Here to There to Ellicott Square
At the turn of the last Century, Buffalo, New York was a thriving metropolis. A Destination City, it was a center of industry, a gateway for westward travel, and a showplace of modern innovation. This painting was based on an c. 1896 photograph that I found, showing the buildings along downtown Main Street. The photographer had done his best to keep the people on the street out of his shot--but for me, the scene at street level was the most fascinating aspect of the picture. I just had to expand the little black and white photo into a full color oil painting!

The research for this piece was so much tougher than I thought it would be. The only structure that remains standing today is the Ellicott Square Building. Everything else was torn down long ago. And so I relied on written accounts and old hand-colored images to determine the correct colors for the storefronts, the signage, the awnings, even the then-newly-installed electric streetcars (among the first in the country).

Unfortunately, much of the city's early glamour has been lost through time. Like so many other urban areas, the historical has been replaced by the modern and more efficient. Empty buildings have given way to parking lots.

The hustle and bustle of life, people walking, biking, riding, driving, and visiting their favorite downtown shops, has been reduced to distant memories and the occasional old picture.

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