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Letter: Bachelor Apartments should be preserved

Bachelor Apartments should be preserved

Like many other older buildings in Buffalo, the Bachelor Apartments was designed to highlight its corner location. As the eminent 19th-century architect Calvert Vaux pointed out, urban intersections provided a special opportunity for designers. It is at these places that buildings can be seen in perspective across a large open space. Architects often took advantage of this fact by emphasizing the corner angle in their plans. When Green and Wicks designed the Bachelor Apartments in the 1880s, it beveled the corner and placed the entrance to a ground-floor shop there. This modest design feature gave a note of grace and distinction to a public street corner.

Buffalo has lost many buildings that enhanced its street corners, the most lamentable of all being the historic Harbor Inn that for many decades smartly marked the acute angle of Ohio and Chicago Streets. The urbanistic design of the Bachelor Apartments gives it a special claim for inclusion in the developers’ future plans for this major downtown intersection. It would be especially unfortunate for this vital area of downtown to have this well-maintained historic building demolished and replaced by a deadening parking ramp.

Francis R. Kowsky

Buffalo