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Respected design blog pays respect to Hotel Lafayette

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

I can read this sentence over and over again, even if it’s an oversimplification of the truth.

“The $35 million rehabilitation project has single-handedly spurred a renaissance in downtown Buffalo.” (click through link to read Inhabitat’s article and see photos).

These are the words of Lori Zimmer, art editor and regular contributor for Inhabitat, a blog dedicated to sustainable design innovation, eco-architecture and green building.

Zimmer took a photo-journalistic approach to explain the history of Buffalo’s 1940s era hotel and connect its rehabilitation to Buffalo’s slow but steady revival. Eleven photos accompany a short blog post that explores the inside of developer Rocco Termini’s proud restoration project. There’s reference to Pearl Street-owned Pan-American Grill, the ever-classy Mike A’s, Butterwoods—all eateries that draw denizens back downtown once work hours have concluded.

Equally as impressive as the hotel’s renovation is its value as an event center, as major Buffalo gatherings like the Chocolate Affair, the Lafayette Royale New Year’s Eve party,

Inhabitat’s photos—also taken by Zimmer—capture the magisterial nature of the hotel constructed in the Art Moderne style of the 1940s, giving the massive building on the corner of Washington and Lafayette a heightened sense of grandeur amid still fairly bleak surroundings.

While fairly “hipster” in nature, Inhabitat is still immensely popular (~240,000 Facebook fans) and employs writers from across the country—San Francisco, New Orleans and New York, just to name a few.

Has the Hotel Lafayette “single-handedly spurred a renaissance” in Buffalo? I’m a firm believer that nothing is ever done “single-handedly,” but that’s just playing semantics here. The fact is this: the Hotel Lafayette makes the nation take notice of Buffalo in a positive light, and sometimes it’s healthy to bask in the exposure.

(Header photo courtesy of Robin David Brown, interior photo courtesy of Leo Chan.)

TAGGED: hotel lafayette, inhabitat, lori zimmer, mike a's, pan-american grill, rocco termini

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