Our collection is full of random images from around the world. It's pretty amazing how easy it is to identify some of them using modern search engines. How would you approach locating this image without being able to Google "Hotel Lafayette?" (Google did pay for the equipment we used to digitize our photo collection, so it's only fair to give them a shout out)
Based on the automobiles and the military recruiting station at the lower right corner of the image, I'm dating this circa 1917. This view of the civic square in front of Buffalo's Hotel Lafayette (1905), the Civil War monument (1884) and the public library (1887) shows a public space and architecture that play well together. I can't say I'm a fan of the new (1963) library and plaza. And yes, that telecom tower is mounted right on top of the historic hotel.
1963 was apparently the low point for historic preservation in New York State. The same year New York City's iconic Penn Station was demolished to make room for a very mediocre replacement. It sparked an historic preservation movement that saved many other fine examples of architecture.
How does this relate to Hood River? I'm glad we were able to expand our 1913 public library while saving much of the original building. We have much to be thankful for in our historic downtown. Through the work of the city and efforts and expenditures of our downtown landowners Hood River's historic downtown architecture is in fine shape.
And to be fair, Buffalo's Civil War monument is actually still there, it's just behind us. You can't get this exact view anymore because of the trees in Lafayette Square block the view of the new library.
Being a history buff and having numerous ancestors from that area of New York that served in the Civil War, I do have some information regarding the memorial there.
The Ladies Union Associated was created in 1874 and in a very short time they were able to raise $12,000, which eventually the city government was able to kick in another $45,00 to construct the memorial which is 85 feet tall with the lady on top that was to emblematic statue of Buffalo.
The stone used was from the Mt. Waldo Granite Company in Banger, Maine. When it was dedicated on the 4th of July 1884 a huge celebration took place, with parades, horse races and all other sorts of activities. The dedication was attened by then Gov. Grover Cleveland.
As time went on the poor statue started to settle and commenced to tilt. Eventually it was taken apart and put back together.
Years went by and in 1973 a drunken driver hit it and knocked a huge chunk out of the bottom. There was much discussion of destroying it, but people banned together and it was eventually repaired. Thankfully so.....
Charlott on 28th January 2016 @ 7:15am
The statues of the men around the base represent the infantry, cavalry, artillery and navy during the Civil War.
Charlott on 28th January 2016 @ 7:19am
Don't know if this will copy well or not.
Longshot on 28th January 2016 @ 12:12pm
Yes, it copies well Longshot.
So many tough decisions on preserving old buildings. Plumbing, wiring, fire hazard, etc.
It looks like Penn Station was a beauty that should not have been torn down.
HR has done an excellent job on beautifying some of its older buildings.
L.E. on 28th January 2016 @ 2:35pm
Co-incidence!! My brother in law just sent me some old photos from a website called Shorpy Historic Picture Archive.
Arthur...if you think the site isn't safe, go ahead and delete this.
One of the photos is a 1911 high resolution of Buffalo's Lafayette Square. It gives a good view of this monument.
L.E. on 1st February 2016 @ 8:25pm