Sunday, September 17, 2017

Buffalo's Westside Parks (9/17/2017)

Sunday, September 17, 2017
An unseasonably hot but sunny day was a good time to photograph landmarks in Buffalo, NY.
Frederick Law Olmsted was the father of American landscape architecture and creator of the Buffalo Park System. In 1868, he convinced city leaders that multiple parks, rather than a single park like New York City's Central Park, would better serve the needs of Buffalo. Assisted by his partner, architect Calvert Vaux, Olmsted started with three parks, The Park, The Front and The Parade (now Delaware Park, Front Park and Martin Luther King Jr Park). Each served different purposes, yet were linked by parkways to form one whole system. Later the park system was extended to the south with South Park and Cazenovia Park, and Riverside Park was added to spotlight the Niagara River.
First: Riverside Park, designed in 1898, the 22-acre park was the last the Olmsted firm designed in Buffalo.
Bust of Sándor Petőfi (1992, by
Gabriella F. Koszorus-Varsa, to replace the 1925
bust by Geza Kende, stolen in 1989),
the national poet of Hungary
Can you see the tremendous burl on the left side
below the lowest branches?
Memorial to those who served in the armed forces
during WWII, and in Korea and Vietnam
A river navigational marker?
World War I Memorial
RiverRock Gardens, a rain [-fall-absorbing] garden, follows
the path of the original Minnow Pools
Niagara River Overlook
Lighthouse Memorial to Billy Ehrmann who
died in 1978 from cancer at age 19; he is a brother
of Joe Ehrmann who was a defensive lineman
in the NFL and native of Buffalo;
also memorialized is Bernard G Hitro, Jr
who died in Vietnam in 1969
Nearby is Riverside High School (1930), which in 1999 became the
Riverside Institute of Technology that will be phased-out in 2019,
while the Riverside Academy High School was phased-in in 2017

 Next: Front Park, designed in 1871 as a waterfront park.
Terrace view of the Niagara River flowing to the right
from Lake Erie on the left, with the Niagara Thruway and ramps
The park was built on the site of abandoned Fort Porter from the War of 1812
The Terrace was meant for civic ceremonies and public events
Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry (1916, by Charles H Niehaus), who
defeated the British naval fleet at the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812
Symphony Circle, part of Olmsted's park system that
includes eight landscaped circles and seven parkways,
with a 2002 replica of the original 1870 lamp stand
Kleinhans Music Hall (1938-1940, designed by the Finnish father-and-son
team of Eliel and Eero Saarinen, along with architects F.J. and W.A Kidd)
is considered one of the most acoustically perfect halls in the world,
and is home to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
Days Park, a greens common donated in 1854 by Thomas Day
who made his fortune with Buffalo's first brick kiln;
the the lawn is closed for the season...
Days Park fountain
In 1887, Olmsted suggested a small fountain for Days Park, which was later removed in 1923. By 1990, the local Block Club restored the wrought-iron fence and installed a fountain, but it was stolen in 1995. It was replaced in 1999.
Other Buffalo landmarks:
The Colored Musicians Club, the only remaining African-American club
of its kind in the United States 
Because black musicians could not join the union of white musicians, they founded their own union in 1917, and established the club in 1918. The club itself was not segregated and was a popular jazz venue for both black and white musicians and patrons.
Colored Musicians Club mural
The Michigan Street Baptist Church (1845-1849), built by the first (1837)
organized black church in Buffalo, and is claimed to have been
an Underground Railroad station 
One congregant of the Michigan Street Baptist Church was Mary B Talbert, who in 1899 was one of the founding members of the Phyllis Wheatley Club of Colored Women, the city's first affiliate of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs. In 1905, W E B Dubois, John Hope, Monroe Trotter and 27 others met secretly in the home of Mary Talbert. They founded and organized the Niagara Movement, forerunner of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People/NAACP.

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