From Big to Small: A pop-up exhibition of drawings documenting the neighborhood’s telescope houses

A pop-up exhibition of drawings documenting Buffalo’s most curious vernacular: the telescope houses of the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood.

From the front, it’s a simple worker’s cottage—a one-and-a-half -story, gable-fronted, clapboard house. Yet from the side, a charming surprise is revealed—a series of successive additions, each one stepping down in scale from the last—big to small. And while Buffalo is not the only home to the phenomenon of the so-called “telescope house,” nowhere else is it as ubiquitous an urban form.

This fall, thirteen graduate students from the University at Buffalo studied the telescope houses of Broadway-Fillmore through drawing. The work celebrates the houses and their peculiarities as a means to reveal stories of human life, occupation, and adaptation through time, and to promote greater discussion around the history, people, and architecture of Buffalo’s East Side.

Please join us for a pop-up exhibition of the drawings at Torn Space Theater, in the historic Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle on Friday, December 14th from 6:00 to 9:00pm. The event is free and open to the public (cash bar). It’s located at 612 Fillmore Avenue. Click here for directions.

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Here’s a couple examples of telescope houses in the neighborhood.