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“Re-Light The Rand!”

For years, Buffalo Rising readers have been calling for the city’s skyline inhabitants to be lit up. After conversing with local photographer Glenn Murray about our architectural treasures, he suggested that one of the focal points should be lit up at night. The building that has in mind is The Rand Building – a structure that was designed by architects Franklyn & William Kidd as well as James W Kideney & Associates.

What is especially interesting about The Rand Building is that it is said to be the inspiration behind the construction of the Empire State Building. Murray feels that lighting up this structure would be a feather in Buffalo’s renaissance cap, and I wholeheartedly agree. 

As I was poking around online, looking for images of “The Rand” at night, I came across an interesting post on Forgotten Buffalo:

“Although it holds a prominent place on the Buffalo skyline, the Rand Building in Lafayette Square has never been welcomed into the hierarchy of the city’s architectural monuments. At 29 floors, the Rand was Buffalo’s tallest building when it opened in 1929, an honor it held until the competition of the Marine Midland Building (HSBC Building) in 1972. When the building opened, it featured an elaborate lighting system that highlighted its art deco stepped back style. But for most of the last 30 years, the tower has been dark at night.”

The post even included an image of The Rand lit up in all of its glory. At first, I liked the idea of lighting up the building. Now, I’m fascinated by the idea! If The Rand was built with “an elaborate lighting system”, then we need to honor the history of the building and bring it back to its original grandeur.

Now that fellow Buffalo buildings are getting the “illumination treatment”, such as One Seneca Tower, it would make sense that The Rand Building would be next in line. Maybe there could be some historic funding available for building owner Paul Kolkmeyer to see this initiative through.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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