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Steampunk Buffalo

A Facebook page called Steampunk Tendencies  gave me inspiration to put together a Buffalo gallery of Steampunk architecture. A year ago or so I treated the page a to a string of posts highlighting Buffalo architecture that I thought fit the Steam punk aesthetic.  The posts were warmly received by the Steampunk community. For those of you unfamiliar with Steampunk, here is what Wikipedia has to say about it. :

Steampunk perhaps most recognizable features anachronistic technologies or retro-futuristic inventions as people in the 19th century might have envisioned them, and is likewise rooted in the era’s perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, and art.[citation needed] Such technology may include fictional machines like those found in the works of H. G. Wellsand Jules Verne, or the modern authors Philip Pullman, Scott Westerfeld, Stephen Hunt and China Miéville.[original research?] Other examples of steampunk contain alternative history-style presentations of such technology as lighter-than-airairships, analogue computers, or such digital mechanical computers as Charles Babbage‘s Analytical Engine.[citation needed]

Architecturally speaking, Steampunk tends toward buildings with fantastical details and forms,  like towers, delicate finials, and intricate iron work suggesting an industrial (steam engine ) aesthetic. It evokes a sense of mystery, a bit of excess, and eccentricity. It celebrates technology but as if in a time warped alternate universe where steam power is the silicon that drives invention.  Buffalo has many buildings that more or less fit the Steampunk pattern. Sometimes an entire building boisterously screams its steam-punkery, while others just sport an retro-futuristic detail or two.  Without further adieu I present Steampunk Buffalo.


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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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