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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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Cropping the View

Cropping the View

Reyner Banham and the Image of Buffalo

(p.255) Chapter 12 Cropping the View
Buffalo at the Crossroads

Hadas A. Steiner

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses how the deployment of architectural history in Buffalo demonstrates how scholarship can be used to justify policies that reify segregation. It describes Buffalo as an industrial city where the longue durée of fiscal, racial, and ethnic ghettoization has stranded 30 percent of the population below the poverty line despite claims of an economic renaissance. It also cites the co-option of cultural capital by politicians and developers in relation to identifying how disciplinary resources might be directed elsewhere to stem the growing tide of spatial injustice. The chapter contrasts the most important aspects of the Buffalo landscape and the abstraction of its architecture into an aesthetic discourse. It recounts the terracotta fac¸ade of the Guaranty Building by Louis Sullivan that has now been restored and the demolition of the Larkin Administration Building by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1950.

Keywords:   Buffalo, architectural history, ethnic ghettoization, aesthetic discourse, Larkin Administration Building, segregation

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