Columbus Parkway

Buffalo is well known for its beautiful old homes (see my previous post on Linwood Avenue for one example). In preparation for my future series on Olmstead Parks, Parkways and Pocket Parks I came across Columbus Parkway (near Prospect Park and Columbus Park). This west side parkway is an "under-the-radar" example of old time Buffalo, boasting a beautiful variety of architecture throughout its five blocks. The two pocket parks at the south end of the parkway are among the oldest public spaces in Buffalo. Originally a residential square before Niagara Street cut through the center, the eight-acre plot was donated to the city of Buffalo in 1836 by local businessman Hiram Pratt. At the time, the square's unusually high elevation offered unrestricted views of Lake Erie. Unfortunately, once Frederick Law Olmsted arrived in Buffalo, residences were built on the edge of the parks along Columbus Parkway, blocking the views originally intended for the square. This led Olmstead to create the new Front Park. Olmstead was quoted to be especially aggravated with the development of Columbus Parkway for blocking the views and intersecting the area that eventually became Front Park.
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