Mark Sommer

Author

I have worked at the Buffalo News as an enterprise reporter, and as arts editor, for the past 17 years.

The Buffalo Preservation Board will hold a special meeting  at 6 p.m. Feb. 2 in Lafayette High School Auditorium to discuss a demolition application for five properties on Elmwood Avenue, two on Ashland and one on Potomac. The meeting was originally scheduled for next week in Council chambers. The demolitions would make way for a mixed-use development of apartments …

Members of the committee tasked with choosing a new Buffalo train station location listened to 36 people present their ideas at the committee's first public meeting, and second overall. Supporters came out to back the historic Central Terminal, which they see as an opportunity to breathe new life into an architectural icon while boosting economic development to a part …

Nov. 23, 1936 - Jan. 17, 2017 Theodore Leonard Lownie liked buildings. Preferably older ones, with some history to them. Over decades, Mr. Lownie and his firm, Hamilton Houston Lownie Architects -- later shortened to HHL Architects -- left an indelible imprint on the city's historic architecture, from the Darwin Martin House to Kleinhans Music Hall. Mr. Lownie, 80…

A local architect who wants a new Buffalo train station that embraces the future said the debate about its location should not just be between the Central Terminal and Canalside. Adam Sokol has drawn a non-traditional concept at Larkinville, by railroad tracks that cross an overpass over Swan and Seymour streets. Sokol said the area around the station could also be l…

The New York State Canal System corridor from Troy to the City of Tonawanda has been named a National Historic Landmark, the nation's highest historic designation. The designation includes the canal system in North Tonawanda, Amherst, Lockport, Medina, Middleport and Gasport. Construction of the New York State Canal System began 100 years ago. The canal corridor rank…

The developer seeking to put up a mixed-use development on Elmwood Avenue two blocks north of Bidwell Parkway may demolish some properties earlier than planned if an effort to designate the area a local landmark moves forward. "They could force the nuclear option by doing something like that," said Dennis M. Penman, a vice president for Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. Ci…

A male in his 30s was struck by gunfire on Walden Avenue near Bailey Avenue just before 6 p.m. Saturday. Buffalo police responded, and the man was transported to Erie County Medical Center with injuries that didn't appear to be life-threatening. Anyone with information may call or text the Confidential TIPCALL Line at (716)847-2255.

Parkside Candy is about to be restored to the way it looked in 1927. That's also how old most of the equipment the shop's chocolate-making factory dates to -- and it still runs strong. An enrober machine puts chocolate on the finished product. A starch mogul machine manufactures patterns on the top of the candies. There are molding machines, wrapping machines and a machine…

Psychologist and author Harriet Lerner has been one of the country’s most respected relationship experts since “The Dance of Anger” was published in 1985. The New York Times bestseller sold several million copies and appeared in 25 foreign translations. It was followed by such titles as “The Dance of Intimacy,” The Dance of Deception” and “The Mother Dance…

The 163-foot-tall church tower that has stood like a beacon over the Symphony Circle neighborhood for more than a century has been sorely in need of repair. Now it's going to get it. A state grant will provide the part of the money to restore and repoint the First Presbyterian Church of Buffalo, which is a National Historic Landmark.. Architect E.B. Green designe…

Sparks flew at the Buffalo Preservation Board meeting Thursday. At issue was a demolition request by a developer that would pave the way for a controversial mixed-use development on Elmwood Avenue, near Bidwell Parkway. In front of an overflow crowd opposed to the project, the city's advisory group decided to schedule a public meeting required before the Preservatio…

Hello Buddha, goodbye Tyrannosaurus rex. Two new permanent exhibits with a Southeast Asian theme open Friday at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens  in the newly reconstructed Greenhouses 2 and 3, which have been closed since April. [GALLERY: New exhibits at the Botanical Gardens] The new Aquatic Garden and Asian Rainforest rooms offer rare and exotic …

The Buffalo Preservation Board on Thursday will consider a developer's request to tear down eight structures on or near Elmwood Avenue, on the two blocks north of Bidwell Parkway, to make way for new apartments and storefronts called Arbor + Reverie. But the advisory body may have its hands tied, said Paul McDonnell, the board's chairman. While that section of Elmwood i…

Completion of the Darwin Martin House has been tantalizingly close for years. Now, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo wants to push both Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House Complex in Buffalo's Parkside neighborhood and Graycliff, the summer estate built for Isabelle Martin in Derby, across the finish line. [A closer look: The Darwin Martin House] Both projects would be completed…

The Outer Harbor is being seriously considered as a permanent site for larger concerts from the new Canalside management team chosen Monday. The size of concerts at Canalside is expected to be limited in the next few years with more development planned. The Outer Harbor has been mentioned as an alternative site, but it is limited because of the lack of infrastructure an…