Amidst an ever-changing downtown landscape, this destination delivers cultural attractions, dining and nightlife for every persuasion. The Buffalo Niagara Region will surprise and delight you, with outstanding theater, a world-class philharmonic orchestra, authentic American heritage sites, extraordinary architecture, non-stop nightlife, historic zoo, one of the world's top collections of modern art, charming restaurants, great shopping, major league sports and an exciting array of family attractions. All this and the wonder of Niagara Falls, just 20 minutes from downtown Buffalo!
With the information and links in this section of our website you will discover why Buffalo is America’s best-kept secret. Discover why Buffalo is called the "City of Good Neighbors!"
Buffalo’s Architecture is “an outdoor museum of extraordinary architecture!”, and has fast become a renaissance fueled by the adaptive reuse of historic buildings. The New York Times agrees: Buffalo is on its list of the 52 places to see in 2018!
What Makes Buffalo Niagara Special?
Buffalo has an astounding history that traces many of the key architecture, planning, and preservation philosophies that have impacted our country. Its close relationship with Canada adds a dimension that only a few other cities in America have. Buffalo was the sixth-largest port in the world in 1906. By 1951 it was the eleventh-largest industrial center in the country, the largest inland water port, the second-largest railroad center, and the fifteenth-largest city in the country. It was literally and physically one of the most important points of departure on the continent.
Today, after several decades of decline, Buffalo is experiencing a strong physical and economic revival based in large part on adaptive reuse through the historic-preservation tax-credit program, heritage tourism, and the astonishing expansion of Buffalo’s medical infrastructure with the new University at Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus being built on the edge of downtown, all of which is leading to unprecedented number of rehabilitations of downtown buildings for luxury residential, retail, and hotels.
Buffalo is a compact and very urban city with many intact historic neighborhoods anchored by walkable retail districts with locally owned restaurants and stores. You will also have opportunities to experience the past and present in Western New York and in Canada along the Niagara Gorge.
Attend the APT Awards Banquet in the Hotel Henry, a boutique hotel that just opened in the adapted Richardson (as in H. H.) Olmsted Campus! Buffalo is home to major architectural works from each of America’s greatest architects from the end of the nineteenth century--Frank Lloyd Wright, H. H. Richardson, and Louis Sullivan. Each of their National Historic Landmark masterpieces has been fully restored or is currently undergoing a major restoration, and APT members will be visiting all of them.
Learn about Buffalo’s Olmsted parkway system; take tours of the cobblestone villages and Erie Canal-era structures. Buffalo has one of the most intact Olmsted-designed park and parkway systems in the country, including six parks connected by many gracious parkways. Buffalo’s original radial grid was laid out in 1804 by Joseph Ellicott, a surveyor whose brother had worked with L’Enfant on the original plan for Washington, D.C. Buffalo saw phenomenal growth with the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, the coming of the railroad in 1843, and the subsequent expansion of its boundaries in 1853. The city had the great good fortune of hiring Olmsted, Vaux & Partners in 1868 to complete the park and parkway system. Olmsted was quoted as saying that “Buffalo is the best-planned city in the country if not the world!”
Attend field sessions and cocktail events in Buffalo’s best late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Renaissance-revival masterpieces. Buffalo architects E. B. Green (Green & Wicks) and Louise Bethune left a mark on Buffalo, much as McKim, Mead & White had left on New York City. Louise Bethune was the first woman to become a licensed architect in the country and the first woman to be inducted into the AIA College of Fellows.
See the grain elevators on a boat tour, during a modern-history field session, or on an overview bus tour. The first grain elevator in the world was built in Buffalo in the early 1840s by Joseph Dart and Robert Dunbar. The grain elevators and daylight factories, which were built by some of the most prosperous commercial interests in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, were immortalized in Reyner Banham’s A Concrete Atlantis. These buildings, considered by some as the precedents that many modern architects, such as LeCorbusier, looked to in their seminal designs, still draw architects and architectural fans from around the world. A Buffalo modern field session or a downtown modernism walking tour will take you to major works by the Saarinens, Richard Upjohn, Minoru Yamasaki, SOM, Gwathmey Siegel, I. M. Pei, Paul Rudolph, and Edward Durell Stone.
Celebrate our 50th Anniversary on Canada Day! The region has a long and vital story and connection to the founding of America and Canada with infrastructure from the War of 1812. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a remarkably intact early-1800s city, known today for its quaint shopping district and some of the best wine in the world. Niagara Falls, one of the great natural wonders of the world, is only 30 minutes from downtown Buffalo and spans both countries. Shuttle buses will take you to stops along the Niagara Gorge and end up at the Jackson-Triggs Winery for a party you won’t forget!
The Next Fifty Symposium. The culminating event of the conference, the 2018 symposium, The Next Fifty--Points of Departure, will present our ideas for the future of preservation technology and APT. Spend the day with students and colleagues in a 1964 modern library auditorium debating resilience, modern heritage, zero-net carbon, and authenticity.