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Buffalo at the CrossroadsThe Past, Present, and Future of American Urbanism$
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Peter H. Christensen

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749766

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749766.001.0001

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“The Olmsted City”

“The Olmsted City”

Heritage Landscapes and Civic Identity in Twentieth-Century Buffalo

(p.17) Chapter 1 “The Olmsted City”
Buffalo at the Crossroads

Stewart Weaver

Cornell University Press

This chapter talks about the Niagara Section of the New York State Thruway, which hurtles thoughtlessly through the sprawling geography of nowhere. It refers to Frederick Law Olmsted's Humboldt Parkway as one of the most beautiful and distinctive streets in America. It also discusses Olmsted's surving work in Buffalo, both physically and psychologically, that even in its mangled form remains one of the most original and distinctive park ensembles in the United States. The chapter recounts how Buffalo lost half its people and almost all its manufacturing industry between 1950 and 2000. It illustrates Buffalo as the client for whom Olmsted exercised the fullest measure of his genius.

Keywords:   Buffalo, Niagara Section, New York State Thruway, Humboldt Parkway, park ensemble, manufacturing industry, Frederick Law Olmsted

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