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The Slow Death of a Brutalist Vision for Buffalo

Architect Paul Rudolph had an ambitious plan for Buffalo's waterfront, but it was only ever partly realized. Today, proof of it is beginning to disappear.
Demolition is currently taking place at the Paul Rudolph-designed Shoreline Apartments in Buffalo, New York.
Demolition is currently taking place at the Paul Rudolph-designed Shoreline Apartments in Buffalo, New York. David Torke/FixBuffalo

John Schmidt likes his apartment. The 57-year-old moved into Shoreline, an affordable housing complex in downtown Buffalo, New York, seven years ago after suffering a severe heart attack.

“I can look out over the Niagara River and see Canada and Lake Erie,” Schmidt says over the phone from his 6th floor unit. “The trees in this part of the complex are still standing and they’re lovely. And there’s a spot right down there that some of the families use for big outdoor picnics and birthday parties and where the kids can go and play.”