Friday, May 29, 2009

Buffalo, New York: Pan-Am Building

The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society has its main headquarters here, on Nottingham Court. The Pan-Am Building was constructed for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. When the expo ended, practically everything was torn down. This is not because of sorrow over the McKinley assassination, although no one was too happy about that. It was a matter that the facility was designed for that.

However, the New York State building was a permanent structure, and that's where the Historical Society is today. You can see it pictured here, with Mirror Lake in front of the building. The entrance to the facility is actually on the other side, and the best view probably comes on the adjoining expressway -- which comes at 50 miles per hour. But, you might be able to pick out the statue on the patio. That's Abe Lincoln, with a good view of the lake.

The building has some permanent exhibits, including a street of shops and a display of Buffalo-made products, and some temporary ones. The staff does some good work; the celebration of the centennial of the Pan-Am Exhibition was particular well done and well-received.

The Society obviously isn't overflowing with money. The main building isn't air conditioned, for example, which makes some summer visits problematic. But it does the best it can, and deserves public support.

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