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Letter: Buffalo’s murals bring to life our rich history

The reporting on Buffalo’s murals as a public art effort acknowledges the pride in place we in the city have.

Celebrating the neighborhoods within the 52 square miles of Buffalo also presents a valuable opportunity to highlight the neighborhoods as unique cultural resources.

Specifically, Buffalo’s neighborhoods are a living atlas of American history and deserve protection and nurturing through efforts such as landmarking, creating historic districts, developing a Buffalo ordinance that targets demolition by neglect, and enforcing a higher standard to meet by developers for environmental quality reviews.

As developers are nationally creating “wellness communities” of walkable neighborhoods with diverse styles of architecture, Buffalo has these in place with authentic stories, biographies and histories.

Buffalo is a history of indigenous peoples, borders and treaties, slavery and abolition, waterways engineering, transportation and electricity technology, South to North African-American migration, Gilded Age and social reform professionalization, European, Asian, Latin American and African immigration and refugee resettlement, presidential assassination and inauguration, industrialization to deindustrialization to post-industrialization, American forms of entertainment – all reflected in our neighborhood peoples and architecture.

The murals assist in marking neighborhood pride. A next step is to create and use preservation tools available that honor and safeguard our unique neighborhoods.

Lorna Peterson


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