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Buffalo, New York

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Buffalo in New York.

 

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Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area, the largest in Upstate New York. Downtown Buffalo is located 17 miles (27 km) south of Niagara Falls. Buffalo itself has a population of 261,310 (2010 Census) and the Buffalo–Niagara–Cattaraugus Combined Statistical Area is home to 1,215,826 residents.

Parks

One of Buffalo's many monikers is the City of Trees, which describes the abundance of green in the city. In fact, Buffalo has more than 20 parks with multiple ones being accessible from any part of the city.

The Olmsted Park and Parkway System is the hallmark of Buffalo's many green spaces. Three-fourths of city park land is part of the system, which comprises six major parks, eight connecting parkways, nine circles and seven smaller spaces. Begun in 1868 by Frederick Law Olmsted and his partner Calvert Vaux, the system was integrated into the city and marks the first attempt in America to lay out a coordinated system of public parks and parkways. The Olmsted designed portions of the Buffalo park system are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are maintained by the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

Waterfront

Situated at the confluence of Lake Erie and the Buffalo and Niagara Rivers, Buffalo is a waterfront city. The city's rise to economic power came through its waterways in the form of transshipment, manufacturing, and an endless source of energy. Buffalo's waterfront remains, though to a lesser degree, a hub of commerce, trade, and industry.

As of 2009, a significant portion of Buffalo's waterfront is being transformed into a focal point for social and recreational activity. Recently excavated and rewatered is the Erie Canal Commercial Slip, which is the original western terminus of the Erie Canal System. This is intended to revitalize the original Erie Canal Harbor, with shops, eateries,and high-rise condominiums planned. Buffalo's intent is to stress its relatively architectural and historical heritage, creating a tourism destination.

Art

Buffalo is home to over 50 private and public art galleries, most notably the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, home to a world-class collection of modern and contemporary art. The local art scene is also enhanced by the Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, CEPA Gallery, and many small galleries and studios. AmericanStyle ranked Buffalo fourth in its list of America's top art destinations.

Two street festivals – the Allentown Art Festival and the Elmwood Festival of the Arts – bring thousands of people to the city to browse and purchase original crafts. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, which performs at Kleinhans Music Hall, is one of the city's most prominent performing arts institutions. In the 1960s and 70s, under the musical leadership of Lukas Foss and Michael Tilson Thomas, the Philharmonic was generally regarded as the leading orchestra in the US for new music. Shea's Performing Arts Center, long known as Shea's Buffalo, is an 1920s movie palace that continues to show productions and concerts. Its interior was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Buffalo is also home to the second largest free outdoor Shakespeare festival in the United States, Shakespeare in Delaware Park. Filmmaker, writer, painter and musician Vincent Gallo was born in Buffalo in 1962 and lived there until 1978 when he moved out on his own to New York City.

Architecture

The New York Times has declared that Buffalo is one of the top cities in America for architecture. Approximately 80 sites are included on the National Register of Historic Places. All of the major American architects of the 19th and early 20th century built masterpieces in Buffalo, most of which are still standing. They include:

The country's largest intact parks system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, including Delaware Park. Buffalo was the first city for which Olmsted designed (in 1869) an interconnected park and parkway system rather than stand-alone parks.

The Guaranty Building, by Louis Sullivan, was one of the first steel-supported, curtain-walled buildings in the world, and its 13 stories made it, at the time it was built (1895), the tallest building in Buffalo and one of the world's first true skyscrapers. It is a National Historic Landmark.

The Hotel Buffalo (originally the Statler Hotel) by August Esenwein and James A. Johnson was the first hotel in the world to feature a private bath in each room.

The H. H. Richardson Complex, originally the New York State Asylum for the Insane, is Richardsonian Romanesque in style and was the largest commission designed by prominent architect Henry Hobson Richardson. The grounds of this hospital were designed by Olmsted. Though currently in a state of disrepair, New York State has allocated funds to restore this treasure.

There are several buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright, including the Darwin D. Martin House, George Barton House, William R. Heath House, Walter V. Davidson House, The Graycliff Estate, as well as the now demolished Larkin Administration Building.[96][97] Constructed in 2007 on Buffalo's Black Rock Canal is a Wright-designed boathouse originally intended, but never built, for the University of Wisconsin–Madison rowing team. Along as a tourist destination, it functionally serves many Buffalo-area rowing teams belonging to the West Side Rowing Club. Buffalo has more Frank Lloyd Wright buildings than any other city except Chicago.

The Buffalo City Hall building by George Dietel and John J. Wade is a spectacular art deco skyscraper and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Other notable buildings:

Buffalo Central Terminal, the massive Art Deco railroad station designed by Alfred T. Fellheimer and Steward Wagner.
Lafayette High School, a stone, brick and terra-cotta structure in the French Renaissance Revival style by architects August Eisenwein and James A. Johnson, is the oldest public school in Buffalo that remains in its original building, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
St. Adalbert's Basilica, is a large, basilica-like structure on the city's east side. Built by Huber and Company in 1890–1891, it was built by Polish immigrants. The building itself is brick, its dimensions are 240 feet (73 m) high, 118 feet (36 m) wide, nave 70 feet (21 m) high, the two towers are 150 feet (46 m) high with a dome 40 feet (12 m) wide and soaring 125 feet (38 m) above the main nave. At that time it was the largest church in Western New York and cost $63,000 without the furnishings.
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, a world-renowned repository of art, was designed by Edward Brodhead Green. The new modern art wing was designed by Gordon Bunshaft, a native Buffalonian and graduate of the above-noted Lafayette High School.
Richard Upjohn designed St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral
Eliel Saarinen and Eero Saarinen designed Kleinhans Music Hall
Max Abramovitz designed Temple Beth Zion
Alexander Phimister Proctor designed the Lions for the McKinley Monument
Grain elevators were invented here in 1842. Buffalo's collection is the largest in the world.

Public Festivals

Like many large cities, numerous festivals have become part of the city's culture and tradition. Though most of the festivals occur during the summer months, the city has recently pushed efforts to have winter festivals as well in an effort to capitalize on the region's snowy reputation.

Summer Festivals

Allentown Art Festival - Largest festival of the year on the second weekend of June in the city's Allentown neighborhood.
Taste of Buffalo - One of the largest outdoor food festivals in the country.
Buffalo Greek Festival
Italian Festival
National Buffalo Wing Festival
Buffalo Brewfest
Curtain Up! - Marks the beginning of the Buffalo theater season.
Thursday at the Square - Weekly outdoor summer concert series on Thursday evenings during the summer and fall

Winter Festivals

Buffalo Powder Keg Festival
Labatt Blue Pond Hockey
Saint Patrick's Day Parade
Dyngus Day Buffalo

Other points of interest

Edward M. Cotter fireboat – Considered to be the world's oldest active fireboat and is a United States National Historic Landmark
Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens
Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society
Buffalo Museum of Science
Buffalo Zoo – The third oldest zoo in the United States established in 1875
Forest Lawn Cemetery
"Mark Twain Room" at the Central Branch of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. Contains the original manuscript of Huckleberry Finn
USS Little Rock (CG-4) in Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park
The Anchor Bar – birthplace of the Buffalo wing or the chicken wing as it is commonly called in the region
Lafayette Square
Penn Dixie Paleontological and Outdoor Education Center

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