Author: BRo Guest Authors

BRo Guest Authors

It’s not unusual for authors to come and go. Guest authors range from collegiate interns to writers who will be contributing for a short stint of time. Guest authors might also have a series in mind. Authors are encouraged to submit their ideas to BRO (Buffalo Rising Online), upon which time we will work with the writer towards a productive end.

Author: Vinny Rondinelli It can be tough getting around Western New York without a car. For the most part, Buffalo is a driving city, and people tend to park their cars where they live – in driveways, and in garages. But that’s not always the case. In tighter urban areas like the cities of Buffalo, Lockport, Lackawanna, and Niagara Falls, there are a number of houses without driveways, hence the demand for on-street parking. Conventional wisdom tells us that a house without a driveway will sell for less than a house with a driveway. People buying ‘drivewayless’ houses typically have…

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Author: Bridge Rauch, BTRU Member Please take a moment to sign Buffalo Transit Riders United’s (BTRU) petition to our congressional representatives and join BTRU on May 24th at 5pm at NFTA Metropolitan Transportation Center at 113 Ellicott Street for a rally to demand that we “Build Back Buffalo’s Buses Better.” Masks and social distancing required. It’s a blustery winter morning. You roll out of bed at 7am at your home in Amherst. After putting the kids on the bus and puttering around with your morning routine, you start your car remotely. You let it sit in your driveway, pumping exhaust…

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Author: William Graebner | See Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 One of the first to explore the artistic potential of reinforced concrete was Swiss engineer Robert Maillart (1872–1940), who in 1947 was the subject of a Museum of Modern Art exhibition celebrating his designs for a variety of European bridges in concrete, some of them of the simple “beam” variety that Lupfer would use in the Skyway. Maillart used the strength of reinforced concrete to make his bridges lighter, less massive in appearance, and more expressive—early examples of what would become known as “structural art,” a design mode…

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Author: William Graebner | See Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4 A half century after motorists first experienced the pleasures of Buffalo’s high-level bridge, it is still a thrill to ascend the Skyway, still a thrill to round the big curve with the lake filling the windshield, still a thrill to see the city in lights on the northbound run; still a thrill to see the Skyway at night from City Hall, “ablaze with light,” as a Courier-Express photographer’s time exposure, taken the evening of the opening, had revealed.40 “The skyway,” wrote a man who today commutes over the Skyway,…

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Author: William Graebner | See Part 1 | Part 3 | Part 4 Soon after the bridge opened, a letter to the Courier-Express described the Skyway as “a real achievement in the traffic world. If ever a route like that was needed, it was needed in this city.”17 The technical sub-head on the front page of the Buffalo Evening News told the same story: “Lift Bridges, Switching Tracks, Narrow Streets/By-passed at Last By Mile-Long Cut-Off.”18 It was widely and accurately predicted that the Skyway would be the first of many area highway projects, including the first section of the Kensington Expressway,…

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Author: William Graebner | See part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 The opening of the Buffalo Skyway in October 1955 was an occasion for celebration and rejoicing. Rising out of the city’s downtown, the massive structure crossed the Buffalo River at a height of 110 feet and spilled onto the city’s outer harbor on the shore of Lake Erie more than a mile to the southwest. The span promised to be the beginning of the end of the traffic congestion and delays at busy lift-bridges that for three decades had made commuting irritating and frustrating for some 40,000 workers at…

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Author: Jeff Z. Klein (A version of this article appeared in the July 9, 2020, edition of Belt magazine, and in the anthology “Best of Belt 2020: Dispatches From the Rust Belt, Vol. III”) | See part I | See Part II  ‘A UNIQUE PLACE, A SIGNIFICANT PLACE’ Tim Tielman, executive director of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture, and a well-connected preservationist, says he is working on a series of proposals to commemorate Buffalo’s 19th-century heritage, all tied to the Erie Canal bicentennial and all to be funded by the state and federal governments.  “I’m working hard to make…

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Author: Jeff Z. Klein (A version of this article appeared in the July 9, 2020, edition of Belt magazine, and in the anthology “Best of Belt 2020: Dispatches From the Rust Belt, Vol. III”) | See part I ‘THE MISERY AND THE CRIES OF DISTRESS’  On August 18, 1852, some 130 immigrant farmers from Norway lay sleeping among their baggage on the bustling wharf in Buffalo, waiting for the ship that would take them to new farmlands in Wisconsin.  Two months earlier 200 of them had crossed the ocean from Oslo to Quebec City. There they boarded vessels first for Montreal,…

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Author: Jeff Z. Klein (A version of this article appeared in the July 9, 2020, edition of Belt magazine, and in the anthology “Best of Belt 2020: Dispatches From the Rust Belt, Vol. III”) What does it mean when a city loses all memory of what it once was?  Once a bustling Great Lakes port famed for its ships and reviled for its dockside brothels and bars, Buffalo was the brawling crossroads of 19th-century America, a maritime city where the Erie Canal ended and the open water began, with a rich legacy of gales, songs, yarns, shipwrecks, and lives saved…

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Author: Scot Fisher The Skyway is in the news once again, and the question begs itself: why are we talking about this? The desire to demolish a perfectly functional, recently repaved bridge over the Buffalo River is misguided at best. At worst, it is an assault on the community. The big lie behind this project is the portrayal of the Skyway as an elevated superhighway that divides our city and walls us off from the water.  Simply put, it does not. To the contrary, the Skyway Bridge is a safe, functional, elegantly designed Mid-Century structure that allows easy access directly from…

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