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More Beautiful Buildings

Some of Buffalo’s finest and most rare buildings were built just as our nation entered one of its darkest periods. These buildings I am talking about were designed in the new fangled decorative style dubbed  Art Deco.

The massive prosperity of the 1920s ended with the Great Depression which rolled directly into World War II sending the country into a decade and a half of despair.  Just as the 20s were closing and the economy was reaching a feverish instability, architects and the public began to embrace this new decorative concept of architecture which was expressive of the new age of machines, speed, and electricity.  The hardship of depression and war meant that these buildings are relatively few in number. But hard times did not dampen the enthusiasm for high quality craft and materials in new buildings of the period.  The Art Deco style is defined by its stylized low relief decorations and sculptures often rendered in angular geometric patterns. Decorative motifs range from exuberant to minimalist. Typically, later buildings are more minimal and streamlined signaling the emerging popularity of modern architecture. Architecture would never be the same after the Art Deco period was done.



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Written by David Steele

David Steele

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of "Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land" ( www.blurb.com ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste,
advocate for a better way of doing things.

View All Articles by David Steele
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