It was a full house at the Albright-Knox auditorium Wednesday night as the ranks of Buffalo "Trustafarians" gathered for a public forum to introduce the 2011 National Preservation Conference organized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and bound for Buffalo in October of next year. Representatives from all corners of the preservation community gathered to meet the conference organizers and begin to brainstorm on the main themes, ideas and venues for this World Cup of Preservation.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and representatives from Ontario enthusiastically threw their support behind the effort, the first Bi-national National Preservation Conference. Like the annual "In / Beyond WNY" art extravaganza, this conference was conceived by local organizing partners Preservation Buffalo Niagara and the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau as a regional showcase of cultural assets that crosses borders - not only between the counties of Western New York, but between the US and Canada. Over 2,000 attendees are expected to visit this region for the conference - many, no doubt, for the first time. And, with an impressive ground-swell of enthusiasm from all quarters, the region has begun to get ready for its close-up.
If you couldn't make Wednesday night's session, not to worry: Preservation Buffalo Niagara is soliciting input and volunteer offers via its website. So, you too can become a "Trustafarian" and participate in Buffalo-Niagara's biggest Preservation party.
With a successful National Preservation Conference, perhaps Buffalo can finally stop atoning for tearing down the Larkin Administration Building...