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New hotel in Amherst is not aesthetically pleasing

Despite being over-scaled, too close to the street and a potential cause of traffic and snow-removal problems, a story in the Aug. 29 News touted “the official home of the Buffalo Bills,” the Wyndham Garden hotel in Amherst, as geared for VIPs and “a higher end market.”

Referring to the distaste voiced by angry residents as a matter of ruffled feathers, Amherst Supervisor Barry Weinstein said “an influx of hotel guests would benefit businesses lining Main Street and the surrounding area.” Justifying the hotel as “no more distracting than any of the other buildings nearby,” the article cited a nursing home, an apartment building, a McDonald’s, a Wendy’s, a Mobil gas station, Tops, Dunkin’ Donuts and a Subway restaurant.

No reference was made to the Evans Bank and Key Bank, both directly across the street and also in Amherst. Both are properly sited, in scale with their surroundings and attractively landscaped. Both respect the historic character of the adjacent Village of Williamsville, and both buildings are honest, unpretentious and uncontrived. Most importantly, they contribute to life in Amherst by affirming the importance of architecture as one of the arts.

Given the intellectual vitality so often displayed by The News in art, book, concert and theater reviews – to say nothing of ecstatic gastronomic paeans to the chicken wing and the pierogi – why does The News not have a critic specifically trained to review and critique the aesthetic and functional aspects of architectural proposals before they are built?

Albert Sterbak

Amherst