Developers should honor our architectural heritage
Karl Frizlen’s architectural project nearing completion on Elmwood Avenue across from Panera Bread is a blot on the landscape. It is even worse, if that is possible, than what he produced on the corner of Virginia and Delaware. It crowds the sidewalk, is totally out of scale with its surroundings, and bears no homage to the interesting diversity of Victorian roof lines that characterize the neighborhood.
Who approves such structures on our Planning Board? And is maximizing their return on investment the only value that drives our private developers? At what point do we beg our building contractors to refuse to construct such monstrosities? Does any passerby who looks at this building think it really belongs in our otherwise visually attractive Elmwood Village?
When will the developers of the new Buffalo begin to honor our unique architectural heritage? I am not asking for Frank Lloyd Wright. Our city is full of distinguished architects like Peter Flynn, Ted Lownie and a host of others who value our history and who have the skills to create new structures while preserving the aesthetic values of what we already have.
As prosperity returns to our long languishing city, we can rebuild our neighborhoods in a way that respects our once proud architectural history. When visitors come to Buffalo they are blown away by the richness of our architecture. Let’s not denigrate what we have with new structures that offend the eye when the architects of our past created such a uniquely eye-friendly city.
Peter B. Dow