Regular Buffalo Rising readers know that I have been toiling away on a book project documenting a portion of Buffalo’s extensive architectural treasure trove. The book, entitled “Buffalo: Architecture in the American Forgotten Land” is now complete and available for purchase.
I gave a little preview and teaser a few months ago here.
Readers also know of my love for Buffalo’s architecture and of my great concern
for its future. Much of my writing
here on Buffalo Rising has been done in an effort to spread a stronger
appreciation for the valuable urban heritage entrusted to the people of Western
New York and to the people of Buffalo in particular. The internet has proven to be a great means of doing this
and Buffalo Rising has been and will continue to be a great forum for me as
long as they will have me. But BRO was not enough. I still needed to do more. I needed to make a book to get
the word out on Buffalo and its buildings.
the Internet has steadily and with quickening pace been eroding the strength of
print media, there remains something special about a book and the way in which
it conveys information. It is
permanent where the Internet is not.
The weight and texture of a book’s pages give substance to the subject. The act of holding a book and
physically moving the pages somehow gives a more personal connection to its
contents than can be had on the Internet. Because of this I believe that it is
likely the printed book will be with us for many years (I would not bet on
is ironic then, that the internet
(supposed enemy of print) has given me a shortcut to producing and
selling a printed book, a book that I have been wanting to make for many
years. A few years ago, I was
doing some early research on the daunting task of raising the seed money for
such an endeavor when by chance I found a story in a San Diego newspaper about
an on-demand publisher called Blurb.com.
It sounded too good to be true – publish a professionally printed and
bound book with no upfront costs!
I looked into it, and decided to give it a try. Unlike traditional printing and
publishing, on-demand printers only create books when they are ordered. There is no warehousing, no stocking.
Order one and they print one, or you can order 10,000; they don’t care. This kind of printing is very possibly
the wave of the future in the printing world. In any event, I tried it and like it.
longtime dream, now come to fruition courtesy of Blurb.com, has been to create
a book focused on Buffalo’s architectural wealth, highlighting the great
buildings of this city, from the masterpieces to the ordinary. I was frustrated by the lack of
awareness both locally and nationally about the high level of architectural
achievement in Buffalo. In
national publications, Buffalo would at most get brief mention for Sullivan’s
masterpiece Guaranty Building and the now destroyed Larkin Administration
building by Frank Lloyd Wright, but that is it. Rarely would any of the city’s other treasures get any
notice. Pick up a book on Art Deco
architecture and, more likely than not, you will find no mention of Buffalo’s
stunning city hall. It is little
known yet that it is one of the best buildings of its type in the country. How
could city hall not make the cut in a book on Art Deco architecture? Similarly, in local media you hear
common mention of the 5 or 6 locally well-known buildings in the city, but ask
someone about a stunning building such as the Buffalo Crematory and you are
likely to get a blank stare. Buffalo’s architecture is a national treasure that
is not known by a national audience, and one that has been largely devalued
locally. This book is my small
effort in trying to bring Buffalo’s great buildings into the light.
Anyway, all of this is a long-winded way of saying that you can now buy the book and become my ambassadors in spreading the word on Buffalo architecture. Buy the book and show it to your friends, employers, relatives, and anyone you know from out of town. They will love you for it because you will very likely be opening up a new world to them. The slideshow includes a small sample of the images presented on the book’s 160 pages. If you want to see more, there are some page samples on the Facebook page “Buffalo Architecture in the American Forgotten Land“ I encourage you to become a “fan” and spread the word. Sales so far have been pretty good. Current cost online at Blurb is below cover price. You can buy at these links: