Eye candy

Eye candy

Avant photo by kc kratt.

Guaranty Building photo by Kim Miers.
Buffalo Zoo and Global Vascular Institute photos by kc kratt.
Best new building
The Avant
200 Delaware Ave.,
No other recent piece of construction has made such an impact on downtown.

Most beautiful building
Sullivan’s Guaranty Building
28 Church St. 848-1366
Kudos to Hodgson Russ, who just won a state award for their restoration and reuse of this landmark office building, one of the finest in the country. From close-up or from a distance, it never fails to deliver.

First place to take out-of-towners
Niagara Falls and Rapids
28 Church St. 848-1366
Niagara Falls is a natural. And don’t forget Goat Island. This part is important: Avoid the border and bridge lines and experience the American side of the Falls.

Best local advertising
Carubba Collision
Several area locations;
We are not fans of car crashes, but we do enjoy the “Carrubba Collision Hit of the Game,” highlighting the more violent contacts at Sabres games.

Best place for kids
TIE: Buffalo Zoo/Buffalo Museum of Science
300 Parkside Ave., 837-3900 x135,; 1020 Humboldt Parkway,

The panelists love the activities at the science museum, but the readers say the zoo, hands-down. Both are great.

Most promising new construction
The Global Vascular Institute
Currently taking shape on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, this monument to industrial chic is part of the UB 2020 plan.

Best small town to visit
What doesn’t Lewiston have? You can picnic by the magnificent Niagara gorge, see a great concert at Artpark, eat at charming restaurants, and shop like a maniac.

Best scenic drive
Niagara Parkway (Ontario)
Just over the border, this drive offers well-kept gardens, magnificent waterfront homes, wineries, and the Niagara River.

Spookiest Sight
The Richardson Towers
Even without dramatic evening lighting, the Richardson Towers will always be a spooky place for me and for many other WNYers. Sure, the architecture is striking and majestic. But it’s also imposing in an intimidating kind of way and never more so than if you have actually been inside when it was an active mental hospital.

I visited a great aunt at the Towers back in the ‘60s. I guess the thinking was that my presence would either 1., cheer her up or 2., provide a grounding in family reality to help coax her back from her mild delusions.

As I remember, the building was dark inside, with lots of wood, including a large bench where we waited to be allowed to go up to my aunt’s room. It was a bit scary for a nine-year-old kid, but in those days hospitals of any kind were vaguely threatening places. I got a different perspective on the now-abandoned building from an essay Spree writer Bruce Adams wrote in 2006 for our architecture issue. He actually interviewed his sister Cynthia for the piece, who still works at the complex. She commented:

“It represents our roots, a symbol of how far we’ve come. If we still look at the hospital today as a place to rest and regain health, then the grounds help meet that goal. Without the Richardson building, we’d lose some of the beauty of the place, a piece of art.”

As an added aside, Cynthia noted that many patients who once resided in Richardson’s wards have said that they miss that structure’s enclosed porches. From these verandas, “they could breathe fresh air and view the city’s activities.”

Her final statement reminds me of another abandoned hospital building, the J.N. Adams Hospital in Perrysburg. But that’s a spooky story for another day.

—Elizabeth Licata; photo by Jim Bush

Spookiest sight
H.H. Richardson Complex
400 Forest Ave.
Regardless of how this complex is redeveloped, the towers will always be an eerie sight.

Favorite symbol of Buffalo
City Hall
65 Niagara Square, 851-5847,
Everyone who thinks they know this building should take the tour; it has a fascinating story.

Prettiest city neighborhood
The best route to the Albright-Knox is along these well-manicured streets, lined with stately homes and parks.

Best Overlooked Park
Cazenovia Park
While two of Frederick Law Olmsted’s largest Buffalo parks—Delaware and South—are visually dominated by front and center golf courses, the wild and mysterious Caz is a refreshing alternative. There is a large and mature tree canopy as well as the beautiful Cazenovia Creek, which runs through it, ultimately emptying into Lake Erie. Plus, the park includes a nine-hole golf course, spray and swimming pools, an ice rink, soccer fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, and even lawn bowling. Lawn bowling! Yup, Caz rulez.

—Christopher Schobert; photo by Chastity Taber

Beaver Island photo by kc kratt.

Park with the widest range of activities
Beaver Island State Park
Grand Island,
Beautiful grass and sand picnic acres, a stately amenity center, fishing, swimming, hiking, and more.
Allentown photo by Nancy J. Parisi.

Best place to photograph
You’ll want to zoom in on the fantastic assortment of architectural detailing; each house has its own personality.

Prettiest suburban neighborhood
Just beyond UB and the city limits is this charming network of winding streets, early twentieth century architecture, and village-like business districts.

Best spot for wildflowers
Reinstein Woods
93 Honorine Dr., Depew, 683-5959,
There are gorgeous and well-groomed trails as well as a beautiful lily pond. Staff members in the visitor center can answer your questions about flowers you can’t identify, or you can consult the excellent signage.

Best spot for wildlife
Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge
1101 Casey Rd., Basom, 948-5445,
Woodlawn Beach photo by kc kratt.
Also known as the Alabama Swamps, these acres are loved by geese, bluebirds, hawks, kestrels, herons, egrets, swans, plovers, hummingbirds, and other feathered favorites.

Most overlooked park
Cazenovia Park
This well-structured park manages to maintain a wild appearance while providing all the amenities park users expect.

Best public waterfront access
Woodlawn Beach
3580 Lake Shore Rd., Blasdell, 826-1930,
Our closest beach access, this is also a very pretty park, with nice trails.

Eye candy


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