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If Nicolai Ouroussoff Loves Buffalo So Much, Why Did He Forget to Mention Louise Bethune?


Alas, all is not well in Buffalo, despite what we reported yesterday. In the very same Buffalo News, which proclaimed the visit by the NY TimesNicolai Ouroussoff to be one of the city’s finest hours, an opinion piece has been written by one Carla Blank who has taken issue with the critic and his writing about her town. Her complaint: for all the talk about the history of great architects working in Buffalo in Ouroussoff’s piece, he completely skipped over the contributions of Louise Bethune, the city’s native daughter and one of the most important women in architectural history (“first American woman to set up a professional architectural office” and “first woman fellow of the American Institute of Architects” are two of her many achievements). Blank doesn’t seem at all very angry with Ouroussoff, just disappointed that Bethune has once again slipped to the sidelines in favor of her male counterparts. Personally, we find this all the more disappointing, if not a bit odd, considering that the critic has actually had some lengthy discussions about this very topic in both his own newspaper and in public appearances.

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