Buffalo's Neighborhoods


Parkside

Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House Complex

Down by the Park

Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted’s Buffalo work didn’t finish with the extensive system of parks and parkways he created here. Olmsted went a step further to design an entire neighborhood just east of Delaware Park, Parkside. Indeed, the neighborhood’s tree-lined, curving streets and stately homes provide a pleasant, park-like appeal. Parkside is also home to a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece, the Buffalo Zoo and a cozy European-influenced pub. It’s easy to spend an afternoon here and you may never want to leave!

Down by the Park

Down by the Park

1868

It all begins. Frederick Law Olmsted, mastermind and father of American landscape architecture, commences work on Delaware Park. This is Buffalo’s “Central Park” and is part of the oldest coordinated system of public parks and parkways in the country.

Parkside Avenue serves as the eastern border of this 350 acre jewel. Within Delaware Park you’ll find amenities painted with a backdrop of beauty.

Take a paddle boat ride on the serene Hoyt Lake. Walk through the Rose and Japanese Gardens. Attend an event at the Marcy Casino. Catch Shakespeare in the Park. Play golf. Shoot hoops. Run. Walk, Skate. Have lunch at the Lunch Box. Sip a smoothie at the Ashkers in the Park. Picnic on a blanket. Navigate the playgrounds. The list goes on.

1875

The Buffalo Zoo is established. Originally conceived as a deer park in the northeast corner of Delaware Park, this neighborhood zoo has survived the test of time and continues to bring joy and smiles to visitors year round.

The polar bears have become community icons, and the real icons of the city, bison, can be seen from inside Delaware Park. Rainforest Falls, the newest and most celebrated exhibit, will transport you straight to the jungle!

Today, the zoo is now the third oldest institution of its kind in the country.

1905

Frank Lloyd Wright puts the finishing touches on the world-renowned Martin House Complex. At the time, this sprawling prairie house complex, consisting of five buildings, was decades ahead of its time.

One look at it today and you’ll refuse to believe it’s over 100 years old. FLW was a visionary with his own style known as “organic architecture” and his genius and commitment to perfection is evident in every nook and cranny.

The $50 million restoration of this architectural gem is nearly complete – but don’t let that stop you from breaking down the door (figuratively speaking, of course) for a tour.

2016

Flash forward more than a century to find the newest neighborhood hangout. P. Moran’s Irish Public House welcomes you at the corner of Parkside and Russell. This traditionally styled pub welcomes the whole family with a friendly Irish flair, dishes out warm comfort food with only the best ingredients and serves as a respite while you’re making your way throughout the historic marvels of the Parkside neighborhood.

— Charlie Fashana

Delaware Park

New Developments in Parkside

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With all that’s happening around the waterfront (including a promising Sabres season on the horizon), it’s no secret that Buffalo is booming lately. But the new development isn’t just limited to downtown. In fact, some of the best new sites to see are actually tucked into residential neighborhoods.

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Arctic Edge at the Buffalo Zoo

On a breezy October day, I discovered what’s new along Parkside Avenue. The first stop was the Buffalo Zoo, namely to see Arctic Edge, a $14 million, one and a half acre exhibit that opened in September.

Arctic Edge is proof that the zoo is dedicated to improving both  animal and visitor experiences. It features wolves and lynxes, two bald eagles and of course, the crowd favorite: two polar bears, Luna and her mom.

It’s an unbelievable improvement compared to the former bear habitat, which was built initially in the 1890s and last renovated in 1930s. The exhibit more closely mirrors the polar bears’ natural environment and includes an underwater viewing area. The entire Arctic Edge is designed to look and feel as though visitors are in a giant cave, while an accompanying interpretive center is full of interactive displays.

Just a block from the zoo’s entrance is another new addition to the Parkside neighborhood: Parkside Meadow. The restaurant stands at the corner of Russell and Parkside Avenue, tucked into a building that has housed several Buffalo favorites throughout the years, ranging from a fish fry destination to a college hangout.

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Historic Memorabilia at the Parkside Meadow.

The second I walked in the door, I started reading everything on the first wall I saw. Every inch of the place is decked out in Buffalo memorabilia, like a museum solely dedicated to our city. There are postcards, letters, menus, newspapers, flyers, posters, pins — any imaginable product to tell Buffalo’s story. These tokens of the city’s history cover the walls as well as the tables.

Even on a Wednesday, Parkside Meadow was fairly busy.  The menu is full of American classics — fitting, of course, for the All America city. They have plenty of sandwiches, ranging from fried bologna to beef on weck and pulled pork. I ordered a cheeseburger and a Rusty Chain, and my friend asked for one of the vegetarian options: a lentil wrap and Shock Top.

The burger I ordered was massive and bursting with flavor. I’d highly recommend it with a Flying Bison Rusty chain; my friend raved about her lentil wrap, too, and even had to take half of it home for Thursday’s lunch. With a new spin on old history and a delectable menu, Parkside Meadow was definitely a place worth visiting more than once.

If you’re looking for something to do on a fall afternoon, check out the new Arctic Edge at the Buffalo Zoo, and finish the day off with a Beef on Weck from Parkside Meadow. Be sure to check out the zebra-striped crosswalk, too — it’s wild!

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