Marvin Lunenfeld, a retired professor at Fredonia State College who was the co-founder of Buffalo's popular Garden Walk, died Wednesday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., after a long illness. He was 78.
He was born in New York City, where he earned a bachelor's degree from City College of New York, and his master's and doctorate degrees from New York University.
Mr. Lunenfeld served as a distinguished professor at Fredonia from 1970 until 1996. After his retirement, he was awarded the Academic World Star by the University of Humanities in Moscow in 1998.
His special area of scholarship was Spain during the Renaissance and Reformation, combined with a strong interest in urban governance. Among a host of articles and books, Mr. Lunenfeld published three major works in his field: "1492: Discovery, Invasion, Encounter. Sources and Interpretations," published in 1990; "Keepers of the City: The Corregidores of Isabella I of Castile (1474-1504)," published in 1987; and "The Council of the Santa Hermandad: A Study of Ferdinand and Isabella's Pacification Forces," published in 1970.
Mr. Lunenfeld co-founded Buffalo's Garden Walk in 1999 with his wife, Gail McCarthy. His idea sprang from his love of cities and desire to better promote their assets, his family said.
The couple's house at Norwood and Utica avenues was the headquarters for the walk for its first several years.
He was named a Citizen of the Year by the Forever Elmwood Association for his efforts.
He spent the fall of 1977 as Toronto's inaugural Intern in Metropolitan Government, and in 1980 he spent a year as the consultant to the City Council president in New York City, concentrating on quality-of-life issues. He was the director of the Urban and Community Studies Program at Fredonia for a decade.
Mr. Lunenfeld served in the Army Reserve.
After suffering a stroke in 2003, he strove valiantly to regain his strength, according to family members.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Peter.
A memorial service is being planned for a future date.