Mural by Alpha Rho Chi Brings Buffalo into Crosby Hall

Earlier this semester, architecture students from UB’s Alpha Rho Chi fraternity created a three-story mural of Buffalo in Crosby Hall to celebrate the school’s close engagement with the city. Photos by Ross Moretzsky

Published December 1, 2014

Inspired by the school’s close engagement with the city, 10 students from UB’s Alpha Rho Chi architecture fraternity have mapped Buffalo in a three-story mural that spans the eastern stairwell of Crosby Hall.

According to Ross Moretzsky, a senior in the architecture program and president of Alpha Rho Chi: “The mural is a map of the City of Buffalo split into three separate times in the city’s history over the three floors of Crosby. Our aim was to tie the school and city together and better understand the development of Buffalo and how it has changed over time.” Visitors to the building now pass by a depiction of Buffalo circa the early 1800s on the 1st floor stairwell. The city grid grows denser and more expansive by the second floor (mid-20th century Buffalo) until the third floor, which represents present-day Buffalo. 

The students conceived, designed and implemented the interconnected mural independently, reflecting the school's distinctive regional context and passion for place.

Students created the three-story mural based on a detailed study and sketches of the city's street grid over the past 200 years.

The mural reflects the city's unique radial street plan, laid out by Joseph Ellicott in the early 1800s. Ellicott incorporated ideas from Washington D.C.’s street designs, running avenues like spokes radiating from a hub.

The mural on floor two of Crosby, showing Buffalo circa 1950.