8 comments on “CCI of Buffalo’s Caricature of Italian Culture: the Russell J. Salvatore Courtyard

  1. Unfortunately, I have to agree. I was so pleased when CCI secured the building and undertook its revitalization. The ostentatious courtyard is out of place. I live just a couple of blocks away, and find myself trying to look past, or anywhere but at, the excessive lighting and white marble. Abundance has its place in Italian (though in my case, Sicilian) culture, but so does restraint.

  2. I agree. My mother, Rosalia Gullo Bondi, described Salvatore’s in this way:
    “Oh yes. Salvatore’s. Where they took all of Rome and dumped it.”
    Offensive all. That white stone. The oversized fountains. Total lack of any creativity of and kind. No sign of native plantings, biodiversity or just plain, good old BEAUTY.

  3. Here’s an excerpt from a June 2015 Buffalo News article: “‘I used to go to different auction and antique shops and buy things,’ Salvatore said. ‘I was down in Florida, and I went to this place that sold cement statues. I bought thousands of them there, and they ended up lining the driveway,’ Salvatore said.” All I can say, with due respect for my 95-year-old mother: MAMA MIA!! Art G.

  4. Couldn’t agree more. I voiced my concern to the director. And I will not support the organization.

    It makes Italian-Americans look like tasteless, classless, boorish clowns. All the stereotypes on one misplaced lawn.

    My father and mother would be appalled.

  5. I,too, am in agreement with all of the above. Such a travesty and a horror in a place that had so much potential as a welcome guest in the neighborhood.

    • CCI hasn’t yet responded to my blog post, which I sent to them 2 days ago. It will be interesting to see if they circle the wagons – refusing to question “the good taste” of a man who is closely connected with a multitude of CCI board members and staff – or if they’ll choose to reconsider the “courtyard” just in time for October, “Italian Heritage Month.”

  6. I agree with the over done concentration of statuary stuffed into that tiny space. I fear much of it is not the vandal proof stuff adopted by urban parks.
    It is really much overdone. Italian grace is spare, lean and simple.
    I’m surprised a simple garden based setting as was done next to the building with easily accessible benches or seating arrangements was not developed.
    I agree about Russell Salvador’s magnificent charity but ensuring it is turned into an advertisement is a bit much.

  7. I, too, agree with Arthur Giacalone and all of the above comments. The RJS Courtyard is ghastly, the antithesis of the grace and beauty of Italy and Italian culture that I know well from having lived in Italy and hold close to my heart. I planned to attend an event at CCI this evening but have changed my mind; I can’t bear to walk through that awful courtyard.

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