In 1868, Frederick Law Olmsted came to Buffalo. He was invited here to choose one of three parcels and design a park. Instead, he created the first park and parkway system in the nation. He chose to model Buffalo's parkways after the parks and boulevards of Paris. One of his goals was to create a system of walkable parkways that would provide the city with a planned, green foundation for growth.
Although 150 years later, we may no longer have all of the parks and parkways that Olmsted laid out, many remain intact. Over the next few weeks we'll explore what still exists of the parkways that Olmsted originally designed.
Let's start at Colonial Circle and Bidwell Parkway.
In the middle of Colonial Circle, surrounded by trees, benches, and beautiful historic homes, stands a statue of Civil War General Daniel Davidson Bidwell. His namesake parkway runs from Colonial Circle, across Elmwood Avenue, ending at Soldier's Circle.
The grand houses on Bidwell were built during the late 1800s and early 1900s, featuring a mixture of Queen Anne style, Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival style architecture. This tree-lined parkway is the heart of the historic Elmwood District, home to a farmers market, a summer concert series, and a fun place for children to play and for friends to gather, hang out, and enjoy the city's beauty.