Archive for April, 2023

Angela Keppel_Hamburg October 22 2019 (1)

Myself speaking to a group

Want to hear me speak in person?  I will be presenting again through Erie County’s University Express program this semester!  I will be giving another Discovering Buffalo, One Street at a Time talk.  I will technically be presenting Part 6 of the talks, but don’t fret, there’s no need to have attended previous talks to come to this one.

Here’s the course description:

“Did you ever wonder how streets get named? Who was Mr. Goodell? What does Cordage Alley have to do with Great  Lakes Shipping? Learn about how our local history is written on our street signs and about some of the people who gave their names to our streets.”

I’ll be giving the talk seven times so you’ll have lots of chances to catch it.  I’ll be at the following times and places:

  • Thursday May 4 at 1pm, Tosh Collins Senior Center
  • Thursday May 18 at 6pm, Amherst senior Center
  • Wednesday June 7 at 12:15pm, Baptist Manor
  • Friday June 16 at 1:30pm, Orchard Park Senior Center
  • Wednesday June 28 at 10:30am, Schiller Park Senior Center
  • Tuesday July 11 at 10am, Clemmon Hodges Sr Community Center
  • Monday July 24 at 1pm, Town of Evans Senior Center

University Express really puts together a great program of classes – everything from “Balancing the Middle East” to “Women in the Civil War” to “Great American Poets” to “Cooking with the Commissioner” and everything in-between.  There’s really something for everyone!  For more information and to learn about the other classes being offered, you can see the entire University Express Catalog here:  https://www4.erie.gov/universityexpress/sites/www4.erie.gov.universityexpress/files/2023-04/final_000003_university_express_spring_2023_catalog_1.pdf


Panel discussion for Buffalo in 50 Maps – Vicky, myself and Jessie

I was recently on a panel with Vicky Johnson-Dahl in celebration of the release of Vicky’s book Buffalo in 50 Maps, hosted by Talking Leaves Books and Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center.  Jessie Fisher and I joined Vicky to talk about maps and Buffalo and more!  The discussion was filmed, so you can watch the panel discussion here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQRQS-8WUPM

You can get a copy of the book from Talking Leaves, either in person on Elmwood or ordered via the Talking Leaves website.


Giving a Downtown Walking Tour

Now that it’s finally getting warm again, I’m going to be launching walking tours again this spring/summer!  Tours will likely start next month and run through the fall.  I want to get some feedback about what people are looking for from tours, so I put together a very brief survey (only 4 questions) about what topics people want to learn about and what times are better for tours.  If you’re interested, please click this link to take the survey:  https://forms.gle/xzh64GAqGGEt6mxU7

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Elfreth’s Alley, Philadelphia

And so you don’t feel deprived, here’s some history factoids for today.  I was in Philadelphia last week for the National Planning Conference.  I stopped by Elfreth’s Alley.  This narrow street dates from 1703!  The houses were developed between 1703 and 1836 along the alley. It’s considered to be the oldest continually residential street in America!  The street is named for Jeremiah Elfreth, a blacksmith and property owner.  As time passed, there were more factories and other development around the Alley.  In 1934, the Elfreth’s Alley Association was founded to preserve the history of the alley.  Part of what they did was to restore the name Elfreth’s Alley (it had been changed to Cherry Street over the years!).  People still live in the homes along the alley (two of the houses are a museum, but the rest are privately owned).  Since it’s a tourist destination, I’m sure it gets crowded and noisy at times, but can you imagine living in a house where people have been living for 320 years?  Pretty amazing if you ask me!


William Penn’s Plan for Philadelphia in the courtyard of Philly’s City Hall

Did you also know that Philadelphia was the first American city with a planned street grid?  William Penn’s Plan of 1682 laid out the blocks with wide main streets (100 feet wide – wider than any street in London at the time!) and narrow side streets between.  The location he chose was strategic for trade – centered between the two rivers, the Delaware and the Schuylkill.  It’s designed as a two mile by one mile rectangle. It was also the first plan in America to set aside land for public squares and spaces for recreation, as well as to set aside areas for future growth and development.  As other cities were established, many of them were based on the Philadelphia model.  The plan creates a nice compact Center City which is part of Philly’s charm for sure!  Hoorah for street grids!  If you’re wondering, Buffalo’s is from 1804 and was laid out by Joseph Ellicott, but most of you who follow this blog likely already know that! If you don’t, you can read up on it at this link

Interested in getting even more content from me?  You can become a Friend of Buffalo Streets on patreon.   You can go to https://www.patreon.com/buffalostreets/    Patreon is a site where you can help support creators like me.  As you know, I have been telling the story of Buffalo’s streets here for more than a decade!  This blog is my hobby (and my passion).  But it’s something I do, without pay, in my free time.  Becoming a patron can help support the blog and keep it going.  The money will go towards helping to provide for fees for website hosting, as well as memberships to newspapers.com and ancestry.com which help me complete my research. Supporting on patreon will help to keep buffalostreets.com free and accessible to everyone.  If you sign up at the $5/ month tier, you will get monthly newsletters from me with bonus content.  The content will consist of the kinds of interesting tidbits I find while researching that doesn’t quite have a place here on the blog – and observations when I travel, like the info from Philadelphia.  If you’d prefer to make a one time contribution, you can also do that at paypal.me/akepps Thank you to those who have already signed up or who have contributed.  It really does mean the absolute world to me!!

Don’t worry, you don’t have to contribute – I’ll still be posting the same free content you’ve all come to know and love over the years!  Thank you to everyone for your support over the years, it really means a lot to me!

We’ll be back to more regularly scheduled content soon….what street do you want to learn about next?


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