Visiting the Connecticut Street Armory, Buffalo, New York: Medina sandstone monumentality dating from 1899

State flag of New York
State flag of New York | Source
View of main tower, Connecticut Street Armory, Buffalo, New York
View of main tower, Connecticut Street Armory, Buffalo, New York | Source
Map location of Buffalo, New York
Map location of Buffalo, New York | Source

Awe-inspiring work by Isaac G. Perry, appointed Grover Cleveland's Capitol Commissioner

In 1883, New York Governor (and later US President) Grover Cleveland appointed Isaac G. Perry (1822-1904) New York's Capitol Commissioner; in point of fact, Commissioner Perry's responsibilities extended state-wide.

Some history and features

The Armory (2), now on the National Register of Historic Places on Buffalo's Connecticut Street was one of Commissioner Perry's significant undertakings, among many others; another architect involved substantially in work on the Armory was Williams Lansing (3).

The Armory was built in 1899, the year also of Commissioner Perry's retirement, following which the job title of state architect was established officially, a rôle which he had already been fulfilling unofficially.

Architect Perry executed the Armory in Medina sandstone, which thus continues to give the monumental building a slightly reddish hue. The stonework incorporates heavy use of rustication. Among the leading features of the Armory is a 6 ½ storey tower, with picturesque corner turrets; the building has a number of other, smaller towers also.

Given the significance of the Armory to Buffalo's architectural heritage, local preservation activists sometimes sponsor guides tours of the building.

The proximity of the green expanse of nearby Prospect Park only enhances the striking impression of the edifice. Altogether, the building has the awe-inspiring, imposing appearance of a castle, and the unfamiliar visitor, seeing the edifice for the first time, may well wonder: What is that enormous building?

Notes

(1) Other of Architect Perry's noted building projects include the New York State Inebriate Asylum (or Binghampton State Hospital); he was one of the architects who worked on the New York State Capitol, Albany, built between 1867 and 1899.

(2) In these hubs I have tried to keep spelling consistent, although because of differing spellings between the United States and Canada, and a desire for accuracy reflecting local usages, in this case I have retained the spelling 'Armory'. My Hubpage on the former London Ontario Armoury uses the customary spelling in Canada.

(3) Captain Williams Lansing was also supervising architect at the Pan-American Exposition of 1901.

Also worth seeing

In Buffalo itself, other visitor attractions include: the Art Deco City Hall; the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park; Broderick Park, with its Underground Railroad associations; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site at the Wilcox Mansion, and many others.

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How to get there: Continental Airlines flies from New York Newark to Buffalo Niagara International Airport, where car rental is available. Buffalo, NY is linked with Albany, NY via the I-290 and I-90. From Canada, accessible via the Peace Bridge, the QEW links Fort Erie, ON with Hamilton and Toronto. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

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