Buffalo – May 2017 – Central Terminal

The Buffalo Central Terminal is a rail station that was built and opened in 1929. It served as the main rail station until 1979, when it was abandoned. It was designed Alfred Fellheimer, who also designed Grand Central Terminal, of which it bears a striking resemblance.

A few times a year they host tours and the day we went there were about 100 people showed up. We spent two hours getting a tour and in depth discussion on the building and the effort to restore it.

In addition to the main lobby, there is a 17 floor office building, a freight building, and the original platforms, but only the main lobby has been restored.

2017 05 14 82 Buffalo Central Terminal.JPG

 

The exterior shape of the main lobby is also similar to the look of Grand Central Terminal.

2017 05 14 91 Buffalo Central Terminal.JPG

 

Four large clocks adorn the upper level of the office building.

2017 05 14 106 Buffalo Central Terminal.JPG

 

The ticket counters.

2017 05 14 119 Buffalo Central Terminal.JPG

 

One of the original news stands.

2017 05 14 141 Buffalo Central Terminal.JPG

 

A view from a mezzanine level.

2017 05 14 148 Buffalo Central Terminal.JPG

 

For a few years someone lived in the building in an apartment. It is now in a very poor state, but had a great view of the lobby.

2017 05 14 158 Buffalo Central Terminal.JPG

 

The ticket counter and baggage check.

2017 05 14 161 Buffalo Central Terminal.JPG

 

First view of the lobby

2017 05 14 162 Buffalo Central Terminal.JPG

 

The lobby and center clock

2017 05 14 172 Buffalo Central Terminal.JPG

 

The lobby from the mezzanine.

2017 05 14 182 Buffalo Central Terminal.JPG

 

Close up of the clock

2017 05 14 185 Buffalo Central Terminal.JPG

 

Second view of the clock

2017 05 14 190 Buffalo Central Terminal.JPG

Buffalo – May 2017 – Pierce Arrow Museum

The Pierce Arrow Motor Car Company was one of the first luxury cars ever built. They were so well known for luxury William Howard Taft ordered two as the first presidential vehicles.

George Pierce had started out building bicycles in the 1890s before moving on to cars. He also ended up building motorcycles and trucks in addition to the cars.

The Pierce Arrow Museum was opened in 2001 in an old Mack Truck showroom. A new expansion recently completed has the full size Frank Lloyd Wright design filling station

 

The entrance to the new section

2017 05 13 105 Buffalo Pierce Arrow Museum.JPG

 

The drum from the company band in the early 1900s

2017 05 13 113 Buffalo Pierce Arrow Museum.JPG

 

Two famed Pierce Arrow hood ornaments

2017 05 13 114 Buffalo Pierce Arrow Museum.JPG

 

Artwork in the bicycle section

2017 05 13 123 Buffalo Pierce Arrow Museum.JPG

 

One of the recently donated Corvettes

2017 05 13 133 Buffalo Pierce Arrow Museum.JPG

 

The filling station

2017 05 13 151 Buffalo Pierce Arrow Museum.JPG

 

2017 05 13 169 Buffalo Pierce Arrow Museum.JPG

 

A couple of classic Auburns.

2017 05 13 184 Buffalo Pierce Arrow Museum.JPG

Buffalo – May 2017 – Frank Lloyd Wright in Buffalo

Renown 20th century architect Frank Lloyd Wright has landmarks remaining throughout the country and beyond, most prominently in his adopted hometown of Chicago. While not to that scale, Buffalo has an excellent collection of FLW designs still remaining.

About 18 miles south of Buffalo in the town of Derby is Graycliff. Built between 1926 and 1931 along the Lake Erie bluffs, it was the summer home for Isabelle and Darwin Martin. The Martin’s had a FLW home in the city prior to this home being built.

2017 05 13 96 Derby NY FLW Graycliff.JPG

 

Differing from most FLW designs it does not have extensive overhangs, rather strategic design to maximize natural light throughout. Also emphasized from anywhere on the property is the view of the lake.

2017 05 13 41 Derby NY FLW Graycliff.JPG

 

Sitting on a bluff 60′ above Lake Erie, it had stairs to get down to the beach. However years of erosion has left the stairs stranded.

2017 05 13 70 Derby NY FLW Graycliff.JPG

 

The interior is still in a much needed state of repair, but it does give glimpses of the FLW style. Unlike most FLW homes, this one has a minimal amount of built in furniture, mostly as a cost savings.

2017 05 13 53 Derby NY FLW Graycliff.JPG

The servants quarters and garage feature fantastic bi fold doors with diamond shaped windows. The diamond shape is prominent throughout the estate.

2017 05 13 92 Derby NY FLW Graycliff.JPG

 

Next up is the Fontana boathouse, along the Niagara River. Designed in 1910 it was never built until 2007. While there we met some very nice guys from the Canisius Crew, who showed us around.

2017 05 14 6 Buffalo Fontana Boathouse.JPG

 

The lower level is wide open for the storage of the boats.

2017 05 14 2 Buffalo Fontana Boathouse.JPG

 

The upper level features a meeting room.

2017 05 14 7 Buffalo Fontana Boathouse.JPG

 

The balcony on the upper level offers great views of the Niagara River and the Peace Bridge to Canada.

2017 05 14 8 Buffalo Fontana Boathouse.JPG

 

The Davidson home is a Prairie Style on a street not far from the famed Martin House complex. It is privately owned.

2017 05 14 58 Buffalo Davidson House.JPG

 

The Blue Sky Mausoleum is in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo. Much like the boatside, and the filling station, this was built recently of an original FLW design, to his exact specifications.

2017 05 14 64 Buffalo.JPG

 

The Martin House complex in Buffalo consists of a number of homes and buildings designed and built by FLW. The primary home was built in the Prairie Style between 1903 and 1905, showing the amazing talent in that it still looks ‘modern’ today.

2017 05 14 28 Buffalo Martin House.JPG

 

Along the backside of the property is the Gardener’s Cottage.

2017 05 14 34 Buffalo Martin House.JPG

 

The main house holds a commanding view along the side street.

2017 05 14 42 Buffalo Martin House.JPG

 

An impressive Pergola connects two of the buildings together.

2017 05 14 46 Buffalo Martin House.JPG

 

Finally we paid a visit to the Pierce Arrow Museum (detailed in a separate posting) where they have built the FLW designed filling station.

2017 05 13 142 Buffalo Pierce Arrow Museum.JPG

 

 

 

Western New York – May 2017 – Roadside America attractions

As with all trips one of the highlights is finding the offbeat things in an area, and our route to Buffalo was no different.

 

First stop – Barcelona, New York Lighthouse

2017 05 13 9 Barcelona NY Lighthouse.JPG

 

Silver Creek, New York – Valvo’s Candy – Dolly The Waitress

2017 05 13 10 Silver Creek NY.JPG

 

Eden, New York – America’s only Kazoo factory

2017 05 13 19 Eden NY Kazoo Factory.JPG

 

Buffalo – Roswell Park Hospital Giant Buffalo Nickel

2017 05 14 67 Buffalo.JPG

 

Buffalo – Canalside – Shark Girl

2017 05 14 74 Buffalo.JPG

Niagara Falls – Late Summer 2016 Road Trip – Day 16

The best time to visit Niagara Falls if you don’t want people in your photos – before daybreak on a Sunday. The roar of the falls drew us to the edge of the park to see the white water before it crashed over the edge. The glow of the buildings from the Canadian side of the falls cast some light on the falls but it was a shadowy image for us to see. Niagara Falls seemed exceptionally larger to me than the falls we saw in Quebec.

2016 09 11 2 Niagara Falls.JPG

I believe it is the expanse of the gorge and the enormous volume of water flowing from Lake Erie into the Niagara River over the falls that is so amazing. Niagara Falls is actually three waterfalls; Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side and American and Bridal Veil Falls on the American side of the gorge.

2016 09 11 4 Niagara Falls.JPG

After a return to the hotel to get breakfast and checked out, we headed out for some more views of the falls. We parked the car in an empty lot and walked across the Rainbow Bridge to Canada for a better view. The bridge gave us a great view of Horseshoe Falls and as the sun rose above the falls; the lighting improved the beauty of the scene even more.

2016 09 11 68 Niagara Falls.JPG

2016 09 11 15 Niagara Falls.JPG

Since we were going back into Canada we had to pass through immigration, where we were reminded that we had to stay behind the little black line on the floor before approaching the window, even though we were the only people there. But they let us back into the country, and we proceeded up the hill onto the Ontario side.

2016 09 11 18 Niagara Falls.JPG

The area was nearly empty and perfect for photos. The sunlit mist rising from the gorge was very pretty. The Ontario side is very well landscaped, obviously built for the crowds that regularly view the falls from this vantage point. But on this early Sunday morning we had the place to ourselves.

2016 09 11 32 Niagara Falls.JPG

One of the attractions is a zip line down into the falls. I have read that the tacky commercialization of Niagara Falls in the 1800s lead directly to the push to create the National Park Service, and it is clear that in the 150 years since the people of Niagara Falls still haven’t learned their lesson. Even with the beautiful landscaping of the park along the Ontario side, they still obstruct the view with zip lines.

2016 09 11 65 Niagara Falls.JPG

Usually met with objections one of my favorite photo subjects are people posing for photos. This morning I was presented with a perfect opportunity, one man fussed with his turban while the other man, a version of Joe Dirt, played with his rooster-comb styled haircut.

2016 09 11 29 Niagara Falls.JPG

But you can only have so much fun, so we decided it was time to walk back to America, and we headed across.When we had crossed the first time a couple of hours earlier I had noticed the immigration entrance was void of any cars at all, so it was surprising on our return to come up on the bridge and see traffic stopped fully across the bridge.

As we walked on I noticed all of the entrance lanes had red lights lit, indicating they were closed. It was then I realized it was September 11th, at the time that the first airplane hit the World Trade Center.

From the walkway on the bridge you could see the immigration workers standing at attention around the flags, which were at half staff, in tribute to the tragedy.

2016 09 11 70 Niagara Falls.JPG

Once they completed we walked inside where I complimented them on the sincerity of their tribute, and they seemed genuinely thankful for the compliment, and we passed quickly through and on to our car.

Our long drive back to Columbus went without event, and we arrived home safe and sound and extremely pleased with yet another fantastic road trip. This passion has allowed us to see amazing places and meet lots of cool people, and as soon as we are home we are looking forward to the next one.

2016 09 11 83 Drive Home.JPG

Montreal – Late Summer 2016 Road Trip – Day 15

s usual we were up and out of the hotel early, first touring the now very quiet Quebec City in the car. I always enjoy checking out cities early on weekend mornings, with few people around, it is the perfect time for photography – no traffic, lots of street parking, and few people to get in the pictures.

2016 09 10 4 Quebec City PQ.JPG

Even the old town was free of traffic and people.

2016 09 10 6 Quebec City PQ.JPG

We left Québec City for breakfast at a Tim Hortons in the suburbs. looking for our oatmeal and croissants. The servers addressed us in French since we were away from the tourist area but quickly switched to English, completing our order and sending us to the area to pick it up. The oatmeal was ready a few minutes later but when I went to pick up my order the server rattled off something in French, which resulted in me giving him a startled look. He then look amusingly at us and said “English?” and said that the fruit for my oatmeal is on the bottom.

Once we hit the freeway we began to pass many of the support vehicles for the bike race, but at least they didn’t block the road…

2016 09 10 16 Quebec City PQ.JPG

After breakfast we drove about two hours to get to Montreal, the largest city in the Quebec province, and easily the largest city we had seen since leaving Boston a week ago. The city is on the Island of Montreal, which both city and island are named from Mount Royal. We entered the city via Pont Lafontaine and tunnel

2016 09 10 19 Montreal.JPG

We traveled about the city trying to find the Olympic Park Tower. Accessible by a funicular, The Montreal Tower built in 1976 to host the Olympic Games is the tallest inclined tower in the world, rising 540 feet at a 45-degree angle.  At its peak, you can admire the Montréal area for a distance of 50 miles. We did not take the incline to the top because we were unable to find parking, so we admired it from the street and moved on to see the rest of the city.

2016 09 10 33 Montreal.JPG

We headed downtown, past McGill University, and on the areas with numerous high rise buildings, before heading up the hill to Mount Royal.

2016 09 10 93 Montreal.JPG

Finding parking we took the trail to the scenic overlook of the city from Mount Royal was filled with many tourists, including us. The overlook provided a panoramic view of the city from our park perch, with a chalet that was constructed in 1932 as the hilltop centerpiece. The building hosts various events with a view of Montreal’s skyline. The inside of the building seemed austere and cold with the abundance of stone in comparison to the beautiful gardens and park setting outside, although the wood ceiling was quite nice

2016 09 10 68 Montreal.JPG.

On the south side of the building, there is a bricked courtyard where a piano sat available for any guest to play. A few people tried to play a short tune on the bright orange instrument. Others meandered about the gardens and exercised in the open area.

The overlook from Mount Royal is the ‘tourist shot’ of Montreal, so we joined all the other tourists for the view.

2016 09 10 55 Montreal.JPG

Notre Dame Island is a man-made island in the St. Lawrence River once part of the World Fair, Expo 67 and the site of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve race track that is used for the Canadian Grand Prix.  Originally named the Île Notre-Dame Circuit, the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was built and finished in 1978 and remains today.

Since the track goes through a park you can drive it, albeit at 20 MPH. The last time I was in Montreal I did this, but it was pouring down rain and I wanted to go back on a sunny day. However the hassle of the traffic and detours from construction made it difficult for us to get to the racetrack so we snapped a few photos of Montreal as we drove around.

Once we had cruised through Old Montreal, and continued to run into blocked roads either for the upcoming bike race, the same one we ran into the day before in Quebec City, or just construction, we decided to start for home.

2016 09 10 83 Montreal.JPG

Our route home had us pass through the province of Ontario to the Thousand Island Bridge an international bridge crossing over the Saint Lawrence River connecting northern New York with southeastern Ontario in Canada, breezing through customs with only two questions asked of us and a glance of our passports.

2016 09 10 98 Northeast Ontario.JPG

As we continued across the New York State Thruway we could see storm clouds gathering. After a brief rest area stop we decided that even with good weather it would be midnight before we reached Columbus so we decided to take a slight detour to Niagara Falls and spend the night. The storm caught up to us for a short time but we managed to get to the Hampton Inn before the heavy wind, rain, and lightning hit. We had pizza delivered to our hotel room from a local shop and settled in for the night.

2016 09 10 106 Niagara Falls NY.JPG

Mystic, CT & Newport, RI – Late Summer 2016 Road Trip – Day 4

MysticIf you really want to test a marriage tell her we are leaving the hotel at 5:45 AM to beat the traffic into and through the city. True to course we were in the Holland Tunnel at 6 AM, eventually making our way to Park Avenue, before cutting across 79th Street to the Henry Hudson Parkway to get out of the city. It was interesting sailing up Park Avenue with little traffic, and few people on the street.

2016 08 30 7 New York.JPG

Once on the Henry Hudson Parkway it was fortuitous that we were leaving the city as you did start to see traffic backed up coming off of the GWB and onto the Parkway. But the view of the bridge, albeit brief, was excellent with the towers gleaming in the morning sun.

2016 08 30 19 New York.JPG

We made a brief stop in New Canaan, Connecticut for coffee and hot chocolate at Zumbach’s Coffee. An interesting little shop who specializes in grinding their own beans, they had bags of them everywhere.

2016 08 30 24 New Canaan CT Zumbach Coffee.JPG

After crossing much of southern Connecticut we arrived at our next stop, at Mystic, to see the Mystic Seaport.  Subtitled The Museum of America and the Sea offered a glimpse into the whaling industry and the importance of shipping to the area.  We were free to roam the shipyard to stroll through the recreated 19th-century seafaring village, comprised of dozens of real 19th-century buildings brought there from parts of New England and staffed with historians and craftspeople.

2016 08 30 86 Mystic CT Seaport.JPG

Also onsite is a cooper’s shop that made barrels, the rigger’s shop that made and installed the ropes on ships.  The rigger shop was a long building with ropes stretched and looped; it had spools of hemp or manila to make rope for the rigging on the ship as in early times there, but today, rigging is made of wire or chain.  The final buildings in the village were a home and general store open for tours, as well as a small ship.

2016 08 30 61 Mystic CT Seaport.JPG

There was a large shipyard where repairs are made indoors to ships. This enormous building offered a bird’s eye view of the carpenter’s shop and massive yard to hold the ship. Currently there is restoration work being done on the Charles W. Morgan.  The ship, owned by Mystic Seaport and docked at the Seaport’s Chubb’s Wharf, is the last wooden whaling ship in existence and the oldest commercial vessel still afloat. This ship had not sailed for nearly 100 years.

2016 08 30 95 Mystic CT Seaport.JPG

Prior to the 16-week voyage that set off on May 17, 2014 along New England, the Seaport had spent $7.5 million on the vessel’s restoration.  Built in 1841, the Morgan is a legendary relic of the whaling age that sailing historians consider priceless.  Now as of our visit, the Charles Morgan is again in repair for more work not allowing us to board the ship. We did visit the museum of artifacts and the history of whaling in America.  Whale teeth and baleen were part of more than 100 whaling-related artifacts, images, and documents, including logbooks, photographs, scrimshaw, ship models, souvenirs, and sound recordings.

2016 08 30 74 Mystic CT Seaport.JPG

From there it was another hour drive to Newport, Rhode Island, a tourist town that capitalizes on the millionaire mansions from long ago such as the Breakers. Initially we parked in town and had lunch at the Red Parrot. Lunch was excellent, as we sat at an open window looking upon the street, which was filled with traffic and scooters the entire time, with the harbor just down the street.

2016 08 30 116 Newport RI.JPG

We made our way to the Cliff Walk area, finding parking on a street and starting the hike along the path. The first mansion we came upon is the Breakers, an east coast summer palace owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt located on Ochre Point Avenue in Newport with a view of the Atlantic Ocean.  As we continued along the paved cliff walk that snaked along the edge above a rocky ocean beach hoping to see the millionaire mansions, but, only saw surfers catching waves riding into dangerous water near boulders.

2016 08 30 128 Newport RI.JPG

Finally giving up on the cliff walk, our route took us back to the street for a front view of the mansions until we reached the car. A drive along the ocean drive in Newport while seeing cliffs, beaches and marinas filled with small boats.  Eventually we had enough of Newport and headed for our home for the night in New Bedford, Massachusetts, a Residence Inn.  The hotel fed us a complimentary dinner of meatballs and Italian sausage.  We laughed thinking that our best meal thus far was a free meal from the hotel.