Tag Archives: Sense of place

Sense of Place, For Real

4 Dec

While the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors’ Bureau is busy attracting geriatric architecture nerds to come and look at cornices and decorative concrete, the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise is doing this: 

There is no mention of “sense of place” or that “this place matters”. There is no talk of “for real“, or Buffalo being more authentic than other places. There is a complete absence of talking heads praising our unmatched street grid or making completely ignorant claims about Buffalo having the only water sunsets west of the Pacific. The CVB’s “For Real” series of videos, hosted by local musician Nelson Starr, are better at showing off the people and things to do in the region, but the signature pieces are pedantic and verbose. 

What this simple video from a local business development agency does that the CVB hasn’t been able to articulate is what makes Buffalo different and attractive. Yes, I realize that it was developed for a wholly different purpose and a completely different audience. But the message and its delivery are matter-of-fact, and emphasize people having fun in our natural and built environments; not the environments themselves. 

Nice work, BNE. You made Buffalo seem like a nice place to live, work, and play. 

Better Days?

6 Feb

Buffalo Sabres 2007: 

WGRZ Super Bowl ad 2012:

Question

17 Jul

Which will attract more visitors to Buffalo?

Bifocal intellectuals” looking at architecture and our “sense of place”?

or

The Buffalo Creek Casino?

Sense, Indeed

14 May

The largest Apple store in the world opens on Boston’s Boylston Street on Thursday morning. It is located just inside Boston’s famous/infamous Back Bay Architectural District. Let’s just say that this organization does not make it easy for developers in the tony Back Bay.

Here’s what the store looks like:

(Photo courtesy CKelly at Flickr)

The store is literally eight years in the making, and the preservationists did not make this remotely easy for Apple.

Preliminary design proposals for Apple Computer’s first Boston store got a cool reception last night from the Back Bay Architectural Commission, but several commissioners said a revised design might address their concerns.

Apple hopes to demolish a small building at 815 Boylston St., which is occupied by a Copy Cop store at street level, and build a flagship store across from the Prudential Center.

Projects involving the demolition of an existing building in the Back Bay Architectural District generally require the commission’s approval

Sounds almost Buffalonian, no?

One concept presented was a three-story building whose front would be largely glass. The building would likely have a green roof, said Bob Bridger, an Apple vice president of retail development.

Glass. Green roof. Definitely modern. Definitely different, given the brownstone-y nature of that neighborhood. But this is the quote that helped to underscore how similar Buffalo and Boston are:

Donna Prince, an alternate on the commission, acknowledged that the design was ”beautiful,” but that it ”doesn’t have a sense of place.”

Luckily, Apple prevailed, and the glass, green building opens tomorrow for business.

Here’s the building with “sense of place” that it replaces:

Photo courtesy Clarkwood at Flickr.