Buffalo has the unfortunately designation of being the place where President William McKinley was assassinated (among other unfortunate designations we've received over the years). Fortunately, that misfortune (are you confused yet?) contributed a very recognizable landmark to our city.

The 96-foot obelisk that sits in the center of Niagara Square and is known as the McKinley Monument doesn't look all that much different than when it was unveiled and dedicated in 1907 -- the area around is a different story entirely -- but its addition lent a certain je ne sais quoi missing up to that point.

"The peculiar beauty and opportunity of this site seems to me now to be utilized to their utmost," John M. Carrere, who designed the monument, said at the time. "The original plan of the city with this point of view led up to from every direction seems to have had a monument in view."

After all, could you imagine how dull the middle of Niagara Square would look without it?

Joshua Sherurcij, Wikimedia Commons