In 1938, then-Albright Gallery Director Gordon Washburn saw an exhibition that Henry-Russell Hitchcock mounted in Worcester, Massachusetts, on the architectural history of that community and asked him to come to Buffalo for a similar project here. The result was a short monograph that Hitchcock wrote exploring the history and architectural legacy of the City of Buffalo, and an exhibition at the Albright Art Gallery that included more than 120 photographs of Buffalo buildings with editorial descriptions, maps, and other items. On view at the museum throughout January of 1940, Hitchcock’s exhibition was seen by more than 30,000 visitors and received write-ups in Architectural Forum and Pencil Points, among other publications.
As part of the Lenses exhibit, a curated selection of that exhibition’s contents was presented in physical form, and the entire exhibition has been digitized here for those who would like to take a deeper look at all of Hitchcock’s Buffalo writings and the buildings he selected for inclusion in the 1940 show.
Aside from this introductory text, all of the commentary included in this section is Hitchcock’s. We hope this presentation gives a sense of the Buffalo c. 1940 that Hitchcock saw and a sense of how this “Father of American architectural history” created the Albright show.
— by Jessie Fisher, Preservation Buffalo Niagara.
Discover by Time Period
In organizing his work, Hitchcock broke up the development of the City into four time periods and wrote an overview as to what he saw as the key physical development factors of each time period. In addition to his general overview and introduction, each time period’s writing is presented here.