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Buffalo NY Finally Gets it Wright

Louis-Sullivan-Bld-Buffalo-NY

WHY GO: Once the terminus of the Erie Canal, Buffalo NY had more millionaires than any other city at the turn of last century. Two US Presidents, Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland, spent time here. And one, William McKinley, was assasinated here. Frederick Law Olmsted designed parks and roadways, industry flourished. The “Amazon.com” of its day – the Larkin Company – employed thousands. Frank Lloyd Wright was hired to design homes, office buildings and even a gas station. And the Pan American Exposition was held here in 1901, though the celebration was marred by the assassination of President McKinley. Then came the Depression and this industrial city was hit hard, never really recovering in the 60’s and 70’s when other wealthier areas of the country demolished grand old buildings to make way for the ugliness of “Urban Renewal.” In the long run, this was to Buffalo’s advantage. Now, exceptional architecture, a burgeoning medical research and development sector, waterfront development and repurposing of these iconic buildings is attracting a growing number of history buffs and epicurean–minded visitors to New York State’s westernmost city.

What to Do in Buffalo NY

Cave of the Winds at Niagara Falls, NY

Cave of the Winds at Niagara Falls, NY

GO: Niagara Falls. Chances are you’ve been here. But if you haven’t, see one of the natural wonders of the world from several vantage points. It’s a short 20 minute drive from downtown Buffalo, so plan to stay in the city, and make the Falls a daytrip. Experience Maid of the Mist – the US boat that takes you right into the thundering roar of Canada’s Horseshoe Falls, grinding the engine in the pummeling whitewater for several dramatic minutes. Then walk in the splash of the American Falls through the Cave of the Winds. For both, you’ll be issued flimsy ponchos (you will get wet, guaranteed), and at the entrance of the Cave of the Winds, you’ll receive a complimentary sturdy water-sandal souvenir in your size. Open May – mid-October. Discovery Pass, $36 adults, $29 youth, gets you into five attractions including Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds with take-home souvenir sandals.

Radiator With Art Glass at Frank Lloyd Wright Darwin Martin Complex, Buffalo NY

Radiator With Art Glass at Frank Lloyd Wright Darwin Martin Complex, Buffalo NY

VISIT: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex. At a time when Buffalo was the 8th largest city in the USA, and one of the first to be completely wired for electricity, this home, consisting of five structures built 1903-1905, was one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s largest commissions. By the 1990’s three of the original structures had been demolished, necessitating a painstaking restoration that began in 1997 and continues to this day.

Frank Lloyd Wright Darwin Martin Complex, Buffalo NY

Frank Lloyd Wright Darwin Martin Complex, Buffalo NY

Begin at the glass-encased Visitor’s Center, designed by contemporary NYC architect Toshiko Mori and opt for either a one or two hour tour of one of the country’s signature FLW sites.

175 foot long Pergola, Darwin Martin Complex, Buffalo NY

175 foot long Pergola, Darwin Martin Complex, Buffalo NY

Like all Wright designs, the main house consists of natural materials, with a dynamic view the minute you walk through the front door. A 175-foot pergola connects the main house to the statue of Winged Victory in a plant-filled conservatory. Wright urged the “Soul to Soar” through architecture. His spaces were compressed, but his designs were light-filled for those Victorian times.

Kitchen at Frank Lloyd Wright Darwin Martin Complex, Buffalo NY

Kitchen at Frank Lloyd Wright Darwin Martin Complex, Buffalo NY

Most homes of the day were finished in mahogany, but Wright favored the lighter fine-grained rift-sawn White American Oak. His iconic art-glass windows with iridescent gold-leaf rectangles filtered light into the interior through green and golden hues.  Wright abhorred clutter, hiding books in innovative cabinets and heating grates behind art glass doors that once again have been meticulously restored by the best craftsmen today.

Mon, Wed, Fri. Sat – one-hour tours begin on the hour from 10am (11am Jan-April) till 4pm, Sundays from noon – 3:30, $17 for one hour tour, $35 two-hour tour. Not wheelchair accessible. Must reserve tickets in advance.

Graycliff Estate, Frank Lloyd Wright design, Lake Erie

Graycliff Estate, Frank Lloyd Wright design, Lake Erie

VISIT: Graycliff Estate, Derby. Built on a cliff of gray limestone (hence the name) overlooking Lake Erie, Graycliff was constructed for Darwin Martin’s wife, Isabelle, as a “country house” to replace her beloved summer place in the Adirondacks. By the early 1920’s Isabel’s eyesight was so bad, she consulted with Frank Lloyd Wright to design this getaway, 15 miles from Buffalo, with walls of glass that allowed views through to the lake and plenty of natural light.

After Isabelle passed away in 1945, the Piarist Fathers purchased the property (in 1951), covering up many of the fine features with additional buildings and lean-tos. In the 1990’s, when the Order vacated the property, it was slated to be torn down until a small, passionate group formed the “Graycliff Conservancy” and raised an initial $20,000 to stave off demolition. Since then, funds have been rolling in to support the restoration, rendering the Graycliff Conservancy one of the most successful grassroots efforts in the region to rescue one home.

Before one wall or floor could be restored, tens of thousands of dollars were spent on structural issues –  tons of dirt had to be removed from the basement and cement chipped from flowerbeds.  A state of the art “misting” system was installed to prevent damage from either fire or too much water. Next, an asphalt roof installed by the Fathers was removed, and replaced with 25,000 hand-stained cedar shingles, as Wright had designedand exterior walls re-stuccoed using sand from the beach below. Wright was a nut for nature – bringing gardens and patios inside whenever he could. The Fern Room features flower boxes and unique corner windows that open.

Touring Graycliff provides a rare chance to witness a work-in-progress restoration of one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most unusual designs.

Tours various times through the year, so consult website. Open daily in summer and early fall, closed Wed otherwise. Most tours 10:30, 11 and 2 M-F, more on weekends.  $16 adults, $10 kids. Do not wear high heels!

Sol LeWitt Installation, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo NY

Sol LeWitt Installation, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo NY

VISIT: Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Since 1862, the Albright-Knox has been collecting “paintings while still wet.” Incorporating a 1905 Beaux Arts building (which boasts the second-most number of columns in the country – the first being the U.S. Capitol Building) and a 1962 contemporary addition, The Albright-Knox takes the long view of Modernism with strongest holdings in Post War American Abstraction. After a world-tour, one of the most thrilling installations is back – Lucas Samara’s Mirrored Room – joined by famous works by world-renowned artists. Frida Kahlo’s (unibrowed) Self –Portrait, Giacomo Balla’s Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash among others will be on display until September 2014 when they head off again.  In permanent galleries, see works of Picasso, Renoir, O’Keefe, Warhol, and a Sol LeWitt stairwell installation, built from millions of graphite scribbles, that looks from afar like steel. $12 adults, $5 kids, Tues-Sun 10-5.

Burchfield-Penny Art Center, Buffalo NY

Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo NY

VISIT: Burchfield/Penney Art Center. Though he was the first artist chosen for a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC in 1930, most people have never heard of Charles Burchfield. But a visit to this 2008 LEDE-Certified museum, moved from Buffalo State College across the street, will change all that. Burchfield began his career designing wallpaper, and among the 30,000 objects of his here, you might just be mesmerized by Burchfield’s bizarre take on nature – a mashup of Munch, Van Gough, and Audubon on hallucinogens. Look for eyes in trees, stormy skies, Lucy in the Sky With Diamond colors. Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-5pm, Thursday from 10am-9pm and Sunday from 1-5pm. Admission is $10 (adult), $8 (senior), $5 (student).

Frank Lloyd Wright Gas Station, Wright's Cord L-29 Cabriolet  at Pierce-Arrow Museum, Buffalo NY

Frank Lloyd Wright Gas Station, Wright’s Cord L-29 Cabriolet at Pierce-Arrow Museum, Buffalo NY

VISIT: Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum.  What was just until lately the vanity project of an antique-car collector is now the home to never-build-in-his-lifetime but now realized Frank Lloyd Wright Filing Station. But first, the museum itself.

Because Buffalo was the terminus of the Erie Canal, it was an engine of industry and manufacturing. Buffalo-based Pierce Arrow employed over twelve thousand people during its heyday, turning out more trucks for WWI than any other car manufacturer in the country.

Ohio Electric Car with Patent Leather Fenders at the Pierce Arrow Museum, Buffalo NY

Ohio Electric Car with Patent Leather Fenders at the Pierce Arrow Museum, Buffalo NY

The high-class Pierce-Arrow Motorcar, the “Rolls Royce of America,” was the official White House vehicle from Taft to FDR, and you can see several meticulously restored versions among  a warehouse of other notable autos, including the “Playboy” – a white convertible brand put out of business by General Motors, the 1902 Buffalo Electric Car made for the most part for women because it didn’t require cranking, an Ohio Electric Car with smooth black patent leather fenders, a cherry red Chevy Impala 409 of “she’s real fine, my 409” fame.

Frank Lloyd Wright Gas Station, Built from Renderings in 2014, Pierce-Arrow Museum, Buffalo NY

Frank Lloyd Wright Gas Station, Built from Renderings in 2014, Pierce-Arrow Museum, Buffalo NY

The pièce de résistance of this museum, though, is the newly debuted Frank Lloyd Wright gas station, which was never built. Until now. In 1927, having just completed Graycliff, Wright was broke and in the midst of a nasty divorce and scandalous relationship with an underage foreigner. Scorned and under a microscope, he was nevertheless hired by TYDOL to design a state-of-the-art gas station at a time when these pit stops were literally a pump and a shack. Wright imagined a copper-roof filing station that would spoil patrons with fireplaces, deluxe restrooms, and an ingenious gravity-flow rooftop gas dispensing system. The final design was much too expensive to build, and so it never was.  Now, you can see it exactly how Wright had envisioned it – gleaming copper roof and all. And if you go before January 2015, you’ll see Wright’s own orange 1929 Cord L-29 Cabriolet on loan from the Duesenberg Museum in Auburn Indiana. Thurs-Sun 11-4, $10 adults, $5 kids.

Buffalo NY City Hall

Buffalo NY City Hall

TOUR: Architectural Tour. Start at the imposing 1932 City Hall and take the elevator to the 25th floor observation deck (you’ll have to climb an additional 2 floors to get to it) for a bird’s eye view of Buffalo and Lake Erie. It’s also a nice camera angle to see the top of the Liberty Bank Building where two 30-foot bronze replicas of the Statues of Liberty face east and west. Take a free one-hour tour of City Hall Monday – Saturday at noon.

Two 30 ft. Statue of Liberty Replicas Face East and West Atop the Liberty Building, Buffalo NY

Two 30 ft. Statue of Liberty Replicas Face East and West Atop the Liberty Building, Buffalo NY

Next, the Hotel Lafayette – notable for its creator, Louise Bethune, America’s first female architect. Built in 1905 with hot and cold running water and phones in every room, it was among the most technologically advanced hotel of its day – and after a recent renovation is back in vogue as a boutique hotel.

Ellicott Square Building Interior, Buffalo NY

Ellicott Square Building Interior, Buffalo NY

Next  – hailed as the largest commercial building when constructed, the Ellicott Square Bldg. features an incredible interior with mosaic floor, wrought iron railings and double-staircases and spectacular glass ceiling. Bonus: you can get your Beef On Weck at Charlie The Butcher’s Express here for the ultimate Buffalo experience.

Louis Sullivan's Prudential Building, Buffalo NY

Louis Sullivan’s Prudential Building, Buffalo NY

Stop at the Louis Sullivan Guaranty Building, built in 1895 for Prudential Insurance.  Sullivan, called “The Father of the Modern Skyscraper,” covered exterior surfaces with spectacular terra-cotta ornamentation.

Buffalo Architecture tours through Preservation Buffalo Niagara.

Handwritten manuscript of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Buffalo Public Library, Buffalo NY

Handwritten manuscript of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Buffalo Public Library, Buffalo NY

AMAZING FIND: Handwritten Huck Finn Manuscript at the Buffalo Public Library. Stand within reach of the portion of manuscript discovered in 1990 in an old trunk that hadn’t been open since before the owner’s death in the 60’s. (Twain had donated the other half to the library in 1885, when manuscripts weren’t worth much).  There it is, in Twain’s own handwriting, cross-outs and all – several pages plus the title page of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Unbelievable.

VISIT: Buffalo History Museum. Within site of the Albright-Knox Art Museum and Burchfield-Penny, the History Museum is housed in the only building remaining from the 1901 Pan American Expo.

Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, Buffalo NY

Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, Buffalo NY

VISIT: Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site. Like Lyndon Johnson on Air Force One, Teddy Roosevelt was hastily sworn into office at his friend’s home, following the assassination of President McKinley at the Pan American Exposition in 1901. The Wilcox home is now a National Historic Site, where you’ll find videos and exhibits about the man who used the “Bully Pulpit” to push through anti-trust legislation, champion the conservation movement and increase consumer protections. Guided tour only, $10. Mon.- Fri 9-5, Sat/Sun noon-5. Last tour 3:30.

Canalside Buffalo NY

Canalside Buffalo NY

STROLL: Canalside. Thanks to General Mills, the smell of Cheerios lingers in the Buffalo air, particularly by the industrial waterfront. Day or night, by foot or boat, this formerly shabby newly revitalized Niagara River/Lake Erie area sparkles with life, history and participatory events. You might stumble upon a vibrant Zumba class, a concert or kids learning to hoola hoop. On Saturday mornings, the Artisan Market brings shoppers to the esplanade. Rent a kayak from Buffalo Harbor Kayak ($15 hourly) and you can paddle right up to factory buildings – like the Archer/Daniels Midland Grain Elevators, cement plants and General Mills Cheerio facility.

Larkin Square, Buffalo NY

Larkin Square, Buffalo NY

PARTY/MUSIC/FOOD TRUCKS: Larkin Square. Howard Zemsky and his wife, Leslie – the “Director of Fun: Larkin Square”  – took an abandoned manufacturing complex and turned the city around. Or at least this part of it. The Larkin Co. was “the Amazon of its day,” starting with soap making and then kitchen craft, fashion, home goods and furniture – all sold by catalog or by women who earned furniture rather than an income. Larkin was one of the largest companies in America, but went out of business by the 1940’s.

Larkin Company, Buffalo NY

Larkin Company, Buffalo NY

The community-minded Zemsky’s saw opportunity in these abandoned buildings and repurposed them into new office space, but didn’t stop there. They carved out a public park – like a quad on a college campus – where people can gather, eat, sit in lounge chairs and play games for free.  Though nearly 2,000 people work here, many more come for “Food Truck Tuesdays,” “Live at Larkin Wednesdays,” and “Outdoor Urban Market Thursdays.” The renovated 1930’s Filling Station is now a locally sourced café, and across the street is the soon-to-open pub, Hydraulic Hearth. Come on any given summer’s eve and the place is hopping.

Bubble Man on Corner of Allen and Elmwood, Buffalo NY

Bubble Man on Corner of Allen and Elmwood, Buffalo NY

SHOP/EAT/DRINK: Elmwood Ave. A bit over two miles long, this street has boutiques, restaurants and The Bubble Man – a guy who blows bubbles from his second story window on the corner of Allen and Elmwood.

What and Where to Eat in Buffalo NY

Original Buffalo Wings at Anchor Bar, Buffalo NY

Original Buffalo Wings at Anchor Bar, Buffalo NY

BUFFALO FOOD: Buffalo Wings the now ubiquitous bar food wasn’t always. Invented on the fly at the Anchor Bar in 1964, Theresa Bellisimo needed to satisfy a hungry hoard of college kids with the scraps she had on hand. The deep fried, hot sauce snack, as we now say, went viral. “Beef On Weck” – rare roast beef on a salt and caraway seed kimmelweck bun. Get one quick at Charlie The Butcher’s Express while ogling the interior of a Buffalo icon – the Ellicott Square Building. Sponge Candy – chocolate covered crunchy confection that looks just like a wild sponge. Find them at Watson’s or Fowler’s.

Tempo Restaurant, Buffalo NY

Tempo Restaurant, Buffalo NY

EAT: Tempo. You’ll find one of Buffalo’s top fine restaurants on Millionaire’s Row – Delaware Ave – in a stone townhome modeled after a Tuscan villa. Food is excellent, low-lit atmosphere appropriate for family pow-wows or an intimate tete a tete, and classy, knowledgeable waitstaff are attentive, but not overly so. Hand-rolled Gnocchi ($26) with gooey mozzarella is sinfully good, as is the light as air Chicken Milanese ($34) – delicately breaded cutlet topped with arugula salad.

EAT: There is no end to the growing food scene in Buffalo, and the “Best Chicken Wings” debate extends into fine dining as well. Consensus for best include Left Bank for Modern American, Hutch’s for Seafood, Lombardo’s – another fine Italian, and innovative rising star, Martin Cooks.

DRINK: Founding Father’s Pub. Locals love this quirky place.  Trivia Nights and free nachos make this friendly neighborhood pub an international favorite.

DRINK: Resurgence Brewing Co. One of six craft breweries in town, Resurgence makes a “Sponge Candy Stout,” allowing you to both sample the beer and Buffalo’s signature confection at the same time. Resurgence also features a Beer Garden where you can munch on burritos and meat pies while enjoying your brews.

Blue Monk, Buffalo NY

Blue Monk, Buffalo NY

DRINK: Blue Monk. With 32 crafts on draft, and nearly 150 in bottles, this funky place is a magnet for beer connoisseurs who want to try a bunch of the best all in one place. It’s got a fun, funky, happy atmosphere to boot.

Where to Stay in Buffalo NY

Standard room, Mansion on Delaware, Buffalo NY

Standard room, Mansion on Delaware, Buffalo NY

STAY: Mansion on Delaware. Built in 1869 as a home for a family of three (with 12 servants), the Mansion sat empty for 30 years before its debut as a 28-room 4 Diamond hotel in the early ‘aughts. And like that family of three, you’ll be spoiled rotten by a bevy of butlers at your beck and call. Décor is stunning – Marimekko meets Art Deco with bones and woodwork intact – a mash-up of moderns to highlight the original architecture to beautiful effect. Even the smallest of rooms exude charm, with graphic-design pillows in rust and black, patterned carpet in hues of green, glass desk, and contemporary accessories.

European Breakfast Spread, Mansion on Delaware, Buffalo NY

European Breakfast Spread, Mansion on Delaware, Buffalo NY

But what makes this stay so unique are the “Butlers” on call 24/7.  Need your shirt and pants pressed? Call. Just call. First two items are complementary. Require ice?  “Please don’t do it yourself, ask us.”  Need to get to a great restaurant? A Land Rover will shuttle you within three miles. Between 5 and 7pm, join other guests in the boldly decorated billiards room and salons while enjoying complementary wine and cocktails (2 per person before honor-bar kicks in). “European” breakfast includes cheese and smoked salmon and the most decadent, cream-centered chocolate croissant that memories are made of. Rooms $190-$450 include free wi-fi, parking, afternoon cocktails or wine, European breakfast, clothes pressing, shuttle service, butler service.

STAY: Hotel @ Lafayette. Newly renovated, this 1904 building was designed by the first woman to be admitted into the American Institute of Architects, Louise Blanchard. It’s now a trendy, contemporary boutique hotel. Rooms $170-$210 per night.

STAY TUNED: H.H. Richardson Complex. Richardson, along with Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan, is one of the “recognized trinity of American Architecture,” and he considered the 1870 New York State Asylum, shut down in the 1970’s and an office building until 1996, to be his greatest project. It is currently being renovated into a boutique hotel and conference center set to open in 2016.

{ 44 comments… add one }

  • John Mullins July 8, 2014, 1:42 pm

    A very well researched article (not many people know about Bubble Man!).

    Could use a little love from a copy editor, though. (High “heals” – within “site”…).

    Plus, the photo used for Canalside is actually the Erie Basin Marina.

    Great stuff, though.

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen July 8, 2014, 1:51 pm

      Hi John – Thanks for reading and commenting. I actually took that photo in Buffalo last week at Canalside (at least – that’s what I was told it was as I walked from the Lighthouse to the Kayak rental place, snapping pictures). I’m my own copy editor – so rely on attentive readers like you to point out typos and misspellings! Thanks – Malerie

      • Diane MacPherson July 9, 2014, 4:56 pm

        the photo titled Canalside is indeed the Erie Basin Marina

  • Dave July 8, 2014, 3:49 pm

    Thank you for the charming article highlighting Buffalo!

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen July 8, 2014, 11:31 pm

      Hi Dave, Thank you for reading! – Malerie

  • Suzanne July 8, 2014, 5:04 pm

    DOWNTOWN
    Tours of downtown Buffalo’s architecture and history.

    Buffalo Classics
    Masters of American Architecture

    CRIME IN THE QUEEN CITY
    Tour the darker side of Buffalo’s history!

    Allentown Mob Tour
    West Side Mob Tour

    GILDED AGE SERIES
    Tours of mansion neighborhoods where Buffalo’s rich and famous have lived.

    Delaware Avenue Mansions
    Delaware Avenue Midway
    Hidden Gems of the Delaware District
    Lincoln Parkway

    NEIGHBORHOODS
    Tours of particular neighborhoods in Buffalo.

    Black Rock
    Canisius College Neighborhood
    Cottage District
    Elmwood Village Victorians
    Grant Street Revival
    Grant-Amherst Neighborhood
    Larkinville
    Midtown Buffalo

    BEYOND BUFFALO
    Tours of places outside the City of Buffalo.

    Hamburg’s Architectural Gems
    North Tonawanda: Lumber City
    Village of Williamsville

    WATERFRONT &
    GRAIN ELEVATORS
    Tours along the Buffalo River waterfront.

    Silo City Vertical
    Silo City Grounded
    Down by the River

    BUS TOURS
    In-depth tours on board a comfortable motor coach, covering a wider geographic area.

    Brewing Buffalo: Then and Now

    SPECIALTY TOPICS
    Tours focusing on a unique topic of interest.

    Art of the Subway
    Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
    Grassroots Gardens Tours
    Grover Cleveland: Buffalo’s Other President
    Villa Maria Illuminated

    YOUTH & FAMILY TOURS
    FREE tours for children and their families, in partnership with the Buffalo Architecture Foundation.

    CUSTOM TOURS
    Custom tours are always available for groups. We provide private walking tours or step-on bus docents, and all of our tours can be customized to meet your group’s interests.

    SCHOOL TOURS
    We are proud to provide tours to schoolchildren, to instill in them an appreciation for Buffalo’s architecture and history at an early age.

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen July 8, 2014, 5:06 pm

      Hi – I did link to your website. Wish I had more time to take some of your quirkier tours. Malerie

  • Chris Clemens July 8, 2014, 10:17 pm

    Great list! If you’re ever in Rochester and in need of some tips, be in touch!

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen July 8, 2014, 11:33 pm

      Chris – Rochester is certainly on my list to explore! I just might take you up on it! – Malerie

  • Thomas McShane July 9, 2014, 4:20 am

    My family moved to Western NY 25 years ago. This is the best kept secret in the country. We will never leave.

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen July 10, 2014, 10:42 pm

      Hi Tom – I can see why. It’s a beautiful place. Malerie

  • Joseph Incao July 9, 2014, 8:01 am

    Hi Malerie,

    I am the Retail Director at the Martin House. Nice piece on the Martin House. I would however like to point out 2 corrections and a plug. We are open on Sunday’s and we are wheelchair accessible and if I do say so myself, we have a really good museum store that is not just the shop at the end of the tour. Thanks, Joe Incao

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen July 10, 2014, 10:41 pm

      Hi Joseph – I loved the gift shop at the Martin House! As the daughter of a FLW-style architect and Mom of an Architect in training, there was so much there I wanted to purchase. I made the change about the Martin House being open on Sundays, but I was told (and it states the website) that the tours are not wheelchair accessible. Thanks for reading and commenting – Malerie

  • Mickey Harmon July 9, 2014, 8:57 am

    Thank you for your wonderful article. Grover Cleveland spent much of his life here, but he actually grew up in Fayetteville, NY and was born in Caldwell, NJ. He moved to Buffalo to work for his Uncle Lewis Fahey Allen, who owned a huge chunk of land which in no known as modern day Allentown. Great read though! Thanks!

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen July 9, 2014, 4:00 pm

      Thanks, Mickey – I see that Fillmore was born closer to the Finger Lakes, too. So I will fix. Thanks for reading and pointing out my error and for your kind words. – Malerie

  • angelo July 9, 2014, 7:53 pm

    malery, you visited bflo at the right time. (late sept, early oct might be a bit special, also.) especially considering our winters season. only makes us appreciate this weather all the more. a suggestion, next time you are here , I suggest you visit the goldome bank downtown on huron and main, formerly bflo savings bank, now m&t. and whil your there go inside an see the lobby with the amazing mechanical bank collection. a hidden gem not to be missed.

  • Alan July 9, 2014, 8:36 pm

    Malerie,

    Great article. I must pat myself on the back for covering every single thing in your piece. Might I also suggest The Roycroft Campus, the birthplace of the American Arts & Crafts movement and a National Historic Landmark. Located in East Aurora, about 20 minutes from Buffalo, it’s also home to Millard Fillmore’s house, Fisher Price and Vidler’s, the ultimate five and dime store!

  • Lisa July 10, 2014, 8:40 am

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for highlighting our beautiful City! You are welcome back anytime, and tell your friends! ;-)

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen July 10, 2014, 10:38 pm

      Thanks, Lisa. I’m telling everyone! Thanks for reading and for your kind words…Malerie

  • Mike July 10, 2014, 9:10 am

    Are you sure you haven’t lived here before? Haha! Very nice article.

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen July 10, 2014, 10:37 pm

      Hi Mike – maybe in another life! Malerie

  • Justin July 10, 2014, 9:31 am

    Malerie, good article on Buffalo. I just wanted to say you missed one other Frank Lloyd Wright gem I know of in the queen city at the foot of the Peace bridge, FLW’s Fontana Boathouse. Here is the link to it http://wrightsboathouse.org/

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen July 10, 2014, 10:36 pm

      Thanks for the info, Justin! Malerie

  • Liz July 10, 2014, 4:14 pm

    Duffs! I feel like Duffs is missing from the best wings list. Thanks for the great write up. Our city needs all the praising it can get!

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen July 10, 2014, 10:36 pm

      Hi Liz – I did hear quite a bit about Duffs, but I had to go with the place that actually invented the wings. Next time, I’ll try your favorite! Thanks for reading and commenting… Malerie

  • Christopher Bieda July 10, 2014, 4:40 pm

    In defense of the original caption, the “incursion” into the marina is only a few yards from the northern edge of Canalside. Also, in the interest of scrupulous accuracy, Bubble Man plies his trade from a third-story window (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq2bUYFmFOA), which gives him greater range. (This is, of course, if you adhere to the American practice of referring to the ground floor as the first floor, Europeans disregard this digression.)

    And while where a politician is born, raised, etc., gives many places claim to him, Fillmore gets props for being buried in Buffalo (thus one of only 39 sites where a former president is in permanent residence!). And, as a organizer of the University of Buffalo (1846) and Buffalo General Hospital (1855), he was responsible for arguably the two most important drivers of the region’s economy in 2014: Eds and meds. (This is NOT to disparage the role of Dr. Roswell Park, whose work at the Gratwick Laboratories begat the first comprehensive cancer care center in the U.S., in 1974, by then the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.)

    Cleveland, while marrying a Buffalo gal (guess she came out that night!), was the local sheriff and mayor, and rose from sheriff to president in four years flat (making President Obama’s rise from local politico look glacially slow by comparison); unfortunately, he retired to New Jersey, not the city that launched his career.

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen July 10, 2014, 10:35 pm

      Hi Chris – great info here (and cleverly presented, too). I have to stick by my “second story” window re: Bubble Man, though. His perch seemed to be the floor above ground (1st). Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment – Malerie

      • Denis Everest July 11, 2014, 4:26 pm

        Good catch even noticing thr bubbleman in Allentown. I work downtown & most of my coworkers don’t know of him. He doesn’t get out, so this is his small way of brightening the spirits of those who cohabitate/visit his small portion of this earth.

  • Bob Madden July 10, 2014, 4:54 pm

    Thank you for championing a great city!

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen July 10, 2014, 10:29 pm

      Thanks for having a great city to champion. Buffalo is very deserving of praise. Thanks for reading and commenting – Malerie

  • Mark Adair July 10, 2014, 4:55 pm

    Good Lord… where is this writer from?…

    Most articles about my beloved Western New York tell the world that a bunch of fat-ass Buffalonians deal with snow and ice 12 months a year, as we ignorant slobs daily consume chicken wings by the bucketful and live in a bunch of crumbling steel mills…

    It looks like this writer ACTUALLY VISITED Buffalo!… Holy Crap!

    Well, young lady, thank you so much for coming to our area… Next time you come, you will have to visit Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica in Lackawanna, our world-class zoo, spend the day in Delaware Park, take a boat trip down the Erie Canal or visit Old Fort Niagara…

    Oh yeah… you don’t have to order chicken wings… next time, try the Beef on Weck – with horse radish sauce, of course…

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen July 10, 2014, 10:28 pm

      Hi Mark – thank you so much for your kind words. Yes I did visit Buffalo and LOVED it. Friendly, beautiful and the residents have such pride in their city! I do have to return and see everything I missed. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Malerie

  • Alan Duchan July 10, 2014, 10:12 pm

    One small punctuation error: in your eats section the “innovative rising star” is “Martin Cooks,” not Martin Cook’s.

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen July 10, 2014, 10:26 pm

      Hi Alan – Thanks for reading and pointing that out. I just fixed it. Wish I could have stayed in Buffalo long enough to have a meal in each of the restaurants I recommended! Malerie

  • Ian Durham July 10, 2014, 10:17 pm

    Great article! Read the HuffPost one first and there was one minor error in that. Elbert Hubbard’s Roycroft Campus (which is well worth a visit) is in historic East Aurora (not Aura, as stated in the article) which is also home to the HQ of Fisher-Price toys (since it was started in EA — everyone in EA knew Mr. Fisher and Mr. Price way back when).

    Incidentally, the grain elevator was invented in Buffalo and General Mills was essentially founded there (even though it is no longer HQ’ed there). Dun & Bradstreet was founded there as well (check out the Dun building — beautiful architecture).

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen July 10, 2014, 10:25 pm

      Hi Ian – Thank you for reading (both pieces) and for your comments. I will try to have the Huff Post editors change Aura to East Aurora – several other people pointed that out. I’ll have to go back and visit the Royroft Campus as well. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment! Malerie

    • Denis Everest July 11, 2014, 4:05 pm

      Some of the remaining (abandoned) grain elevators are being repurposed as “Silo City” and are starting to host various art & music events (some at the same time). The location on Childs St & tours are mentioned by a previous commenter. General Mills actually still uses some of theirs.

  • john osberg July 11, 2014, 11:52 am

    Beautifully written article, Malerie. Really nicely done. As a citizen of Buffalo and a strong believer in the city and surround communities, you really did a great job conveying all of what makes Buffalo a spectacular place to live and thrive in. With the resurgence of downtown, business and jobs flocking to the city/surrounding areas, infrastructure updates and the Waterfront/Canal-side being revitalized, there is a lot to love about Buffalo. Thanks again for comprising a lot of information about Buffalo in a pleasant, succinct article.

    – John Osberg

  • Denis Everest July 11, 2014, 4:17 pm

    Don’t forget how quickly & easily it is to get around. My 8 mile rush hour commute is 21 min; other hours is 12 min. Nothing is over 20 min away (by car)from anything else, including Canada (just remember your passport). Much of what is in the article is walking distance apart & the above ground portion of the “subway” (downtown portion of Main St) is free.

  • Julie Kianof Fink July 14, 2014, 3:12 pm

    Great promo for Buffalo Niagara! For more information on Buffalo and Niagara Falls visit our website. We also publish a beautiful hard cover guide that has more information. You can order your own copy online; these guides are featured in all the better hotels (in-room) throughout the Buffalo Niagara region.

  • Paul kellner July 27, 2014, 3:59 pm

    Very nice research especially with all the pics my wife and I have gone to Pittsburgh and Cleveland just because of their waterfront nice to see buffalo finally catching up

  • Curto August 2, 2014, 10:09 am

    Great article! The origin of Buffalo’s name is worthy of mention. Originally called Beau Fleuve, the name morphed into Buffalo and Buffalo have never been native to the area. Would love to see the original name used once again.

  • Mary Wilde August 12, 2014, 9:25 pm

    Wonderful article….The Buffalo Botanical Gardens and Our Lady of Victory Basilica are also great places to bring out of town guests.

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen October 29, 2014, 8:13 am

      Thanks for the additional recommendations, Mary!
      Malerie

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