Little Village Keeps Out Big Boxes

East Aurora, a suburb of Buffalo, says no to big box attempts to change the small town feel it guards.

"Some see this approach as an impediment to progress. But village officials and community leaders look around at the cookie-cutter developments in nearby communities and hear of the traffic problems in places like Williamsville and Hamburg that make for hazardous driving and walking conditions and say: If that's progress, you can have it."

Thanks to Joseph Bornstein

Full Story: The little village that wouldn't



East Aurora--Roycroft

East Aurora has a tie to the Arts and Crafts movement at the beginning of the last century. It was the home of the Roycroft community of Elbert Hubbard. For more information go to .

Ken Firestone

One of the last great places

I've got a bunch of East Aurora photos at - visit the site, and type "East Aurora" in the search field.

There are many quaint pre-WWII satelite villages surrounding Buffalo: East Aurora, Hamburg, Orchard Park, Williamsville, Kenmore, Lewiston, Akron, Alden, Perry, Wyoming, Ellicottville ... the list goes on. Some are in better shape than others. In more prosperous parts of the country, villages like East Aurora would have been gentrified years ago. Communism and its associated economic stagnation played an indirect role in preserving the unique built environment in Eastern European cities and towns. Just as in Havana today, a side effect of the decades of economic stagnation in the Buffalo area is the preservation of its suburban, exurban and rural villages.

Today, a nice house in East Aurora sells from $150,000 to $400,000. Imagine what real estate and business startup costs would be like if the Buffalo area had the economy of a Charlotte or Austin.

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