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Mystery Revealed

Buffalo is a city full of great architecture.  I’ve taken thousands of pictures in recent years of downtown and the waterfront, striking vistas, industrial ruins, stately mansions, beautiful churches, working class neighborhoods and everything in between.  Most of us are familiar with our architectural landmarks, but do we really pay attention to the detail found on the buildings we oftentimes take for granted?  It’s the mosaic of the good, the bad and the ugly that make up Buffalo’s cityscape. 
Answer:  Buffalo Federal Courthouse, 64 Court Street.
The seven-story building by architects Lawrence Bley and Duane Lyman, with an assist by E.G. Green and Son, was completed in 1936.  
From the GSA website:
Because of the unusual shape of the site, the architects created a pentagonal building. The courthouse is a unique example of Art Moderne architecture because of its unusual shape and low-relief carved ornament. Originally planned as a twelve-story building, limited funding reduced its size to seven stories. President Roosevelt dedicated the courthouse on October 17, 1936 — his speech emphasizing the vital partnership between the Federal government and local officials in creating public works to overcome the devastating effects of the Depression.  
Resting on a granite base, the seven-story courthouse appears as a solid geometric mass of planar, yellow-gray sandstone walls and spare, carved detailing. Each elevation is divided into bays of vertical windows. The handsome carved detailing — emphasizing the building’s horizontality — is concentrated at the entries, the first floor level, and building parapets. The fluted forms between the vertical strips of windows, on the other hand, resemble classical colonnades and provide a tension with the horizontality of the carved ornament.
In 2004, the Dillon Courthouse was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing element of the Joseph Ellicott Historic District.
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