Leonard C. Butler (1898-1971), N. W. Corner Huron & Delaware Ave. / Buffalo N.Y. / “Time and Change", 1932; watercolor on paper, 14 x 20 inches; Gift of Rev. Thomas J. Quinlivan, 2008
In this watercolor, Butler seems to be documenting different architectural styles ranging from the disappearing American Second Empire style mansion on the left to the simpler French/Italian Renaissance Revival façade of the stores on the right, backed by two of three towers of the Statler Hotel designed by architects George B. Post and Sons in the English Renaissance Revival style. (Once considered “the grandest hotel in the United States,” the Statler Hotel had replaced the mansion where former U.S. President Millard Fillmore had lived. President Fillmore, who had served from 1850 to 1853, had purchased the home from John Hollister in 1858, and it was converted into the Hotel Fillmore in 1881, then converted into the Castle Inn in 1901, and subsequently razed in 1919 to make way for the Hotel Statler, built 1921-1923. This history may still have been public knowledge when Butler painted the scene in 1932, considering what other fine edifices might be leveled.) Vertical elements in the painting also provide points of comparison. The aesthetically pleasing campanile, industrial appearing smokestack, and dominating, blocky towers illustrate “time and change” in Buffalo’s skyline.