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Remembering Richard Buford

Although he spent some of his career as a developer with the New York office of Metropolitan Structures and as Vice-President of Uris Building Corp., Richard Buford always considered himself foremost a planner. And it is as a planner and urbanist that he will be best remembered.

Dick served as the executive director of the Department of City Planning during the Lindsay Administration, and as a director of Lower Manhattan Development. A long-term member of MAS’s professional committees and part of the committee at MAS that established the New York Landmarks Conservancy – on whose board he served for 20 years – he was also President of the South Street Seaport Museum, and director of the Buell Center for the study of American Architecture at Columbia University.

He was a generous and loyal friend who recognized ability and made efforts on behalf of others to support their successes. Most famously, when running the first summer anti-poverty program in 1966, Dick took a $10,000 personal loan to pay his workers in lieu of paychecks that were held up by bureaucratic snarls. He died unexpectedly in late May at the age of 78.