(Re)Utopia: The Old First Ward presents a neighborhood plan that reimagines a historically industrial part of Buffalo. The ideosyncracy of this historic working class neighborhood–emblematic of the city’s industrial past–is rich with, as Reyhnam Banham called them, “monuments to a different civilization.” Dotting the Buffalo River are grain elevators “in lonely but not yet totally ruinous abandonment” that silently stand at the city’s edge in a reemerging wilderness of natural succession and ecological resilience. The haunting and poetic nature of this location calls for an urban design strategy that emphasizes these unique qualities and builds upon the dramatic juxtapositions of existing typologies of landscape. The lack of adequate housing and the dissolution of urban fabric in Buffalo requires a rethinking of traditional housing models in exchange for new typologies that reinvigorate and reinvent such marginal habitats.

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