At the Merriweather - Diana Dillaway

Walked over to the Merriweather, Friday afternoon. Had a chance to talk with Robert Coles, Buffalo architect who designed the Merriweather and of course Diana Dillaway author of Power Failure.
In her opening remarks she praised Robert Coles for his "tenacious stands" on planning issues involving the University at Amherst in the 60's and his "architectural daring." Later she praised the Merriweather as "the brightest shining spot" in today's Buffalo. She carefully noted that 20 years of note taking and interviews often presented remarkable insights. Here, some people had apparently forgotten that they had been interviewed years earlier. Diana told the audience that her book was never intended to be a "muckracking" account of Buffalo's past but rather an examination of larger issues involving power elites clinging to and preventing others access to decision making.

She covered some unfamiliar ground involving ESCO, Build and the Model City Program from the 60's and early 70's. Her public policy recommendations include the establishment of a comprehensive planning process that is on-going, systematic and where citizen input is taken seriously.

During the q&a she was immediately asked whether names would be named in a second edition. She reminded us that she was more interested in the inter-locking areas of special interest and power relationships. Pressed still further she declined the offer to make her research notes and materials available for archival purposes at some future date. She did present the Merriweather with a signed copy of her book.

Buffalo Rising first mentioned Power Failure, back in June. I mentioned Diana's book a few weeks ago and linked to a Smart City podcast, right here.

By all means come on over and check out the brand new Merriweather Library, Buffalo's newest. Only library that was under construction during those crazy days in late 2004 when county budget hearings were the rage and library budgets were being slashed. It's located here at 1324 Jefferson Avenue at the corner of East Utica.
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