National Preservation Conference Begins

October 19, 2011 Updated Oct 19, 2011 at 11:22 PM EDT

By Lou Chilelli

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October 19, 2011 Updated Oct 19, 2011 at 11:22 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) -- A national convention...for those who work to preserve historic sites...is in Buffalo this week. A jazz trio played for some of the more than 2,000 convention attendees. This is the kick off reception for the 2011 National Preservation Conference. With it's renovations in full swing, the former Hotel Statler is the perfect place to host these lovers of historic sites. "There's a lot of tax credit people here, there's a lot of syndicators, there's a lot of people that believe in historic preservation. A lot of people have that approach me say, wow what a great job. There's a lot of people have an interest in getting involved in helping taking it to another level," said Mark Croce, Statler City developer.

"Buffalo has the seeds for teaching all of America about its architectural history," remarked Kathleen Kean. Kean left buffalo 30 years ago. The former high school history teacher is here with a group from Historic Milwaukee, Inc. She is glad to see people from across the country experiencing her hometown. "I have been a fan of Buffalo architecture since I was kid growing up here in Buffalo. I have been away 30 years, but I am so happy that people are realizing what a treasure Buffalo has to show the world," she added.

Everyone got a chance to sample a menu full of famous Buffalo food, like beef on weck and chicken wings. Some of those here tonight, already got a chance to sample some of the local architecture in the area. "We went on the partners tour yesterday and went to the Central Terminal, which was just amazing. Got to go inside...it was wonderful...because I had heard about it before...but I had never been able to see...see it in person, it's fantastic. And, then the Richardson Olmsted building which was fantastic too," said Vanessa McKuin from the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas.

It looks like the region is leaving a good first impression. "I love Buffalo...great city...reminds me of Chicago...great city. The architecture here is incredible. I will come back," said Edward Torrez of Chicago. The convention runs through the weekend.