Preservation Buffalo Niagara has announced that it will hold a Modernism Week in Buffalo. This is very exciting news, because it will hopefully draw attention to the plight of some of the city’s at risk modernist structures including architect Paul Rudolph’s Shoreline Apartments, a number of which have already been torn down and replaced with uninspired residential units. Then there’s Willert Park Courts, which was recently announced as one of the 11 most endangered historic places in the US.
When it comes to modernist architecture, Buffalo has a handful of real beauts, including Kleinhans Music Hall, a number of Frank Lloyd Wright structures (minus his Administration Building), One M&T Plaza, Temple Beth Zion… and these buildings need to be recognized and celebrated.
Unfortunately, when it comes to great architecture, Buffalo has lost its mojo. There’s a lot of garbage going up these days. We’ve also managed to tear down a lot of architectural fabric over the years… and we continue to do so to this day, such as the Shoreline Apartments. Nothing is sacred apparently – it’s all about the immediacy (just build anything mentality), and not about recognizing the gems that we have managed to preserve for so many years… many of which are still languishing.
Hopefully an inaugural Modernism Week will slap some sense into those who are content with the status quo, instead of striving to preserve and build architectural marvels. Modernism Week will also draw attention to greater Buffalo’s design, art, and culture. The event, featuring tours, lectures, and events, will be held from September 6 to September 12, 2019.
For more info click here.