John Brent


The first African American registered architect in Buffalo, Mr. Brent shaped our city in many ways, from his architecture to his involvement in the Niagara Movement and the Buffalo Urban League. His best known building, the YMCA he designed on the corner of Michigan and Sycamore Streets, was torn down in 1977. Posthumously, he has been widely credited for much design work at the Buffalo Zoo, which Hitchcock referred to as “one of the best modern projects in the city” while not acknowledging Brent’s role nor any of his other buildings. In fact, no people of color are acknowledged in the 1940 exhibition.

174th Regiment Armory
YMCA Building