Saturday, August 25, 2007

Buffalo Architecture

Unfortunately my schedule in Buffalo this weekend is too tight to really photograph all the buildings, but every time I come here, the Buffalo architecture really blows me away. I think especially so since I've been to Chicago twice since my last trip here, and Buffalo impresses just as much... in some cases maybe more. If you are a fan of The Devil in the White City, you probably need to check out Buffalo, too!

OK, so I did have time for one picture, but it will only satisfy radio and cold war nerds. I have a strange fascination with something known as the AT&T Long Lines. If you are my age or older, you will remember these things as dominating the landscape as you traveled across America by car. Their trademark antennae look like something from the Death Star, and they were the backbone of long distance communications until fiber optic took over. With fallout shelters in their bases, they were designed to withstand a nuclear blast as close as two miles away! Good info is hard to come by, but as far as I can tell, they were mostly obsolete by the early 80s. A few of them still operate, and even some of the decommissioned ones still host antennae that are used to communicate with Air Force 1 and other executive aircraft. In most places, the cool old antennae are being stripped and replaced by mundane cell phone relays. Well, at least the towers live on. Buffalo has one that appears fully intact. I have no idea of it's still operating or not. When I see one in good shape, I often stop my car to snap it. In this case, I just shot through the window of my hotel room.

P.S. -- I'm posting today from the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery, which has great wings and free Internet. I definitely recommend it to other travelers! (I received no free wings for this message.)

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