2021 ModernWNY Event Lineup

For the third year, PBN was proud to present our celebration of the evolution of modernism in the area, ModernWNY, two self-guided tours, one in-person tour, and one virtual lecture. Check out our lineup below! You can also check out last year’s events here.


Preservation Buffalo Niagara would like to thank our 2021 ModernWNY sponsors, BAC/A+P (Barbara A. Campagna/Architecture + Planning, PLLC), Big L Windows & Doors, and Clinton Brown Company Architecture, PC.


ModernWNY 2021 Event Lineup

Drive Yourself MODern 2021

Driving Tour (Self-Guided)


PBN’s Drive Yourself MODern is a 14-stop widespread self-guided driving tour which highlights some of the many fine examples of modern-era architecture throughout Western New York.

From James H. Johnson and Tom Hamilton’s St. John the Baptist Church in Lockport to Pfohl, Roberts and Biggie’s City Court Building in Buffalo, experience a vast range of modern-era architectural styles.

Don’t hesitate. Get your travelogue and let PBN take the wheel.

You can still order a copy from our archives!

$15 PBN Members / $20 General Public

Order here.


A Modern Man: The Works of Robert T. Coles

Driving/Walking Tour (Self-Guided)


Robert Traynham Coles is known for his focus on public buildings designed to serve their local communities. From the Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Library, modeled after an African village, to the Brutalist-style Utica metro rail station, discover the work of the master architect in this self-guided tour of 22 Coles-designed sites in WNY. During September, get your Robert T. Coles travelogue and experience the mark that this pioneering African American architect left on our region.

You can still order a copy from our archives!

$15 PBN Members / $20 General Public

Order here.


The ABCs of Modernism

Virtual Lecture

On September 13, join Christiana Limniatis for the ABC’s of Modernism and learn why “B is for Brutalism”.

This virtual lecture will expand on the terminology, key people, and key places of modernism and leave you sure of why exactly:

A is for asymmetrical

C is for cantilevered projections

G is for Googie

J is for James H. Johnson

N is for New Formalism

O is for Organic houses


Delaware Acres

Walking Tour

Once touted by realtors for its property placements and moderate prices and considered to be the ideal location for suburban homes in the city, Delaware Acres (one of the original subdivision names for the neighborhood north of Delaware Park) is an area richly appreciated in Buffalo’s history. Join Preservation Buffalo Niagara on September 15 for this guided walking tour which will explore its beginning as a notable piece of Buffalo’s built landscape. AND, make sure to add-on a Delaware Acres Travelogue (2020) to take along with you.

You can still order a copy from our archives!

$15 PBN Members / $20 General Public

Order 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.  

PBN Wins Excellence in Historic Preservation Award

Preservation Buffalo Niagara Receives a 2021 Excellence in Historic Preservation Award

This award from the Preservation League of NYS recognizes the best in the field of historic preservation.

Preservation Buffalo Niagara has been named one of this year’s Excellence in Historic Preservation award winners. Since 1984, the Preservation League’s statewide awards program has highlighted projects, organizations, publications, and individuals that exemplify best practices in historic preservation and recognize the people who are using historic preservation to build stronger neighborhoods, create local jobs, provide affordable housing, open our eyes to overlooked history, and save the places that are special to all of us.

Watch PBN’s award video here.

Read the full press release here.

Click here to learn more.


Prime Day

Preservation Buffalo Niagara would like to take this Amazon Prime Day to acknowledge and uplift the importance of shopping local, and the negative impact Amazon has uniquely had on traditional main street community development.


According to studies conducted by Civic Economics, for every one dollar spent at local independent businesses, three times as much is then re-spent, versus shopping at non-local businesses. Shopping local creates new jobs, has less of a carbon footprint, donates more to local non-profits, and builds a stronger, more sustainable and resilient economy and community. For us here at Preservation Buffalo Niagara, all these benefits are important, but crucially we also highlight the importance of local businesses to defining the unique character and identity of our region, and in preserving our historic architecture.

Amazon’s business practices undermine all these benefits and makes it increasingly difficult for small independent local businesses to maintain a profit. This is more than simply competition – small local independent businesses have competed with larger “big box” chain stores for decades, and still managed to thrive.

Extensive research conducted by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance highlights how Amazon has an increasingly large stranglehold on the US economy, how it has operated uniquely to smother competition not only from independent small local businesses but also large corporate chains1, and how it has further cornered the market amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In October 2020, the US House Judiciary Committee found that Amazon has monopoly power, has engaged in extensive anticompetitive conduct, and that half of all online shopping is now conducted on Amazon.

ILSR has further found that Amazon’s business practices “severs the longstanding link between commerce and place, is directly threatening cities with vacancies, job losses, and revenue shortfalls… at the same time, Amazon is corroding values that are more abstract, but equally critical, including street life, civic engagement, and social capital.” 

Mitchell, Stacy, et al. “Amazon’s Stranglehold: How the Company’s Tightening Grip Is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities.” Nov. 2016.

With all this in mind, PBN encourages all our members to reconsider before participating in Amazon Prime Day, and instead visit a local independent small business, or write a letter to your representatives – with as much of the market as Amazon presently has cornered, public policy interventions will be required for a power shift towards a more competitive market that gives independent small businesses a fair playing field.

With Amazon now capturing half of all online sales, we also recognize that until policy interventions are implemented, some of us find it difficult to cut Amazon completely out of our lives, so if you are going to continue to use Amazon services, we ask that you name PBN as your Amazon Smile charity, so that we can continue to do our work to support the places where local businesses thrive.

Read More:

2021 Preservation Awards Nominations Due March 18th!

Joe Cascio Photography

Know of a deserving preservation project, or individual who is helping to protect your community? Nominate them for a Preservation Award!

Preservation Buffalo Niagara is now accepting nominations for the 2021 Preservation Awards which celebrate the best in preservation projects and education throughout Western New York.

“PBN loves celebrating all the people and projects that bring our historic fabric to life,” said Jessie Fisher, Executive Director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara. “We can’t wait to share the 2021 award winners with the entire community.”

Past Preservation Award winners have included Hotel Henry, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Robert Coles, School 77, the King Urban Life Center, Turner Brothers Lofts, Buffalo Architectural Casting, Hamlin Park Taxpayer and Community Association, Christine Parker, and Boston Valley Terra Cotta. Nominations for the 2021 Preservation Awards are due Thursday, March 18th at 5:00pm.

Submissions are currently closed.

PBN will celebrate this year’s awards virtually. Additional details about the event will be announced in the coming weeks.

Wait! What’s that? You want to sponsor our event? Sign up here.

For more information on the event or nomination process, please contact Tia Brown, Community Engagement Coordinator, at (716) 852-3300, or tbrown@pbnsaves.org.


The Louise Bethune Award for Outstanding Project, greater than 10,000 sq. feet

A project that embodies excellence through maintenance, stabilization, repair, planning, restoration, stewardship, adaptive re-use, or rehabilitation of our built environment.

The John E. Brent Award for Outstanding Project, less than 10,000 sq. feet

A project that embodies excellence through maintenance, stabilization, repair, planning, restoration, stewardship, adaptive re-use, or rehabilitation of our built environment including private homes.

The Robert T. Coles Award for Neighborhood Conservation

A project designed to protect or promote the preservation of a district or locality.

The Harold Ambellan Award for Preservation Craft

Superior skills or education in construction related activities applicable to the process of preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, or reconstruction.

The George K. Arthur Award for Preservation Leadership

Individual/organization effort in preservation through advocacy or planning activity.

The Robert J. Kresse Award for Education, Outreach, and Planning

A project or activity designed to empower community residents to participate in development decisions affecting our shared cultural heritage.

The Mary Talbert Award for Emerging Preservation Leader

This award is given to a student or early career professional who is showing promise in preservation in the next generation.