On March 21, 2013 the New York State Historic Preservation Board approved the “Entrance Court at the Buffalo Zoo” National Register nomination that Ellen Hunt and I prepared for the Buffalo Zoo and City of Buffalo, New York. On May 22, 2013 the National Park Service listed the “Entrance Court” to the National Register of Historic Places, the official Federal list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture: http://www.nps.gov/nr/listings/20130531.htm
Buffalo was established in 1803, and African American residents were recorded as early as 1806. Sixty four properties and districts were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Erie County through 2012. Only three of those were designated with reference to African American historical significance. Now there are four. Numbers change, but I believe that fewer than 2% of the National Register listed resources, nationally, are related to African American significance.
A local media summary with a small part of the 27 page nomination has been posted by “Buffalo Rising” : http://www.buffalorising.com/2013/06/zoo-gate-listed-on-national-register.html
The elapsed time from my first trip to Buffalo to the National Register nomination approval was one year, two months, and five days. We invested more than five hundred hours in the research, interpretation and production of the nomination, without financial compensation. The discovery included the gates and forty (40) original drawings initialed by African American landscape architect and architect John Edmonston Brent. I look forward to exposing more of Mr. Brent’s inspiring story in the coming months.
Special thanks and congratulations to Brent descendants Mrs. Janessa Robinson, Mrs. Jennifer McGriff, Mr. Brent Rollins, Mr. Robert Milner.