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A public square that forms itself at the confluence of Delaware Avenue , Niagara, Genesee and Court streets, this spot could be considered by many where the rest of city springs forth. The highlight is a commemorative memorial in the middle of the square dedicated to American President William McKinley, who was assassinated in 1901. Several government and private offices are also located around this square and it serves as a good place to start exploring the city.
A classic example of Art Deco architectural design, this building ranks as an early 20th Century American masterpiece and has been considered an enduring symbol of Buffalo's genius and spirit since it was designed in 1929 by John J. Wade. Located in the center of downtown and overlooking Buffalo's main public square, the 32-story building boasts Native American-influenced tile details, friezes showing aspects of city life, and a top-floor observation tower with views of Lake Erie and the city.
Set beside the restful waters of the elegant Buffalo River, the Erie Canal Harbor was officially made open to the public on July 2, 2008. This harbor was of prime importance in the 19th and 20th centuries, as it served as the Erie Canal's western terminus at that time, thus contributing richly to Buffalo, New York's financial development. As the centuries went by its significance waned and hence was converted into a tourist attraction by 2006. As of today, the site houses a wonderful blend of historic structures, contemporary masterpieces and scenic sights such as the HarborCenter, the Erie County Naval and Military Park, Central Wharf and Commercial Slip to name few. The harbor is open throughout the year.
Located near the Erie Basin Marina, this lighthouse once guided more than half a million immigrants to the city and remained active until the First World War. Built in 1833 and standing 68 feet tall, the structure remained dark until 1987 when it was re-lit for the first Friendship Festival. After restoration that started in 1985, the lighthouse is now a Buffalo Lighthouse Association museum. The lighthouse is open for group tours by appointment, but the 1,400-foot South Pier Promenade and Lighthouse Point grounds nearby are open daily.
This small-boat marina holds a whopping 1,000 slips, making it the largest in New York State. Among the services offered are a fish cleaning station, boat ramp, transient docks, marine shops and services, fuel and pump-out, and parking for more than 1000 cars and trailers. There are also well-maintained public washrooms and the marina is conveniently located in the south side of the city, across from the Tifft Nature Preserve and with easy access to the Buffalo Skyway. It is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset.
Neglected after the Martin family left the area, this historic building, one of a half-dozen built by Frank Lloyd Wright in and around Buffalo, has undergone intensive restoration. Located near Delaware Park, the building is a good example of Wright's Prairie style. Other structures on the complex include the Barton House, with original interior wood and art glass, a covered walkway connecting the main house with the conservatory, and a gardener's cottage.
A tribute to the vision of Father Nelson H. Baker, this church was the second in the U.S. to receive a basilica designation in 1926. Located in Lackawanna, the basilica's copper-topped dome and twin bell towers can be seen for miles. The church was built reminiscent of the 15th-16th century Renaissance-style, featuring a French Baroque interior. There is a gift shop where you can buy books, crucifixes, mugs and Father Baker's most popular statue of Our Lady of Victory.
Located in North Tonawanda between Buffalo and Niagara Falls, this is the only historic carousel factory in the nation. The museum opened in 1983 and is located within the original Allan Herschell Company factory, which began operating in 1916. A National Historic Site, the building is now divided into seven connected areas demonstrating such things as woodcarving, horse restoration, and two original carousels. The museum also sponsors programs including a summer Sunday series featuring youth theater, puppets, and magic. Check websites for varying dates.