True Green Cities / Documenting Buffalo’s Modernism

HSBC Center, now One Seneca Tower, on Main Street in downtown Buffalo was recently submitted to the DOCOMOMO US historic Registry.

HSBC Center, now One Seneca Tower, on Main Street in downtown Buffalo was recently submitted to the DOCOMOMO US historic Registry.

Buffalo has long been known as the home of iconic works of architecture by H. H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. But Buffalo’s architectural legacy did not end with the demolition of Wright’s ill-fated Larkin Administration Building in 1950. It has an incredibly rich modernist heritage, and some of that heritage is now under siege. As a way to begin to counteract misconceptions about Buffalo’s modernism and bring awareness to the rich sites that dot Western New York, I taught a graduate seminar, “Preserving Modern Heritage,” last spring in the University at Buffalo School of Architecture & Planning. The students’ semester long project was to choose a Buffalo Modern and document it for the DOCOMOMO US Registry. Until this year, only two buildings in Buffalo were listed in the Registry, and one of those had been demolished in 1950! (The New York Central Terminal Railroad Station, an Art Deco masterpiece from 1929 and Wright’s 1906 Larkin Administration Building, demolished 1950, were the only two Buffalo buildings listed.) Seven modern sites were ultimately listed as part of the class, with several more in the wings for later this year.  (Excerpt from the DOCOMOMO US Newsletter, special edition entitled "Modernism in the Rust Belt.") For the full article, click on this link, Documenting Buffalo's Modernism.   And if you’d like to “subscribe” or follow my blog, True Green Cities, please sign up through the “Subscribe” button at the bottom left of this page. You’ll receive a daily recap when new blogs are posted. Or Sign up for the Feed.  
© Copyright Barbara Campagna – True Green Cities - 2011-2013