Choosing a favorite Buffalo building is a bit like selecting the best spot for wings: there are so many to pick from that it’s difficult to reach a decision. It’s especially tough when renowned architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, H.H. Richardson and Louis Sullivan all left their mark on the city.
So we turned to Brad Hahn, executive director of Explore Buffalo, which since launching a couple years ago has quickly grown to offer the widest range of architectural tours in the city. Here are Brad’s five favorite buildings in Buffalo. (Photo gallery below)
1) City Hall, Niagara Square – “More than any other, this building defines and explains Buffalo: the symbolism of this Art Deco masterpiece is extraordinary, and every time I visit this building, I discover a new detail that I hadn’t seen before.” (Seen on the Downtown Deco & Best of Buffalo tours)
2) Silo City Grain Elevators, Childs St. – “The grain elevators enabled Buffalo’s rapid rise in the 19th century. The climb up the stairs to the top, past the machinery that once moved much of the world’s supply of grain, is an adventure unlike any other in the world.” (Seen on Explore Buffalo’s Silo City: Vertical & Silo City: Grounded Tours.)
3) Guaranty Building, 140 Pearl St. – “The way this building redefined the concept of a skyscraper with its emphasis on vertical lines, along with the elegance of Louis Sullivan’s elaborate terra cotta exterior, makes this a jaw-dropping showpiece for any out-of-town guest.” (seen on the Masters of American Architecture & Best of Buffalo Tours)
4) Electric Tower, 535 Washington St. – “This beautifully restored downtown landmark reminds us of the legacy of the Pan-American Exposition as its white terra cotta both gleams in the daylight and is beautifully illuminated at night.” (Seen on the Beaux Arts Buffalo Tour).
5) First Presbyterian Church – “With its tower soaring 168 feet above Symphony Circle, the home of Buffalo’s oldest congregation welcomes the community through its doors into a stunning Tiffany-filled interior.”