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Letter: Richardson award is a nod to our architectural assets

Praising the well-deserved prestigious award earned by the Richardson Complex is appreciated as it is refreshing after decades of scorn directed toward preservationists.

Now ensuring “Buffalo’s legacy of architectural excellence” needs to include not only preserving our architecture by renowned architects but also preserving our vernacular architecture, the styles that are unique to Buffalo: our doubles, cottages, shotguns, telescoping, etc., that bring tourists from around the world.

Don’t believe the pre-Civil War to mid-century modern residential, commercial, and religious structures tucked into the unique neighborhoods of the City of Buffalo astound visitors? Just attend the garden walks that are held within the city limits, i.e., Parkside, Black Rock, South Buffalo, and the mothership Buffalo Garden Walk of the West Side, and overhear the visitors’ remark on not just the gardens, but the architecture too. The Commercial Real Estate Association recognizes this as its latest report states that the old policies of tear down for “shovel ready sites” no longer attracts industry. Preservation and reuse are in.

Our architecture and neighborhoods are Buffalo’s resources that deserve nurturing and care through legislative oversight by our Common Council as advocated by the citizens who live here. There is the need to create and use preservation tools available that honor and safeguard our unique neighborhoods with their historic structures, especially as these neighborhoods border the majestic works by Sullivan, Richardson, Wright and more.

Preservationists are the protectors and protagonists in Buffalo’s resurgence. We can have more successes with the proper stewardship of our precious assets.

Lorna Peterson


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