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Washington architecture professor delivers speech

The National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference will take place Oct. 19-22.

blog by The Buffalo State Record  • 

The Burchfield Penney was buzzing with talk of local architecture achievements on Thursday night as architecture professor Jeffrey Oschner from University of Washington gave a lecture as part of the Graycliff Lecture Series.

The lecture focused on the patterns of influence that exist between H.H. Richardson and Louis Sullivan, and how their work influenced local architecture legend Frank Lloyd Wright, Oschner said.

“In each case it showed how this influence played out and then how these architects, how Sullivan, and later on how Wright, transcended, went beyond, the people who came before (Wright),” Oschner said.

Ochsner said that he likes the architecture in this area because it is a great collection of work from the three architects his lecture addressed.

“The buildings in Buffalo are really an extraordinary collection. Buffalo also has a wealth of late nineteenth and early twentieth century fabric,” Ochsner said.

He also said Buffalo is one of three cities in the country that has buildings by all three architects, the others being Chicago and New York.

The lecture series that sponsored Ochsner was organized by Reine Hauser, executive director of the Graycliff Conservancy, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to restoring and preserving the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Graycliff Estate as a publicly accessible landmark, according to the organization’s website.

Graycliff unofficially collaborates with Buffalo State, Hauser said, providing interns with digital photography projects and other archiving projects.

Hauser said the conservancy has a warm, friendly relationship with Buffalo State and with the Burchfield Penney, which is how the venue was determined.

The purpose of the lecture was an educational one, Hauser said.

“Graycliff as a non-profit organization, our focus is on restoration, preservation and public access, is all about having people learn about architecture and historic architecture,” she said.

Ochsner said that his favorite part of giving the lecture, aside from his own passion for the subject, was the level of enthusiasm from the audience.

“It was great that people are so interested in architecture, that there is this kind of audience in Buffalo. It’s also wonderful that in Buffalo there is this level of interest in historical buildings in terms of restoration work that is going on,” he said.

Ochsner has written five books, but his most noteworthy one is titled “H. H. Richardson: Complete Architectural Works” and is the first complete catalogue of Richardson’s works. The book starts with an introductory essay and then follows Richardson year by year through his career, Ochsner said.

With roughly 100 people in attendance, Hauser said she thinks students were drawn to the lecture because of the quality of the speaker and the subject matter.

“All Buffalo State students have to do is look up and they can see one of the most important Richardson buildings in the country,” Hauser said.

Jennifer Waters
Buffalo State Record Culture Editor
Jennifer Waters can be reached by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

TAGGED: architecture, buffalo state college, buffalo state record, frank lloyd wright, h.h. richardson, jeffrey oschner, louis sullivan

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