The International Hotel was located at Falls Street and Main Street in Downtown Niagara Falls, New York. The fire that destroyed this gorgeous workmanship was not uncommon during this period. While we cannot protect and restore the stately buildings that once created a beloved urban environment our ancestors greatly enjoyed, we can increase our efforts to preserve the buildings from this time period that we are privileged to still have in the Buffalo-Niagara region.
To tear down the buildings that represent the beginnings of our region's most prosperous era is a mistake; a HUGE mistake in fact. These structures are standing encyclopedia's of our community's most cherished stories. Unfortunately we see this occurring every day across the various townships that make up the region. Churches, warehouses, factories, and other types of buildings our ancestors came to know and love fall victim to the wrecking ball every day. While the preservation victories are celebrated across the region, it is the losses that linger in the back of our heads.
As I walk through downtown Niagara Falls, I cannot help but imagine what the experienced of traveling through the urban environment of the early 1900s felt like. Instead I'm left with some measly photo archives that do not arouse the same sensation you would experience as you walk through a historic structure like the Hotel Lafayette or the Central Terminal. Why don't we leave the destruction of our area's historic assets to the unknown and unpredictable disasters rather than self inflicting and scarring our urban fabric. It is our duty to preserve the structures of our communities that serve as monuments for our beginnings; even if it means waiting a few years for their redevelopment, the end result will be far more stunning than another vacant parcel or parking lot.