By Mike Panzitta – Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh
Hey everyone! Did you miss the RBCoYP meetup last month in Buffalo and want to know exactly how many tears you should cry in sorrow? Were you there and you really want to relive the memories? Are you some kind of deep-pocketed philanthropist who is looking for a group of really awesome, fun-having, excited preservationists with a regional organization to fund? Well, come join me and I’ll run down just what we did. July’s meetup brought preservationists from the Rust Belt to New England (and even some Canadians) to Buffalo to live some of the Queen City’s amazing history!
Friday was just great. As people trickled in, the RBC group started by exploring the Curtiss Malting Building, which is currently housing a fantastic art installation. We chatted about future uses of the building before snagging a great picture with Buffalo’s awesome flag!
And we were off! our next stop was at the Pop In, where we had our official kickoff party. Everyone was showing their Buffalove as we caught up with all our preservationist friends, drinking local beer and eating pizza and (of course) buffalo wings.
Saturday started early at Silo City, which was in my opinion the best part of the weekend. Like, seriously, if you’re in Buffalo and have the opportunity, CHECK OUT SILO CITY!
Silo City is the largest collection of grain elevators on our fair planet of Earth, and it does not disappoint. From the art installations inside the elevators to their connection to the history of Buffalo, they really were amazing. I want to go back just to kayak the canal and see them from the water. Oh, we also (of course) busted out our This Place Matters flags and got a pic:
Saturday continued with some downtime in Larkinville, a really cool section of town with amazing restored and repurposed buildings, some old industrial facilities, and the smallest nano-putt-putt course in the Rust Belt. They have a Preservation- themed hole, so obviously we all played a round (in between beers and taco truck runs).
We then headed downtown, to see some of Buffalo’s most famous buildings. From the Guaranty Building to City Hall, each place had a fantastic story, told to us by our impressively-knowledgeable guides.
After a packed Saturday like this, you’d have thought we’d have just gone right to sleep, right? Wrong! We were too excited for that, so we headed to Resurgence Brewing to celebrate our very own Bernice Radle’s 30th birthday!
Though all of us wept Sunday due to our imminent departures, we did find the time to tours the Richardson-Olmsted Complex, which was really something else.
The H.H. Richardson-designed buildings and Frederick Olmsted-designed grounds were a gigantic mental health facility built in the late 1800s and are now being restored to use as hotel and conference space. Going through the buildings in their various states of restoration, disrepair, and partial reconstruction really told the story of this fantastic place.
Some people did some stuff after that, but I don’t care about that, since I am a child and I had to head out after the Olmsted Tour.
So that was our Buffalo weekend! We’re really disappointed if you had to miss it, but don’t fret! There are plenty more opportunities to hang out with us! Our next meetup will be in another “Queen City,” Cincinnati, Ohio, in October. So save the date, set your watch, and retune your astrolabes to make sure you get to southwest Ohio for our next meetup. I don’t want to spoil too much, but some of the ingredients so far in our planning stew include preservation-themed beer, streetcar tours, hashtag contests, spaghetti with chili on it (god forbid), manholes, subterranean exploration, bicycles, a continuation of RBC’s love of urban staircases, and (of course) granola. See you there!