New York

Signature City Buffalo

Explore “The City of Light” to learn about its influence on American history, from the hydroelectric contributions of Niagara Falls, to two dwellings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Rating (5)
Program No. 23237RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

In 1842, the grain elevator was invented in Buffalo, New York, and in 1896, the rushing waters of Niagara Falls transferred hydroelectric power to the city’s electric streetlight—the first streetlights in the U.S. On this comprehensive exploration of “the City of Light,” learn about its influence on American history. Visit the famous falls to take in their epic beauty, and stop by the Niagara Power Plant to learn about hydroelectric energy. Discover history and art museums and two dwellings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Explore the grain elevators in Silo City that changed the city forever.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Get up close and personal with Niagara Falls on a field trip to the Cave of Winds and a ride on the famous Maid of the Mist.
  • Visit the Burchfield Penney Art Center to view more than 800 artists’ work connected to the Western New York Landscape.
  • Take in a performance at a historic 1918 jazz club that hosted such famous musicians as Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Fallingwater: Frank Lloyd Wright's Romance with Nature
by Lynda S. Waggoner
A handsome, illustrated overview of Frank Lloyd Wright's most famous house, with pictures from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
The Falls
by Joyce Carol Oates
Set against the mythic-historic backdrop of Niagara Falls in the mid-twentieth century, this exploration of a family in crisis is a great read. Joyce Carol Oates is a Western NY author who has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time.
Inventing Niagara
by Ginger Strand
The beauty, power and lies surrounding Niagara Falls. Held up as an example of real, natural beauty, they are hemmed in with fakery, waxworks, haunted houses and they are completely human controlled. This tells the story of the cultural history of nature and our place in it today.
Loving Frank, A Novel
by Nancy Horan
Fact and fiction blend in a historical novel that chronicles the relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney, from their meeting in Oak Park, when they were each married to another, to the clandestine affair that shocked Chicago society.
News from Nowhere and Other Writings
by William Morris
English designer and socialist William Morris's utopian novel is short on plot, but long on ideas and evocative descriptions of 19th-century London.
Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide
by Tony Horwitz
An epic adventure on the trail of Frederick Law Olmsted before he became the prominent landscape architect we know for Central Park, Buffalo, NY park system and so many parks across America in the late 1800’s. His vivid dispatches about the lives and beliefs of Southerners were revelatory for readers of his day.
Frank Lloyd Wright
by Robert McCarter
A comprehensive study of Frank Lloyd Wright's many architectural accomplishments. McCarter's insightful commentary will aid in understanding Wright's work.
Big Russ & Me
by Tim Russert
An intensely personal and charming memoir of American life in the 1950’s and the special bond he shares with his father, the irrepressible Big Russ. Set in Buffalo, NY , Russert, NBC-TV’s former senior vice Washington bureau chief and host of Meet the Press, reflections hit the very epicenter of American values.
City of Light
by Lauren Belfer
The year is 1901. Buffalo, NY is poised for glory. With its booming industry and newly electrified streets, Buffalo is setting up to be a mover in the 20th century. This novel, written by a Buffalo native, shares the intrigue of the Pan Am Exposition, our Buffalo native President Grover Cleveland and a crime at the Niagara Power Plant.
The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Complete Catalog
by William Allin Storrer
This authoritative, chronological guide to all of Wright’s work covers each building from inception to modern-day use, alongside full-color photos and maps. Includes a biography of the architect himself.
Town of Aurora (1818-1930), Images of America
by Donald Dayer
Part of the prolific Images of America series, this local chronicle surveys the history of Aurora and western New York, including the Arts and Crafts architecture movement which flourished there.
The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright
by Neil Levine
Architectural historian Neil Levine brings together historical and biographical material, relating Wright's architecture with the events in his life.
Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret
by Steve Luxenberg
A poignant investigative journey to find his family’s hidden history. An enlightening heartbreaking chapter in the history of America’s treatment of people born with what we now call special needs. Learn about institutions like the NYS Asylum for the Insane (now Hotel Henry in Buffalo, NY). Very gripping tale.
New York State Map
by American Map
A road map of New York at a scale of 1:710,000.
The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City: Spectacle and Assassination at the 1901 World’s Fair
by Margaret Creighton
This is an enjoyable, well written account of the organization, presentation and the demise of the 1901 Buffalo, NY World's Fair, (Pan-Am Exposition) and the assassination of President McKinley, therein. This book is a colorful look at one of the key moments in American History.
Architecture's Odd Couple: Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson
by Hugh Howard
The biggest names in 20th century architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson were rivals with radically different approaches to their art. Howard’s page-turning dual biography shows how their contentious relationship influenced their designs.
Many Masks: A Life of Frank Lloyd Wright
by Brendan Gill
Illustrated throughout with black-and-white photographs, this is a personal biography of the great architect, full of anecdotes and little known tidbits about his personality and somewhat tumultuous life.
Frank Lloyd Wright: A Biography
by Meryle Secrest
A selection of Wright's letters, photographs, drawings and books. The primary sources include interviews from those who worked and lived with the difficult architectural genius.
Frank Lloyd Wright: His Life and His Architecture
by Robert C. Twombly
A biography analyzing Wright's work in relationship to his personal life and political views.

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