Buffalo Architectural History Minute
Designed: (1922-23), E. B. Green & Sons , Inc
Adaptive Reuse/ Additions (1984), Gruzen Partnership, NYC
Hyatt Regency Hotel incorporated the E. B. Green designed Genesee Office Building when the 11-story hotel tower and atrium was built in the 1980’s. November 1981 marked the beginning of the razing of the Victor and Oppenheim Collins buildings (neighboring buildings to clear the way for the Hyatt hotel. One month earlier the decision had been made to incorporate the Genesee Building into the hotel design.
The cast-iron fronts of the Genesee Building were retained and can be seen from inside the hotel’s atrium. The project rescued a 15-story red brick, French Renaissance style, green copper hipped roof office building which was once slated for demolition.
On the Negative side the Atrium addition contributed to the unlinking of downtown Buffalo with its waterfront. As you can see Genesee Street once linked the
urban core visually to the harbor, now it is discontinuous and no long provides access to Niagara Square and the city hall just to the top of the image below. Genesee Street being one of the original radial street starting at the central hub (Niagara Square) can be seen at both the bottom and the top of the image. Continuing this theme the Buffalo convention Center, (ie the Large grey/tan blob on Franklin Street not only was built on Genesee Street, but also razed an entire city block, which I am sure was fur more architecturally stimulating than a big grey box…………….
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HOLT Architects, P.C.
217 N. Aurora St.
Ithaca, NY 14850
phone 607 273-7600 Ext. 151
fax 607 273-0475