Friday, September 18, 2009

Vars Building, Buffalo

Vars Building, BuffaloThe Vars Building on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, NY is a wonderfully decorated commercial building.

Dating from 1929 it was designed by Lawrence Bley and Duane Lyman the same architects who worked on the magnificent Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation Building in Syracuse, NY.

While the Niagara Mowhawk Power Corporation Building is black and chrome with the spectacular 'Spirit of Light' figure on the facade, the Vars Building relies on carved relief panels for decoration.

Vars Building, Buffalo

Many recognisable Art Deco motifs are represented on the Vars Building.

Vars Building, BuffaloA frozen fountain with stylised sun rays and clouds sits in a panel above the doorway. The spandrels on the upper floors feature chevrons, triangles and other stepped forms. Stylised floral designs decorated the tops of the columns separating the black framed windows.

Look at the delicately scolloped roofline and the panel on the second storey above the door which depicts a vase or perhaps a stylised cornucopia bearing a wide variety of flowers.

Vars Building, Buffalo

The closer you look at the Vars Building, the more there is to see.


  1. It really is only when you explore these buildings up close that you get the real beauty they have to offer.
    A lot of people fail to realise art deco is a style used for building and tend to link the word to antiques.

  2. Thanks for the comment Gary. There is a lot of lovely decoration on many buildings when you seek out the detail.

  3. Great blog! I love these old buildings.

    I actually give in an old house that's a bit confused. It has elements of Art Deco but a lot of other aspects of the house are based on other design styles.

    Check out this post of a Lily pattern that was painted in one of the rooms.

    Take note that the house needs a lot of restoration work and we really want to save it.

    Here's a link:

  4. Thanks.

    That Lily pattern is great and it sounds and looks like an amazing house. Good luck with the renovations.