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Buffalo: Riverside

4810 Views 11 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Dr Funky
Riverside is a neighborhood in the north section of Buffalo along the Niagara River. It is centered around Riverside Park and Tonawanda Street. Riverside was first developed in the 1880's when the sewer line was installed, and was more heavily developed in the early 1900's as an extension of Black Rock due to the expansion of the trolley line to the area.

Houses on Vulcan Street near River Road and across from Riverside Park.

Businesses on Tonawanda Street across from Riverside Park.

Houses on Tonawanda Street.

Houses on Ross Avenue.

Two-flats at the bend in Ross Avenue.

More houses on Ross Avenue.

Houses on Laird Avenue.

More houses on Laird Avenue.

More houses on Laird Avenue.

Houses near the bend in Laird Avenue.

Houses on Condon Avenue.

Houses on Crowley Avenue.

Houses on Fuller Street near Collaton Street.

Looking east at houses on Humphrey Road.

Houses on Briggs Street near River Road.

More houses on Briggs Street.

The Riverside Institute of Technology on Ontario Street. This was previously Riverside High School.

Looking at Vulcan Street from Riverside Park. Riverside Park, designed in 1898 by Frederick Law Olmstead, was the last park in the public parkway system in Buffalo. The park was also the site of practices for the Buffalo Base Ball Team, who enjoyed the view of the river from the ballfield.

Looking at Strawberry Island from River Road.

The Bridgeburg area of Fort Erie from River Road.

Houses along the Niagara Parkway in Ontario.

Looking across the Niagara River at Fort Erie.

Looking northwest at Strawberry Island and Grand Island.

Strawberry Island, with Grand Island in the distance.

Ice in the Niagara River, with Fort Erie on the other side of the river.

Fort Erie and the Niagara River.

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nice Riverside thread, I think the area has a lot of Hungarian culture...If I'm not mistaken.
I couldn't tell if there was a Hungarian culture or not. Seemed like a standard Buffalo neighborhood to me.

I was disappointed by the houses. After seeing the neighborhood from the Niagara Parkway or from boats so many times and seeing the nice houses facing the river, I thought I would see more nice houses deeper into the neighborhood. Most houses were the same colors though: yellow, beige, lavender, etc. A lot of houses could use some more colors to brighten things up. Maybe it just looked dull to me because I'm used to seeing the neighborhood in the Summer, when there are leaves on the trees.
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most of the houses are covered with bad aluminum, asbestos, and plastic siding. those things are usually only available in bad colors.
Well welcome to my neighborhood Matt! A couple corrections: the houses in the first picture along Vulcan are actually in Tonawanda, not that that really matters since the folks in the Old Town consider themselves a part of Riverside, so I guess its just semantics. Also Briggs runs into Niagara Street, not River Road. River Road starts at Vulcan going North. Otherwise, you almost got my grandmothers' house in the last Laird photo, just needed to go a few more since she is right on the bend. I live on Argus, five streets down from Tonawanda off Vulcan.

Steel is right, there is a lot of old siding (aluminum, asphalt, asbestos) from the 60's and 70's that have very limited color choices. As for traditional ethnic groups in Riverside there were and still are some today: Hungarians, Serbians (of which I am one), and the Croatians. There also used to be many Germans and a decent number of Poles, but those have moved out to a large degree. We are seeing more Hispanics and African Americans these days as well as an influx of Russian immigrants. Riverside is a fairly diverse neighborhood these days with a decent number of immigrants.

There are some more run down areas, usually blocks with concentrations of doubles where there are few if any homeowners. Streets like mine that are solely homeowners are generally well kept. Housing prices are ideal for first time home buyers to get into the market, and since Riverside was developed as a suburban neighborhood, much of the housing is well constructed as lower-middle class housing mostly built in the 20's and 30's, with one section built out in the 50's and 60's. We were one of the last parts of the city to be built out, and still have some virgin land on the outskirts. The neighborhood group that I work with is working on a number of projects to bring new investment into the neighborhood as well as bring about some waterfront development along the other Buffalo waterfront. Some good things may soon be going on down by the river.

We're a transitory neighborhood at present, but with the significant number of active members in our group, I feel that we are actually at the bottom and have a bright future ahead.
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Examples of two very Buffalonian styles of residential architecture side-by-side - the semi-bungalow and the two-flat. A semi like the one in the photo, with original wood siding, is quite rare. It's an outstanding example despite the replacement windows, and the iron railings. On so many houses from the era in Buffalo, iron railings replaced the original wooden railings.

BTW, no Riverside thread can be complete without this. Slightly dated, but still ...

You may be from Riverside if...

* You consider abandoned grain mills and factories as places of worship.
* Your car has at least two body panels that are painted in grey primer.
* Your house smells like feet and "oregeno."
* You consider "Fuckin' a!" to be a complete, grammatically correct sentence.
* You ever lived within walking distance of at least three adult book stores.
* You own more than five bongs.
* "Glass pack muffler" is a regular part of your vocabulary.
* The most prized item in your wardrobe is a Quiet Riot concert t-shirt.
* You know the current market price for "an ounce."
* Your barber knows how to maintain a proper mullet.
* You don't have a cellular phone, but you have at least three CB radios, one of which is illegally modified for "extras."
* All the buttons of your car stereo are set to "97 Fuckin' Rock, man!"
* You hear someone talking about "nickels" and "dimes," and you know thay aren't talking about pocket change.
* You ever spray-painted your significant other's name on a railroad bridge.
* You ever spray-painted "Slayer" on a railroad bridge.
* You know where "Snakeland" is.
* You have never owned a vehicle that was built after 1980.
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Stip, are those Eastern European immigrant groups currently active (still moving in) or is it mostly 2nd, 3rd generation descendants? I know you mentioned Russians are currently moving in, but what about those other groups?
Stip, are those Eastern European immigrant groups currently active (still moving in) or is it mostly 2nd, 3rd generation descendants? I know you mentioned Russians are currently moving in, but what about those other groups?
Over the past decade, Riverside has been the location for Serbs who have just come to America to settle, many of which belong to my church. After a number of years in the neighborhood, many move on to other neighborhoods, but some stick around. The movement of Russians into the neighborhood is very similar. I have not witnessed any other ethnic immigrant groups specifically, but that doesn't necessarily mean there aren't others. It mainly comes down to the fact that there are still remnants of the Serbian community left in Riverside, the American Serbian Club is in Old Town just over the border in Tonawanda, as well as the relatively low rents, 1200 - 1500 sq. ft. flats for $500 - $600 a month on average. Usually, when these families come over they are of decent size, usually 3 - 4 children. They tend to end up being typical American success stories, I know two guys that graduated from Buff State and are now gainfully employed, and another who started up a home renovation business. Those who have stayed have helped to contribute to the neighborhood. Definitely a win for Buffalo...
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Those kinds of stories, especially the Buff State grads, are encouraging to hear. Also good to know that there is an active community group in Riverside working to preserve, enhance the neighborhood. Riverside really took a kick in the ass when NY State decided to put up the Niagara extension of the Thruway, removing much of the natural access that neighborhood had to the Niagara River. My father, who grew up in Riverside, can recall those pre-Thruway days.
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First time I think I've seen picket fencing used on a front porch. :nuts:
First time I think I've seen picket fencing used on a front porch. :nuts:
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