A Jaunt Through Buffalo

The trouble with fun events like the National Trust conference or any sort of vacation is that they come to an end, and you have to turn that car around and head home. Returning home is always nice, but following an excellent trip, it tends to be bittersweet. To give the journey home some excitement and adventure, I like to throw in a few surprises and let the preservation spirit guide me. This time I ended up in Buffalo, which was on my way home anyway. Knowing a handful of preservationists in Buffalo, I thought I’d drive into the city to see what it was like. After following Bernice & Dana on Twitter & Instagram, and hearing so much about Buffalo time, it seemed like a good time to visit.

The drive into Buffalo was very flat. It was an interesting layout - water, industry, highway, industry. While much seemed like shuttered factories and property on the outskirts, there seemed to be recent redevelopment occurring as you got closer to the city.

The drive into Buffalo was very flat. It was an interesting layout – water, industry, highway, industry. Buffalo presents an interesting transportation planning relic: placing the interstates along the waterways. It completely cuts off the community from the water access. While much seemed like shuttered factories and property on the outskirts, there seemed to be recent redevelopment occurring as you got closer to the city.

Mills and factories, oh my!

Mills and factories, oh my!

More of Buffalo's industrial heritage on display.

More of Buffalo’s industrial heritage on display.

After exiting the interstate you're suddenly in the land of beautiful architecture. Mr. Stilts was more than happy to pose for photo-ops.

After exiting the interstate you’re suddenly in the land of beautiful architecture. Mr. Stilts was more than happy to pose for photo-ops.

Building after building, Buffalo was stunning!

Building after building, Buffalo was stunning!

Holy scaffolding! That church is getting some love.

Holy scaffolding! That church is getting some love.

City Hall is one of the most beautiful buildings I've seen anywhere.

City Hall is one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve seen anywhere.

Adjacent to City Hall.

Adjacent to City Hall.

Wanting a cup of coffee, I recalled many of Bernice’s instagram posts about Sweetness 7 Cafe, so I thought I’d check it out.

Sweetness 7 Cafe in Buffalo.

Sweetness 7 Cafe in Buffalo.

The interior of Sweetness 7 Cafe. It is absolutely delicious food and coffee!

The interior of Sweetness 7 Cafe. It is absolutely delicious food and coffee!

And the best part of this visit into Buffalo? I met Bernice and Jason at Sweetness 7, because they happened to be there when I was. Both are preservation forces in the City of Buffalo; their work is incredible. How lucky I felt to meet another social media preservation pal. In one trip I met so many inspiring preservationists who I knew via social media relationships prior.

With Bernice in Sweetness 7.

With Bernice in Sweetness 7.

Buffalo, I’ll be back!

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2 thoughts on “A Jaunt Through Buffalo

  1. It was GREAT seeing your pictures of Buffalo. Before moving to Vermont in 2009, I lived there for 38(!) years, so I will try to give you reasons for you to take another look. That first picture with Mr. Stilts is in front of a building designed by Louis Sullivan – Buffalo’s first skyscraper. Next, is the Ellicott Square building. A gorgeous interior. The “Holy Scaffolding” picture is of the city campus of the community college, and was originally the post office. Take a look in there, too! And you will have to go to the top of City Hall and walk all around the viewing area to see the surrounding city and Lake Erie. Next is the Lafayette Hotel (with a grand ballroom) on Lafayette Square, which is a circle, along with the McKinley Monument. The Sweetness Cafe is only a couple blocks from where I lived. When I left Buffalo, new businesses and new blood were gradually putting that street, Grant St., back on the map. Buffalo has lots of architectural walking tours since it is packed with wonderful homes and other buildings. Whew! I better stop now. Thanks.

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