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A Buffalo Flower District / M&T Campus Vision

To capitalize upon proximity to the emerging Downtown Medical Campus, and ongoing City initiatives to create more downtown living opportunity, Charles Gordon Architecture (CGA) has been collaborating with public and private interests to create Downtown’s first “complete” neighborhood: the Buffalo Flower District.

View toward Chippewa Street termination
View toward Chippewa Street termination

Centered on Genesee/Chippewa Streets, between Ellicott and Main, the vision entails a 5-Step Plan that would capitalize on publicly financed infrastructure improvements, including a long overdue, much better termination for Chippewa Street at Genesee.

This improvement would enable planners to create a new “pedestrian first” piazza/traffic circle.

This improvement would enable planners to create a new “pedestrian first” piazza/traffic circle. The Vision Plan also includes a new street/pathway beginning at Oak Street near the doorstep of future Catholic Health downtown headquarters, through Flower District properties as a pedestrian walkway, continuing as a new winding European-inspired “complete” street across from the M&T property, and terminating at Main Street’s front door, to the historic Market Arcade building.


The plan is partially inspired by European piazzas (see above), as well as the history of the district as a market place and public gathering hub (see below).


New, highly efficient and concentrated parking facilities, both above and below grade, would eliminate the wastefulness and the visual blight of existing small inefficient parking lots that currently dominate every corner of the existing Genesee Street Gateway configuration.


The Flower District /M&T Hub block vision is a big tackle—lots of moving parts. We hate to be too vague and ‘pie in the sky’ when laying out this project. If there is one thing that we need to understand in this new Buffalo economy, it’s that we should expect great infill/infrastructure projects along these lines to unfold in numerous parts of the city. It’s a new day, where available buildings are coming onto the market less and less, and we will need to re-envision and reevaluate the worth of Downtown districts’ additional assets as a whole. Parking lots, intersections, vacant parcels, buildings and infrastructure should be examined together, in order to make the highest impact.


BRO will devote individual “postings” to describe in reasonable detail each of the components listed below:

  1. Overall Vision Summary… discussing the several individual places
  2. Genesee Piazza
  3. M & T Hub block (Maureen’s Alley, North End)
  4. Flower District properties— bounded by Genesee, Ellicott & Oak Street
  5. Residential Elements—including new to Buffalo “Skip-stop”
  6. Parking – parking is still a huge issue in Buffalo
  7. Summary – Describe a 5-step incremental Development Strategy


Overall plan with individual places. The target includes both public and private ownerships. Therefore, the sensible realistic approach requires developing the vision incrementally, to scale down the plan into individual llaces—smaller bites/districts that can be completed by individual partnerships, and public with private interests.

These graphics provide the overall flavor and illustrate the various places and components that are being examined.

Future postings will detail each place/component in greater detail; then conclude with a “How to Implement“ this vision.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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