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Best sight you won’t see anywhere but here: Statue of Liberty replicas on the Liberty Building rooftop

Photo by kc kratt


Best sight you won’t see anywhere but here

Statue of Liberty replicas on the Liberty Building rooftop

424 Main St., Buffalo; mainliberty.com

The Liberty Bank Building isn’t the tallest building in the city, but it’s one of the more popular downtown skyscrapers. Designed by British architect Alfred C. Bossom, the building was constructed in 1925. At twenty-two-stories, it features Statue of Liberty replicas at the top of each of its two towers; their impressive torches burn a fiery yellow color against the night sky every evening. The reason they’re there? The German-owned bank changed its name after World War I and commissioned the patriotic sculptures, made by artist Leo Lentelli.


Best makeover of an existing building

The Mentholatum

1360 Niagara St., Buffalo; thementholatum.com

Photo by kc kratt


This former daylight factory, built in 1919, was an easier adaptive reuse lift than most because it’s been occupied for most of its nearly 100 years on Niagara Street. First home to locally owned Mentholatum (now under Japanese owners) and most recently the headquarters for Garrett Leather, the concrete structure now holds forty-nine light-filled apartments with street-level commercial space available. The views from the upper floors are said to be eye-popping.


Best new construction

Explore & More Children’s Museum at Canalside


This popular East Aurora-based institution has been programming outdoor activities at Canalside for more than two years now; soon, they are adding year-round indoor offerings to the mix. The planned spring 2019 completion is eagerly awaited; a common criticism of Canalside offerings is that there are too few brick-and-mortar amenities.


Best preservation project

Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center, Richardson Olmsted Complex

444 Forest Ave., Buffalo; hotelhenry.com

PHOTO BY stephen gabris


Not every historic property of this stature welcomes the public in on a daily basis, but at Hotel Henry, visitors can wander the hallways,  look out the windows, and, finally, pull up a chair and relax with a drink as they continue to admire the splendor that surrounds them. As the entire complex continues its restoration and reuse efforts, Hotel Henry offers a superb front-row view.


Hotel Henry by Stephen Gabris; UB medical school by kc kratt


Best looking new building

University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

955 Main St., Buffalo; medicine.buffalo.edu



When the images of the completed interior started appearing in local media, there was one universal reaction: wow. Remarkable for its terra cotta cladding, its asymmetrical volumes, and, above all, the light-flooded atrium with its multifloor views, this complex has lived up to even the most optimistic expectations.


Most sustainable project

Outer Harbor parkland


It used to be that Tifft and Times Beach nature preserves were the only public amenities offering the proper infrastructure in which to enjoy walks amid the Outer Harbor’s flora and fauna. These magnificent facilities have recently been joined by Wilkeson Pointe, Bell Slip, and Outer Harbor State Park, Buffalo’s newest state park. While there is some controversy about possible development, these new park areas provide restored habitat for wildlife and well-maintained trails and recreational space for humans.


Best wildlife habitat project

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper shoreline and habitat improvements


To fix the water, it is also necessary to restore the shoreline surrounding it; Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper has thoroughly grasped this fact and the science behind it. To date, the organization has implemented Living Shoreline projects along the Niagara River in Grand Island, Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls, and Ellicott Creek in Tonawanda.


Best local winter escape



It’s rated as among the top ski facilities in the eastern US, but those not after winter sports will have just as much fun as the skiers, boarders, and tubers. More amenities are added each year to this winter wonderland an hour south of Buffalo.


Best nature walk

Forest Lawn Cemetery

1411 Delaware Ave., Buffalo; forest-lawn.com

As anyone who has walked here knows, Forest Lawn is not only one of the best places to find migrating bird species in spring and fall, it is also a thriving wildlife habitat at all times. The 269-acre facility provides homes for deer, squirrels, owls, hawks, heron, among many other species. It is also an important arboretum.


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