65 Niagara Square
architect: George Dietel, John J. Wade, Sullivan W. Jones
owner: City of Buffalo
years built: 1931
In the twenties skyscrapers began to deviate from the academic mold. Using Sullivan’s verticality in a rather medieval guise and exploiting the setbacks, imposed by the New York zoning laws, to achieve mountainous romantic masses many architects arrived at a superficially modern effect.
Pyramidal silhouettes and heavy stone detail deny the underlying metal skeleton. Despite their size and impressiveness these later skyscrapers, of which the City Hall is a particularly striking example because of its isolation, lack the clear, straightforwardness of Sullivan’s or even Burnham’s early examples. They have not the refinement of the invention in detail which plays such a great part in the architectural distinction of the Prudential Building.