School of Architecture and Planning

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A Summary of the Conversation

Buffalo's Opportunity

the idea of heritage development

the values of heritage development

real places and telling stories

heritage development and the tourism industry

tourism is a byproduct of good places

making it work economically

the process is important

Executive summary

Buffalo's Opportunity

The Idea of Heritage Development

The Economics of Heritage Development

Urban Design and Heritage Development

Exhibit of Historic Views

Heritage Development
- a Case Study

Group Discussion Sessions

Content Analysis
(coming soon)

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Buffalo's Opportunity

Logo for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. -  Buffalo and Erie County Historical SocietyThe speakers clearly agreed that Buffalo faces an extraordinary opportunity for economic and community development under the rubric of “heritage.” Our resources in general, not only great architecture by America’s acclaimed masters, but the rich city fabric of downtown, neighborhoods, and parks, arresting geography, and a community steeped in the great stories of our nation, bode well for work in heritage development. As the site of the western terminus of the Erie Canal, however, Buffalo has a kind of “name brand” recognition and identity that have power across the country and around the world.

Discovery of remains of the Commercial Slip has brought this opportunity into public consciousness and magnified its importance. Karen Engelke said that no other site in Buffalo could match the western terminus for either historical significance or visitor-attracting potential. It is a key site for “the story of America,” she said, as well as a potential world heritage site. It links the story of the growth of Buffalo to the story of the emergence of New York State to the greater story of the making of a great continental nation. Others agreed, but also emphasized the need to find out more about what is there and what it might mean for preservation, interpretation, and development. Tom Moriarity quoted the English landscape painter Constable in advising Buffalonians: “we see nothing until we understand.”

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