BUFFALO, NY -- Downtown Buffalo was buzzing Wednesday night as several thousand visitors with the Annual Conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation were in town.
Their first big party was held tonight at the former Statler Hotel. now known as Statler City. Many say it's a shining symbol of the preservation they're here to see.
If the saying, "you never have a second chance to make a first impression" is true, the nearly 2,500 visitors to Buffalo this week will be leaving town Saturday with positive stories to tell the world about Buffalo.
John Stubbs is from Louisiana, he says the city has exceeded all of his expectations so far, "the mayor's speech was brilliant, the keynote address was brilliant, the architecture is brilliant, and we look forward to three days here."
Local developer Mark Croce bought the Statler this year and many believe he saved the once crumbling building from the wrecking ball. Croce says the building is the definition of preservation in progress, it was the perfect venue for opening night, and it was the best party he has ever thrown.
Cynthia Jenkins from South Carolina decided to come to Buffalo on Sunday because her friends told her she can't miss Buffalo! She too was impressed with our local treasures. "There are so many fabulous Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, and you are working so hard to save. It's just great."
More than 150 people worked hard at the Statler Wednesday to make sure every detail was taken care of. It's only phase one, but Croce says the Statler's best days are still ahead, "I knew I had my work cut out for me, never did I think I could get this kind of community support, love, so much sentiment and history in this building, people love this property, proud to be the owner."