Whitefield's view, which was taken from the top of the old lighthouse, looks across the creek to the north east at the city of Buffalo. The angle I wanted to paint was a water level view looking north west, directly at Dart's elevator. The problem became how to translate the period drawing into a form I could study from a different vantage point. Computer models are difficult to build and do not provide a tactile three-dimensional experience. I proceeded to build a simple large-scale architectural model using the building facades that were distinctly rendered in the Whitefield drawing. Individual building plans were derived from period property maps. I also researched and developed simple models for numerous Great Lakes vessels. The busy harbor would need barks, brigantines, schooners, sloops, barges and small rowing craft. I also included the small passenger steamboat Emerald, which can be seen in Whitefield's drawing. As I peered along the white cardboard and paper model, with all the ships in place, letting my imagination create walls of brick and clapboard, I was transported back through time. That experience gave me the confidence to paint the scene.