Delaware Park was designed as part of a coordinated system of parks, parkways and traffic circles throughout Buffalo in the late 1800's by Frederick Law Olmstead and his partner Calvert Vaux. North Buffalo was largely uninhabited at this time and the partner's vision was to carefully modify and enhance the original layout of Buffalo that was framed by Joseph Ellicott in 1804. Their design introduced many progressive features that were largely influenced by the parks and boulevards in Paris, France. The 46 acre Gala Water (renamed Hoyt Lake) was the centerpiece of the park as Olmstead believed that a water system offered tranquility and complimented the park and surrounding parkway perfectly. A boathouse designed by Vaux was built shortly after and stood where the current day Marcy Casino resides. The North Bay, now segregated by the Scajaquada Expressway, became the setting for the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society building in 1901.
Today, Hoyt Lake remains the beautiful centerpiece of Delaware Park that Olmstead and Vaux intended it to be 150 years ago. Hundreds of Western New Yorkers enjoy the park everyday, with ever-growing activities now available from kayaking and canoe rentals to dining, theatre play, the Japanese Gardens or either museum nearby. Enjoy some of my favorite images I've gathered over the past two years featuring Hoyt Lake in all her beauty!