Elevating Buffalo: Preservation Exploration Series

November 11: Wonder Church Silo – 1pm to 2pm

Do you know that Buffalo has one of the best collections of Grain Elevators in the country, if not the world! But how will these antique structures help Buffalo progress into the future? Join us and let us show you!

The Grain Elevators are a symbol of Buffalo, just as much as chicken wings, and harken back to a time of transformation, when Buffalo grew to become a colossal economic center and the largest grain port in the nation. As commerce and shipping patterns have over the years, these monuments to engineering seemed to be like tombstones on the Buffalo skyline of a prosperous time for our city. However, Buffalo’s grain elevators are more than just relics of the past, they are symbols of our city’s rich history and its promising future. Once the backbone of Buffalo’s economy, these engineering marvels have faced decades of neglect and decay. But now, they are being transformed into new uses that celebrate their heritage and revitalize the waterfront.

Preservation Buffalo Niagara invites you to join us for our “Elevating Buffalo” series, where we will explore the adaptive reuse of these iconic structures. Learn how preservationists, developers, and community members are working together to save these landmarks from demolition and give them new life. Don’t miss this opportunity to see how Buffalo is reclaiming its legacy and reimagining its skyline.

Tickets are $25 for nonmembers and $20 for members. Each tour will dive into different tactics and project with the elevators, click the links below to read about what tour has to offer and to purchase your tickets!

November 11: Wonder Church Silo – 1pm to 2pm




Modern WNY 2022

ModernWNY 2022 Events

Ongoing self-guided tours

PBN’s annual Drive Yourself MODern is a 14-stop self-guided driving tour that highlights some of the many fine examples of modern-era architecture throughout Western New York, featuring a different set of sites each year. From Minoru Yamasaki’s One M&T Plaza in Buffalo to Sebastian Tauriello’s Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean, experience a vast range of delightfully modern architecture. Don’t hesitate. Get your travelogue here and let PBN take the wheel. Click here to get your copy!

Originally marketed as the “new Delaware Avenue,” LeBrun Road attracted many wealthy Buffalonians during the first era of suburban development in the Town of Amherst. While earlier waves of development focused on “traditional” architectural styles, the post-WWII homes of LeBrun were decidedly more modern. The Rambling Ranches of LeBrun walking tour guides you on a 2.5-mile stroll exploring the palatial Ranch-type estates along the serpentine path of LeBrun Road. Put on your walking shoes and get to steppin’. Click here to get your copy!

In-person & virtual events

Pushing Boundaries in Modern Historic Preservation | Monday September 12th @ 6pm | Virtual Lecture

Twenty-five years after its founding, Docomomo US is pushing boundaries to preserve modern architecture, landscapes, and design through principled advocacy, collaboration, and celebration. Join Executive Director Liz Waytkus to learn more about their work nationally and internationally, and to learn more about some of the landmarks from across the country (and even right here in Buffalo) which are included in their 11 most threatened modern sites list. Click here to register!

The History and Future of the Great Northern Grain Elevator  | Wednesday September 14th @ 6pm | Virtual Lecture

During the windstorm on December 11, 2021, Buffalo’s Great Northern Grain Elevator sustained significant damage to its north wall. In response to the damage, its owner, Archer Daniels Midland, has rushed to raze the landmark and erase its history. But what is its history? And, perhaps more importantly, how has it influenced the present? Hear from Gregory Delaney, professor in the University at Buffalo’s Architecture department, about the history of the Great Northern Grain Elevator (believed to be the only surviving example of a “brick box” elevator) and learn how Buffalo’s grain elevators influenced the likes of Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe in spurring the development of the modernist movement. Click here to register!

Artifacts of the Future: Design in the Space Age, 1957-1972 | Thursday September 15th @ 6pm | Virtual Lecture

Bridging the Atomic Age and the Information Age, the Space Age stands out as a revolutionary period of design history when science fiction became reality and designers made reality of imagination. In this lecture join Space Age design expert Martin McGee as he explores the myriad of prescient products that reflected the technology and materials driving the race to space, and how WNY-based Bell Aerospace’s “Bell Rocket Belt” was one of the most iconic symbols of the audacious time. Click here to register!

Modern Niagara Falls | Saturday September 17th @ 11am | In-person walking tour

While the long historical heritage of Niagara Falls cannot be denied, the city gained many examples of modern architecture during its period of urban renewal, including buildings like the Carborundum Office Complex and the former Native American Center for the Living Arts. On September 17, join PBN’s Director of Preservation Services Christiana Limniatis to explore modern design in downtown Niagara Falls. Click here to register!

Richardson Olmsted Campus August Tours SOLD OUT

As of Thursday, July 21, all August tour dates for the Richardson Olmsted Campus are sold out. We will be releasing the September batch of tour tickets in mid-August, so stay tuned!

If you have not already done so, join the Preservation Buffalo Niagara e-list for first notice when tickets become available.

Thank you for your interest and we look forward to welcoming you on-site later this summer!

2020 ModernWNY Event Lineup

Last year, Preservation Buffalo Niagara was proud to present its first annual Modernism Week: a week dedicated to celebrating the modern architecture, design, art, and culture of the Western New York region. This year from September 6 to September 12, our celebration returns as ModernWNY and will strive to celebrate and highlight the evolution of modernism in the area via a self-guided driving tour of Western New York, a self-guided walking tour of Delaware Acres in Buffalo, and three virtual presentations. You can check our last year’s events here.



PBN’s Drive Yourself MODern is a 15-stop widespread self-guided driving tour which highlights some of the many fine examples of modern-era architecture throughout Western New York. From Jamestown to Niagara Falls and from the Cattaraugus County Courthouse to the Skyway, experience a vast range of modern-era architectural styles.

Don’t hesitate. Grab your keepsake map here and let PBN take the wheel.

You can still order a copy from our archives!

$15 PBN Members / $20 General Public

Order here.

Delaware Acres is PBN’s premier self-guided walking tour of the neighborhoods that surround Delaware Park. Realtors once touted its property placements, moderate prices, and considered it to be the ideal location for suburban homes in the city. Always an area richly appreciated in Buffalo’s history, this walking tour explores its start as a notable piece of Buffalo’s built landscape.

Get your keepsake map and put on your walking shoes and get to steppin’.

You can still order a copy from our archives!

$15 PBN Members / $20 General Public

Order here.


Modern Living: Intro to Postwar Homes is a lecture that explores housing styles in a time when
the end of WWII brought drastic changes to America’s residential landscape.

You can experience this virtual lecture here.

Built in 1947 as a tribute to those who fought and lost their lives in World War II, North Tonawanda’s Memorial Pool is an undeniable staple amongst the modern architecture in Western New York. Dive into the history of memorial pools and learn about the background of the only one in Western New York.

You can experience this virtual lecture here.

When GIs returned from World War II, they were faced with a shortage of homes. Inventor Carl Strandlund tried to solve that with a line of prefabricated enameled steel houses. This lecture will explore Lustrons, the home of the future, and all their possibilities and limitations.

You can experience this virtual lecture here.


Interested in sponsoring ModernWNY?

Sponsorships are available in several different levels with various perks.
For more information about sponsorship click here or email tbrown@pbnsaves.org.