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October 26, 2010
by Rick Bell FAIA Executive Director AIA New York
Buffalo-Century-Central

Century Grille and Central Park Grill in Buffalo.

Rick Bell, FAIA

The AIA New York State/ American Society of Landscape Architects Convention took place, this year, in Buffalo, the Queen City, as it is called by Lauren Belfer in City of Light. In her novel, published in 1999 by the Dial Press, issues of infrastructure, energy, urban dynamism, and passion come together in a metropolis defined by its architecture, urbanity, and extraordinary civic intelligence. That was the impression that visitors from downstate, and elsewhere, came away with after the most successful state convention in history.

Thanks are due to AIA New York State President-Elect David Businelli, AIA, and AIA New York State Past-President, Burt Roslyn, AIA, as well as AIANYS staff led by Executive Director Ed Farrell, along with Georgi Ann Bailly and Marthanne Gershman, for keeping the convention animated and exciting. Many service and design awards were conferred, as can be seen from the AIA Buffalo/ Western New York website. These included, among many others, the Educator’s Award to Kenneth Frampton, Assoc. AIA, of Columbia University, the Kideney Medal to Leevi Kiil, FAIA, and Honorary AIANYS status to Suzanne Howell Mecs, the Membership Director of AIA New York. Burt Roslyn, FAIA, received the Matthew W. DelGaudio Award; Stanley Stark, FAIA, received the President’s Award; and Mark Behm, Assoc. AIA, received the Associates Award. Firm of the Year honors went to FXFOWLE Architects.

Apart from these awards, and those received for superlative designs from firms statewide, the convention was given character and substance by the presence of the city of Buffalo itself. Many got to see the Richardson Asylum, Burnham’s Ellicott Square Building — site of the host chapter party, Wright’s Martin House, and the new Eleanor and Wilson Greathatch Pavilion, adjacent to it, by Toshiko Mori, FAIA. Others appreciated the enduring charms of the nightlife of Chippewa Street (“Been There” t-shirts abounded), and the home-style culinary delights of the Century Grill, Taste of Soul, Washington Square Bar, and Central Park Grille. Buffalo architects Ron Battaglia FAIA, Dennis Andrejko FAIA, Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA, and Robert Traynham Coles, FAIA, also made all convention-goers feel right at home. The City of Light was lit up for the AIA.

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