This is a photo of City Hall taken when we visited in July last year. When I went there this morning it was raining stair-rods and far too wet to stop for photos until I was safely under the columns of the front entrance, when I was able to photograph Niagara Square..
and the extraordinary but partially derelict Statler Hotel.
The reason for visiting City Hall was to join a daily guided tour of this magnificent Art Deco building which remains largely as it was on completion in 1931. Far from being a 'Depression era' building it is opulent in both the intricacy of its design and the materials used.
It was the tallest building in Buffalo on its completion and remains one of the largest City Halls in the US. I was pleased to hear that, despite all the rain and some flooding on the upper terraces, we would be allowed to go with our guide to the 28th floor observation deck to see the views of the city.
We waited for our guide in the entrance hall, admiring the carvings in stone and the mosaic tile ceilings depicting the life of the early pioneers and Native American culture and traditions.
These themes run through the whole building, as well as celebrations of Buffalo's strategic importance on Lake Eyrie and the Canadian border and its key position on the early railroad and the Eyrie canal.
These themes are clear in the two murals at each end of the hall.
And are carried on in decorative details around the ornate elevators..
On our way to the deck we visited the Mayor's Office..and briefly met the Mayor.
Our next stop was due to be the very large and ornate Council Chamber but unfortunately it was in use for police promotion exams so I had to look for some images of it on the web..
Which explained why our guide (who said he had never been denied access before, was so disappointed not to be able to show us).
On to the 28th floor (25 by elevator and 3 on the stairs) and the rain had stopped, leaving clear if soggy views of Lake Eyrie, the Niagara River valley and Downtown Buffalo..
Once on the ground again, the Mayor was busy making a statement to the press about flooding in the area..
And I was able to end my visit with a reflection of City Hall in the brand new Courthouse building alongside, which also has some kind of Declaration or People's Charter etched into the glass.