The new book Olmsted’s Elmwood: The Rise, Decline and Renewal of Buffalo’s Parkway Neighborhood, A Model for America’s Cities (City of Light Publishing, 2022) by Clinton E. Brown and Ramona Pando Whitaker takes a look at the fascinating story of Buffalo‘s the historic Elmwood District, named one of America’s top ten neighborhoods.
From Joseph Ellicott’s arrival in Buffalo and his radical radial street grid, through the role played by Frederick Law Olmsted and his unique parks and parkways, this book reveals the stories of those who created a neighborhood using Olmsted’s blueprint for gracious living. It also follows the devastating 50-year decline that boarded up mansions and emptied the rust belt city, reducing it to a shadow of its Gilded Age size and prominence.
Olmsted’s Elmwood looks at how the Elmwood District, now on the National Register of Historic Places, survived intact until the desire for walkable neighborhoods and its passionate residents sparked the renewal that is underway today. The authors suggest that Elmwood be considered a model for America’s cities, and look into the neighborhood’s future as it grapples with growth.
Buffalo native and historic preservation architect Clinton Brown, FAIA, founded Clinton Brown Company Architecture, Buffalo, which successfully nominated the Elmwood Historic District for the National Register of Historic Places.
Ramona Pando Whitaker is an ardent preservationist in her adopted hometown of Buffalo, New York, and a professional editor.
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