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Famous Landmarks in Buffalo – Our Top Five.

Western New York has eight National Historic Landmarks, one National Historic Site and one of the natural wonders of the world right in our own back yard.

Wilcox Mansion – Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site

Flickr by Sean_Marshall

641 Delaware Ave Buffalo, NY 14202 (map)

I live a few blocks from the mansion and have been inside. When I think about how one of the most famous presidents in history was on this site, in this house, with actual items that he owned and used it is overwhelming.

Owner description: Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt was inaugurated as President of the United States at this lovely site, the Wilcox Mansion, in 1901, after the assassination of President William McKinley. Exhibits focus on the assassination and inauguration, details of Roosevelt’s life and turn-of-the-century America. Visitors can also view period gardens and tour nearby historic neighborhoods.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House Complex

Flickr by Nate Hofer

125 Jewett Pkwy & 118 Summit Ave Buffalo, NY 14214 (map)

Even if you have never heard of Frank Lloyd Wright, or the Darwin Martin House know this. The house is considered to be “One of the most important projects from Wright’s Prairie School era, and ranks along with The Guggenheim in New York City and Fallingwater in Pennsylvania among his greatest works.”

I do not know what that means but this house is amazing. Mind-blowing to see the detail not only in structure but how the whole house was built using the sun and natural light. Frank Lloyd Wright was the Michelangelo of his time and we have one of his greatest masterpieces in our backyard! How can you not want to visit this home?

Owner description: Considered Frank Lloyd Wright’s greatest “Prairie House,” this five-structure complex was designed and built from 1903 to 1905. The 362 art glass windows, a Wright trademark, along with his horizontal lines and sharp angles, are pleasing to Wright novices and devotees alike.

Buffalo City Hall

Flickr by Sean_Marshall

65 Niagara Square Buffalo, NY 14202 (map)

If you have business to conduct at City Hall you will miss a lot of what makes this building unique. However, if you go to tour the hall you will become awestruck that something so magnificent and massive can be overlooked on a day-to day basis. The few times I have had the opportunity to escort people from out of town (mostly musicians who have travelled all over the world) they are “blown away” by the architecture in this city.

One person writes: Buffalo City Hall must be seen to be believed! Construction of Buffalo City Hall commenced in 1929 and was completed around two years later. It cost approximately $8 million to build, but the value of the materials and craftsmanship today would take the price “through the stained glass ceiling” in the Common Council Chamber on the 13th floor. The building was officially dedicated in 1932 to coincide with the 100 year anniversary of the founding of the City of Buffalo. City Hall is a masterpiece of art and architecture with 100 feet long sandstone friezes on the east and west elevations, colored terra cotta in the pinnacles and tower, sculptures and murals in the lobby. The observation deck at the top of the central tower is free and open to the public. Buffalo City Hall is open during regular business hours.

Forest Lawn Cementery

Flickr by ZebraWatcher

1411 Delaware Ave Buffalo, NY 14209 (map)

Forest Lawn Cemetery dates back to 1849. I live a few blocks from it and for me there is no better place to visit (temporarily) to escape to unwind, relax, think and enjoy nature. The property is filled with trees, hills, brooks, stone bridges and Mirror Lake. There is a comforting feeling I get with every visit.

One visitor writes: “One of two main entrances is located at the intersection of Delaware and Delavan Avenues. The small, classically inspired office building of grey granite is located here. You can stop in for a map which includes highlights of the cemetery. Be careful, however, the roads twist and turn and it is very easy to lose your way. To avoid getting lost, you may just want to stick to the yellow &/or white lines painted down the middle of the road. They will always lead to an exit, so you shouldn’t get lost.”

Famous People buried at Forest Lawn:
Millard Fillmore – 13th President, United States
Abigail Powers Fillmore – First Lady, wife of Millard Fillmore
Frederick Albert Cook – discovered the North Pole in 1908
William Fargo – transportation pioneer, part of Wells Fargo
Sara M. Hinson – founder of Flag Day
Rick James – R&B Singer, “Super Freak”
Alfred Southwick – inventor of the Electric Chair
Edward Street – humorist and author of “Father of the Bride”

Kleinhans Music Hall

Flickr by rofltosh

Symphony Circle, Buffalo, NY (map)

Kleinhans Music Hall opened for business in Buffalo, New York in 1940. It was built as a part of the last will and testament of Edward L. and Mary Seaton Kleinhans, owners of the Kleinhans men’s clothing store. The couple left close to 1 million dollars for the music hall’s construction and was recognized as one of the greatest concert halls ever built in the United States for it’s perfect acoustic design.
The venue and the performances are a must see. Where else can you hear The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra play Beethoven’s Trio in D, Op. 70, No. 1, led by the most talented Music Director, JoAnn Falletta and then on another night hear them play Led Zeppelin’s “Rain Song”?

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