffalo Urban Development Corp. (BUDC) has agreed to purchase 11 acres in property at 537 E. Delavan for $250,000 with a long-term plan of private development.

BUDC has now purchased 20 properties in the immediate area in an attempt to follow the successful template of Riverbend, a location that is now center of hundreds of millions of dollars of development. While Riverbend was in a more remote part of the city the area along E. Delavan is already home to several businesses and located near ECMC.  The future of these properties could soon be home to another multi-million dollar project in a neighborhood where Buffalo needs it the most.

Photograph by Robert Thuerck

Creative Commons License

Go For the Food: Buffalo, New York’s Chicken Wings
As the National Buffalo Wing Festival approaches AP has recently published an article on authentic “Buffalo wings.” The article has appeared in news outlets from Texas, Arizona, Wisconsin, and elsewhere around the country. The Anchor Bar, Duff’s, Bar Bill, and La Nova are all featured as some of Buffalo’s must-have wings. Back in March the Buffalo News did its own piece of some of Buffalo’s best locations that aren’t as touristy as Anchor Bar or Duff’s and featured Doc Sullivan’s, Mammoser’s Tavern, Gabriel’s Gate, Brennan’s, and more.
Photograph by John Tornow

Go For the Food: Buffalo, New York’s Chicken Wings

As the National Buffalo Wing Festival approaches AP has recently published an article on authentic “Buffalo wings.” The article has appeared in news outlets from Texas, Arizona, Wisconsin, and elsewhere around the country. The Anchor Bar, Duff’s, Bar Bill, and La Nova are all featured as some of Buffalo’s must-have wings. Back in March the Buffalo News did its own piece of some of Buffalo’s best locations that aren’t as touristy as Anchor Bar or Duff’s and featured Doc Sullivan’s, Mammoser’s Tavern, Gabriel’s Gate, Brennan’s, and more.

Photograph by John Tornow

Creative Commons License

LaSalle Sunset
Photograph © RJ Gabor

LaSalle Sunset

Photograph © RJ Gabor

Buffalo #6 for Highest Quality of Life
How much income goes to rent, the percent of people with health insurance coverage, poverty level, unemployment, number of hours worked per week, and travel time to work were the factors considered for Nerdwallet when determining which cities have the highest quality of life. Buffalo was the only city in the Northeast that landed in the top 10. Buffalo ranked high for working less hours per week than most cities as well as having a low cost of living.
Only cities from Nebraska, Minnesota, and Wisconsin were able to beat Buffalo. Some cities Buffalo ranked higher than were: Pittsburgh (12th), Seattle (13th), Boston (18th), Austin (48th), Cleveland (62nd), Las Vegas (73rd), Chicago (83rd), Houston (85th), Detroit (88th), and New York City (92nd).

Buffalo #6 for Highest Quality of Life

How much income goes to rent, the percent of people with health insurance coverage, poverty level, unemployment, number of hours worked per week, and travel time to work were the factors considered for Nerdwallet when determining which cities have the highest quality of life. Buffalo was the only city in the Northeast that landed in the top 10. Buffalo ranked high for working less hours per week than most cities as well as having a low cost of living.

Only cities from Nebraska, Minnesota, and Wisconsin were able to beat Buffalo. Some cities Buffalo ranked higher than were: Pittsburgh (12th), Seattle (13th), Boston (18th), Austin (48th), Cleveland (62nd), Las Vegas (73rd), Chicago (83rd), Houston (85th), Detroit (88th), and New York City (92nd).

Tulgey Wood Trail Marker on Connecticut
Photograph by Robert Thuerck

Tulgey Wood Trail Marker on Connecticut

Photograph by Robert Thuerck

Creative Commons License

$70 Million Highland Park to Bring 600 Residential Units to Fillmore-Leroy

Another struggling Buffalo neighborhood is lighting up with Highland Park, LP Ciminelli’s new $70 million 600 until housing development project at the former Central Park Plaza, located in the Fillmore-Leroy neighborhood on the East Side. The largest housing development project in the city for decades will appeal to a mixture of incomes and is also conveniently located a short distance from the Amherst light rail station; the project is expected to be completed by 2016.

Fillmore-Leroy suffered for a long time because of the brownfield that once was the vacant Central Park Plaza, which was prone to illegal dumping, feral animals, and homelessness. LP Ciminelli is hoping to attract some of the 10,000 workers that will soon be hired at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus as well as improve the neighborhood from where it originated. Along with the new housing will come additional green space, safer and more connected streets, and more businesses. Vice President John Ciminelli says:

“What we are doing is not necessarily creating a neighborhood, but this property for over 100 years was a quarry and then a shopping plaza. Throughout its life it has separated this neighborhood. What we are doing is re-establishng the street grid and knitting that neighborhood back together.”

The National Buffalo Wing Festival

Over 50 years old, chicken wings have stormed the nation and are now a billion dollar industry. Each year they are celebrated with the National Buffalo Wing Festival in the original city of the wing. Over 100 different sauces from 30 restaurants across the country will be featured in Coca Cola Field this Labor Day weekend. A central attraction to the event will be the U.S. Chicken Wing Championship featuring the world’s best competitive eaters and will even be broadcast on ESPN3. Over 80,000 people attend the annual event which stands as a testament to America’s love for the chicken wing.

Seneca Greenway Connector to Connect Downtown to Larkinville

Buffalo’s near East Side continues to flourish with plans for a makeover of Seneca Street between Downtown and Larkinville. Funding for the project will come from property taxes generated by the new project at 500 Seneca Street, which has recently doubled the amount of apartments it will build and has already attracted a brand new distillery. The connector project is one of several major street improvements in the city with Niagara St., Ohio St., and Main St. being three others.

Tour de Farms
Celebrate local sustainable living by traveling with a low carbon footprint to see urban farms, community gardens, and a couple of full-size farms outside of the city. The 35 mile bike ride ends with a harvest celebration with food, beer, music, and dancing with buses that will return you to Buffalo. This event is to be held on September 13th and will be hosted by GObike Buffalo and the Massachusetts Avenue Project.

Tour de Farms

Celebrate local sustainable living by traveling with a low carbon footprint to see urban farms, community gardens, and a couple of full-size farms outside of the city. The 35 mile bike ride ends with a harvest celebration with food, beer, music, and dancing with buses that will return you to Buffalo. This event is to be held on September 13th and will be hosted by GObike Buffalo and the Massachusetts Avenue Project.

Buffalo River Returning
Photograph by Matt Johnson

Buffalo River Returning

Photograph by Matt Johnson