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High on SB

I have been flattened by a stomach sickness since last Thursday
along with most of my family. They have mostly bounced back but it took me
until today to finally started to feeling normal again.  That being the
case, I naturally I thought I would try and write up a story for BRO.  Thing
is, I still don’t have the mental energy to think too much yet.  So
instead of writing something overly profound, I thought I would simply share
these few images of South Buffalo.  I have rarely flown over the south
side coming into Buffalo, so these views were a rare treat about a year ago.  I love how views from high up like this shot
pull things together.  Places that seem so separate from the ground seem
so close and connected from the air–so much smaller.  I also love the
textures created and the way things are organized by the street patterns.


air 3.jpg

The stream is Cazenovia Creek.   It flows freely though Caz
Park until it’s captured by its rigidly engineered embankments.  South
Buffalo is mostly made up of houses of uniform size. The large stand-out buildings
are South Park High and Mercy Hospital.  The main streets of South
Buffalo: South Park, Abbott Road, McKinley Parkway, and a segment of Seneca
Street as it passes into West Seneca, are all visible.  Some day I would
like to study the pattern of development in South Buffalo because older areas
often hop scotch newer areas.  For instance, there are clusters of
relatively newer houses along the engineered creek banks.  Was new land
opened for development when the creek was contained?  Anyway, that was too
much thinking.  Enjoy!

air 6.jpg

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  • South Buffalo Drifter

    Thanks for sharing these pictures. It is neat to see South Buffalo from this perspective!

  • Jack Keegan

    For historical comparison, here are some aerial photos of South Buffalo taken in the 1920’s:

  • sbrof

    Very neat. Images from this height really are remarkable for their ability to place the city in perspective.
    I think you are probably spot on about the homes along the creek. I am sure the more natural path of the creek took up much more land and probably with some flood plains and once it was brutally engineered homes were built.
    You can see similar trends along the railroad corridors in North Buffalo. The size, style and quality of the homes built along the edge of the railroads are much newer with a different style than the interior of the community.
    Layers of information…

  • The Trooper

    Cool Pics (I can see my house in #2). The author and REAL are right, when they straightened the creek both Legions were built along it and on the west side most of the land up to Cumberland was made available for homes. That is why my house is nearly 100 years old but just down the street the houses are half the age.

  • dcoffee

    Fascinating Stuff. Thanks Steel. I Just bought a house in South Buffalo and my street used to be a dead end because the west end of the street was marsh-like.
    There’s a lot of variety in the area because major home construction spanned about 70 years. The Olmsted Parks were laid out, the creeks were straightened to avoid flooding, and some areas were just farms that turned into side-streets later on. It’s interesting, if you look at the old street atlas from the 1880s, much of South Buffalo wasn’t built yet, and many of the streets on the map west of Hopkins were never actually constructed. People wanted to be near South Park where the shops are, so the neighborhood ‘hop-scotched’ southward.
    Thanks Jack for pointing out the Aerial Photo Atlas from the 1920s Now I can see where the oldest homes and streets really are

  • RaChaCha

    Steel, these are great photos, and glad you’re getting back in the swing of things.
    About Cazenovia Creek, in the early 20th-Century, it was indeed straightened, deepened, and embanked (channelized) as a flood control measure. Parts of the old creek bed that were bypassed were filled in during the Depression (Mayor Roesch era) to keep people employed and provide future building sites:


    Looking closely it is interesting to see that nature is actually reclaiming those engineered embankments. In some areas the concrete is completely overcome with trees!

  • sonyactivision

    All those intact houses and neighborhoods. It’s a wonderful glimpse of what all of Buffalo once looked like…and could look like again.

  • Carter Pewterschmidt

    Thanks for giving SB a little love once again, Steel. Love the aerial views. My house is also in photo #2 :). I bought a house here 3 years ago and love it. Safe, quiet neighborhood with a nice Olmsted park right in the middle.