Elmwood Avenue is a district where there are blocks that look dynamically urban and then there are blocks that look like the last time anyone paid attention to anything was back when the buildings were built. Take, for example, the Verizon building on Elmwood between Lexington and Utica. How is it that such a huge company can associate its image with such a tragic appearance? If there was any company in Buffalo that could afford to make improvements to a prime location, it's Verizon. Just take a look at the cheap planters on the front of the building. They look like temporary fixes, but they've been there for years. The only thing that they are good for is collecting litter and sitting on during cigarette breaks. Then there's the tragic telephone booth situated out front (see below) - covered with pealing signage, stickers and graffiti.
How 'bout calling a landscape architect to come in and make this corner shine again? Invest in some architectural planters and/or a water feature on the side of the building. Maybe some public art? Or interesting lighting elements? In NYC these types of spaces are used by the neighborhood to enjoy. There is a certain pride when showcasing beautiful buildings. In Buffalo, we have been cleaning up a lot of messes as of late, and we're working hard to collectively show off our commercial and residential neighborhoods. There's no excuse anymore when it comes to lack of beautification measures.
Having any sort of presence on a high profile street such as Elmwood, you would think that someone at Verizon would understand that urban blight is bad business. Can you imagine the positive impact that this building could have on the Elmwood Village and the city? What if the building's detailed friezes (see above) were to be lit up at night? What can be done with the side of the building - it's a blank slate with no trees, no grass, no nothing. It's a dead zone.
This entire corner is as non-descript as it gets, though it could be a real gem, because the edifice is actually quite neat. While this Verizon location may not a public building, that's no excuse to not take pride in the company's public image in Greater Buffalo. If buildings could talk, this one would say, "Go away!"