Buffalo Olmsted Parks Postcards & Stereoviews
"A park is a work of art, designed to produce certain effects upon the minds of men."
—Frederick Law Olmsted
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy (BOPC) has made available 418 postcards, photographs, and stereoviews of the Buffalo Park System designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. At 1,200 acres, these parks and parkways comprise the largest park system in the United States. The Buffalo Park System is the first park and parkway system designed and built in the U.S. and is considered Olmsted's best work. The majority of the images included in this digital collection are from retired librarian and BOPC archives volunteer Jim Mendola's collection of pre-1923 public domain postcards and stereoviews of the parks in Buffalo. For 88 items, Mr. Mendola has also taken recent photographs of the places pictured in the postcards, so the user can see "before" and "after" shots.
History of the Buffalo Park System
In the late 1800s, visionary citizens brought Olmsted to Buffalo. It was here that Olmsted, inspired by Joseph Ellicott's radial street layout, designed his first system of parks and parkways, and proclaimed Buffalo to be "the best designed city in the country, if not the world." During the 1901 Pan American Exposition, Buffalo was celebrated not only as the City of Light, but the City of Trees. (Source: Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, "History")
To browse images of specific parks in the Buffalo Park System, click on one of the following links:
Stereoviews of various parks listed above
Scope of Collection
The collection consists of over 400 late 19th and early 20th century postcards and stereographs depicting Buffalo Parks, including Bidwell, Cazenovia, Delaware, Humboldt, and Riverside Parks, among others.