Buffalo's Newest Library

Craig at America's North Coast, beat me to the Buffalo News article about our City's newest library. First one in 20 years! Here's the article and check out Craig's post. He has a few choice words about the design. I agree. I know a number of City planners that share Craig's opinion. As soon as the fence comes down along Utica, I'll post my comments about the experience I have walking past the gentle windowless concrete wall curves of the village huts.

DSCN2913 DSCN2912 DSCN2911 DSCN2909 DSCN2907
click to enlarge

The new branch sits near the Apollo Theater and features an Afro-centric design reflective of an African village.

The design meshes six open, circular rooms on the perimeter - symbolicof village huts - nesting against a stunning central circle with atowering, light-filled sky dome. The central area, symbolic of the village center, houses the circulation desk.

If someone would pass along pictures of local architect Robert Trayham Coles other work in Buffalo or elsewhere, I'd appreciate it.

Still nothing about the library the City of Buffalo is abandoning on Jefferson Avenue. It's in great shape and never seemed to make John Hannon's list over in the City's Real Estate Division of city property that's for sale. Didn't see a 'for sale' sign today either.

btw...here's the first post I wrote about this library last February. Bad pics, I know.

Make sure to check out this post that links you to a recent conversation over at BRO.
Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006


Rust Belt Renewal said...

I believe Coles did a decent amount of design work on the Metro stations, specifically the Utica stop. He has also done transit/train stations in Atlanta and Providence.

Not sure if he's done a library before, but it is a special challenge due to the needs for shelf space/storage and for concerns of how natural light effects the shelf-life (sorry) of books. Though windowless, the patterns of brick and the multiple curves of the facade make the building not nearly as bad as, say, the brutalistic convention center. Hopefully with proper plantings and street furniture, the space surrounding the building can be a lively and welcoming gathering place for the community (in a section of Jefferson that could certainly use it), and and not another windswept plaza.

EAL said...

Hi David,

Looking at these more detailed images, I am finding this building more attractive than when I saw the smaller pic on BRO. I too like the pattens, and, to some extent, the shapes, and I'm intrigued enough to want to come check it out Saturday. It must be kind of fun to walk around inside, too.

fixBuffalo said...


I'm sure the place does have a coolness factor yet still from the street...rather bleak.

While you are in the neighborhood make sure to check out the Woodlawn Row Houses, too. They are wide open again...like an open house!