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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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(p.265) Coda
Buffalo at the Crossroads

Peter H. Christensen

Cornell University Press

This chapter mentions Nicolai Ouroussoff, former architecture critic for the New York Times, who published an editorial entitled “Saving Buffalo's Untold Beauty” at the peak of the 2008 financial crisis. It discusses how Ouroussoff depicted Buffalo as a place replete with architectural treasures and a history of experimentation that was in outsize proportion to its population, economic health, and the resources of its preservationists. It also examines Ouroussoff's article delighted many local officials and cemented some of the very clichés that have trapped Buffalo in a fugue of “ruin porn.” The chapter points out how Buffalo ardently remains a dynamic city that neither begs pity nor romance from its inhabitants. It highlights Buffalo's traits of being quotidian, emblematic, and archetypal as part of a larger effort to move beyond facile depictions of Buffalo and show how its lessons are transposable by being allegorical.

Keywords:   Buffalo, Nicolai Ouroussoff, financial crisis, preservationist

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