Mar 27, 2013

Architectural Historians to Converge in Buffalo at Annual Conference Next Month

Buffalo is hosting another prestigious conference focused on levering our historic assets. The Society of Architectural Historians will be having their annual conference in the city this April from the 10th to the 14th at the convention center. The event will draw hundreds of visitors to Buffalo from fields like urban planning, architecture, preservation, and architectural history. Registration information is available by clicking here. Online registration ends this Friday, but people will still be able to register on-site the day the conference starts between 7am and 5pm at the convention center.


The primary focus of the conference will be how Buffalo can utilize historic preservation as a tool for long-term urban, cultural and economic sustainability. The conference includes educational sessions and tours of iconic Buffalo buildings like the Kleinhans Music Hall and the Hotel Lafayette. Several local professionals and UB professors are involved in the conference and hosting roundtable discussions, educational sessions, etc.


Tom Yots, executive director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara, and Despina Stratigakos, UB associate professor of architecture, are the conference’s local co-chairs. “After arriving in Buffalo, I kept telling people elsewhere what an incredible city it is in terms of the architecture and the planning idea — the creative past and continuing spirit — and at a certain point, I realized that it really has to be seen, in a way, to be absorbed,” Stratigakos said. “Buffalo has many architectural gems, but more than that, there’s a very interesting, radical history here of innovation. SAH has never been to Buffalo in its 65 years of holding meetings, and the last time the conference was held in New York State was in the 1960s, so it’s a big deal that this event is coming to town.”


Here is just one example of many education sessions happening at the conference.  Conservation, Restoration, and Architectural History: “An important part of architectural history entails the study of life within, among, and between the designed spaces of buildings, but the temporal lives of buildings themselves pose a peculiar challenge to architectural historians. As a product of constantly shifting plans and processes, buildings are always caught within a continuous narrative where they inevitably change form, through growth and decay; they are remodeled, expanded, gutted, demolished, forgotten, or rebuilt. The conservator and the architectural historian both search for the origins of these processes, reconstructing primary forms through fragments, photographs, plans, and other historical evidence.

This session explores the possibilities of conservation, in both its historical and practical modes, to accommodate the movement of time, to preserve its fluidity, stabilize its heterogeneity, and render accessible its historical morphology rather than seeking to fix its imaginary origins.”


Information about the SAH public events can be found here and information regarding the tours can be found here. For additional photos from my collection of Buffalo at Night, check out my Flickr page here.

Check out the SAH conference in action from the Detroit conference last year.

Views of Buffalo Flickr     -     fixBuffalo     -     The Atlantic Cities     -     The Urbanophile

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