Originally called The Front, Front Park was once the most popular recreational destination in the city and a prominent Buffalo icon. As with Delaware Park and MLK Jr. Park, Olmsted himself chose the location, but with a different vision in mind.
Designed: 1868 – 1870 by Olmsted & Vaux | Location: Porter & Busti Avenues
The chief feature of The Front was the semi-circular terrace designed to command a panoramic view of Lake Erie and the opening of the Niagara River. Here, Olmsted remarked, one could observe “a river effect such as can be seen, I believe, nowhere else — a certain quivering of the surface and a rare tone of color, the result of the crowding upward of the lake waters as they enter the deep portal of the Niagara.”
With this prospect of water and infinity as background, the terrace, Olmsted thought, would also be an impressive setting for public ceremonies. “The root of all my work,” he said, “has been an early respect for and enjoyment of scenery.” Olmsted and Vaux’s plan also incorporated a large field for baseball and other sports. The park once included the adjacent grounds of Fort Porter, now the site of the Peace Bridge plaza. Learn more about your Buffalo Olmsted Park System at the official map & guide.
Self-Guided Mobile Audio Tour
Self-Guided Mobile Audio Tour of Olmsted’s West Side
Step 1: From your mobile device, type in Tourwand.com/Olmsted
Step 2: Select ‘Olmsted’s West Side’
Step 3: Enjoy 11 points of interests, from the Perry Monument to Ferry Circle, in any order you would like.
Official Guided Bike Tours (May – August 2018)
West Side Bike Tour — A Historical Bike Tour Series
Special thanks to presenting sponsor, Rich Products. 2018 tour dates are:
All bike tours are on Saturdays, 2:00 p.m. — 4:00 p.m. $5 for BOPC members and $10 for non-members. For inquiries or to sign up, please email Zhi@bfloparks.org or call 716-838-1249, ext. 31.
Useful links: West Side Bike Tour Waiver Form
Planning Your Visit
The Terrace (beautiful view of Lake Erie)
The Perry Monument
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is responsible for the rental of the Parkside Lodge, the fenced picnic area next to the lodge, croquet courts in Delaware Park, and the Caz Casino in Cazenovia Park.
The Delaware Park Marcy Casino, Rose Garden, and Japanese Garden are rented through Magnolia Events. (716- 886-0088)