In Historic Lockport: Part of One of the World’s Premiere Inland Waterways, George Cassidy Payne provided a comprehensive look at the canal town of Lockport, NY. Today, George ventures southward with a montage of urban Buffalo.
In Niagara Noir, George captured the essence of Niagara Falls.
The Buffalo Roams Again
Have you been to Buffalo lately? Apparently a billion dollars goes a long way. The money from NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo has brought new construction, increased economic development, and thousands of new jobs to the Queen City. Today it is a roaring 54.9 billion dollar economy that has no signs of slowing down. Buffalo is happening. It feels like a city on the ascent. It feels vibrant, spacious, clean, and progressive.
To walk downtown on an early morning is to experience Buffalo in way that most people do not take the opportunity to do. Immediately one feels the dominating presence of City Hall, unquestionably one of the great masterpieces of civic Art Deco architecture in America. It is a stunning building that holds your breath in suspended animation. The ambition! The fearlessness! The hopes and dreams! The style! The brilliance! It is a building that has no equal.
Then there is the glittery roof of the Buffalo First Savings Bank, the historic Electric Tower of 1912, and the Spanish American War monument known by locals as “The Hiker.” The architecture is World Class.
I especially like the Electric Tower. This structure was the first building to be fulling lit at night. Can you imagine? Before the NYC skyline, Miracle Mile of Chicago, or Los Angeles spotlights, there was Buffalo’s General Electric Tower, which is a 294 foot, 14 story, Beaux-Arts Classical Revival gem. Ideally situated on the corner of Washington and Genesee Streets, it is the site of the famous Buffalo Ball Drop. I heard from someone on the street that it is the second largest New Years Eve gathering in the United States.
Buffalo is no longer a beleaguered, crumbling rust belt disappointment- if it ever was one. Today the city is looking fabulous. The Harbor is alive. The Theater District is a marvel. The Grain Elevators kick butt. And the Bills made the playoffs! I was not at all surprised to discover that from 2006-2018, Buffalo saw an increase in residents aged 18-34 of 10.5%, one of the highest rates in the country. Buffalo is booming.
As a Rochesterian, I have to admit I am a little jealous. I wish I lived in Buffalo. It is so much grander than Rochester. The size and scale of the buildings are so much more illuminated with the mark of excellence. The people seem to have a bounce in their step and a sparkle in their eye. The city is everything Rochester should be striving for. It is cultured. It is humane. It is robust. It is fun. It is happening.