It was a paranormal expert who first told me that the street grid in Buffalo may have been designed to align with the celestial system. It’s interesting to note that Allen Street is particularly well connected when it comes to its placement in relation to the stars. The same expert once told me that the reason that there is so much paranormal activity in Allentown (and Buffalo in general) is threefold: The city’s proximity to a major natural power source (Niagara Falls), the radial grid/radiant sun street grid (think about the glass ceiling in Council Chambers), and the Indian burial grounds that were ‘partially’ moved to Forest Lawn as neighborhoods expanded (kinda like the movie Poltergeist). It almost makes you second guess why the liquor store at the corner of Allen and Wadsworth is called ‘Spirits of Allentown’.
If you’re interested in this type of lore, then you might want to check out Franklin LaVoie‘s take on the subject that he will be presenting in Common Council Chambers. Franklin will be showcasing our radial street patterns and integrated park systems in a different type of light – possibly as some of the “finest sacred urban landscapes in the world”. And he’s got the evidence to prove it. From an email received from Franklin earlier today:
Buffalo was surveyed at the dawn of the 19th Century, by Joseph Ellicott, who designed Buffalo’s Radial Street Grid. Ellicott helped survey our nation’s Capital, working alongside Andrew Ellicott, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and others. Radial street patterns are as old as civilization; they symbolize the radiant sun.
America’s Founder of Landscape Architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, designed Buffalo’s Integrated Parks System, circa 1868. This was America’s FIRST Park and Parkway System! Later, in Paris, Olmsted asserted that Buffalo’s Integrated Parks System is the finest in the world. We’ll show that Olmsted is right by revealing some of the secret features in his design:
· Buffalo’s “hidden diamond”
· Heaven’s above pictured in the City below
· Buffalo’s landscape giant and Michelangelo’s Statue of David
· The Riddle of the Sphinx
*The Sacred Geography of Buffalo, New York. Friday, April 24, 2009, 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM. Buffalo City Hall, Common Council Chambers. Free and Open to the Public
**Image: Franklin LaVoie painting of “Digiyaga” the Native American fisherman who had a ford at the foot of Main Street; and who, according to reports, gave his name “Buffalo-Digiyaga” to the Creek, and hence the City.