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And there it goes. The Seneca Nation of Indians will be breaking ground and breaking bricks this week. Demolition of the distinctive H-O Oats complex on Perry Street will begin Thursday according to the Buffalo News. While the complex comes down, future plans for the property remain unclear. The Seneca Nation is negotiating with the NFTA to locate the casino in the former DL&W Terminalis second floor. The H-O site was a portion of nine acres purchased for either a back-up casino location or for parking and warehousing. According to the gambling compact with New York State, the Senecas must begin work on the casino before December 9.

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  • brainman

    Please tear the ugly eyesore down! These historic landmarks are beautiful only if they are rehabilitated and so many of the grain elevators in this city are in such dreadful disrepair that most should come down. Have you ever taken the heritage boat ride up the Buffalo creek/river to see all of the grain elevators there? I’m telling you when I was finished with that ride I was so depressed; Buffalo looked uglier than ever. Like a bombed-out war zone. This city could spend 100 million dollars a year on grain elevator restoration for the next 20 years and we’d still have a glut of them remaining. Enough! Think about when you drive through other cities and say, why can’t Buffalo look like that? Its because they tore down their shanty-like garbage structures long ago and have replaced them with something both functional and attractive to the eye. Look at Pittsburgh’s waterfront (a stadium there? ,remarkable). Now Tim Tielman is filing an injunction to try and stop the Seneca’s demolition of HO OATS because, as he indicates, other cities are inventing space like this to live in (today’s NEWS). Well then, Mr. Tielman, why not move to that other city or find a way to come up with the 500 million to turn these once proud, now degenerate, silo’s into hotels or condo’s? Seriously, let’s stop with the obstructionist attitude and get moving forward. We can’t do a good job saving everything but we can do an excellent job saving some of the important things and, frankly, I just don’t think the HO OATS Complex is all that important.

  • Damn Indians

    Screw the Senecas.

  • Chris Hawley

    It’s disappointing the Seneca Nation doesn’t see the potential, especially with their multimillion dollar credit line, to transform the mill buildings and the elevator into part of a hotel complex or something else. The concrete-reinforced mill aside the HO Oats Elevator is actually the most interesting of the three. Absent the Seneca Nation’s plans, this building could become the hippest loft condo building in town. Nothing compares in the entire city! It would be truly amazing. And the elevator itself, with its downtown location, literally across the street from a successful loft conversion, is the one elevator that is small and centrally-located enough to be economically reused in the near future. I can’t imagine this demolition would represent in lost opportunities, just as the downtown loft craze is becoming fashionable and the Elk Market District is becoming a neighborhood again. It’s a damn dirty shame and it can still be stopped.
    This post is remarkably defeatist. None of these buildings have to come down, and the Campaign for Greater Buffalo is the only organization stepping forward to say “no” just as everyone else is throwing their hands up in the air. The federal government is breaking the law with this transfer and perhaps they can be stopped as the Senecas waste no time getting these buildings primed for demolition.

  • david s

    You can not blame the Senecas. The State City and County negotiated a bad deal with them. The state held all the cards in negotiations but played none of them. The Senecas went along and took what ever the state was willing to give away.
    Look at it this way. The state city and county could have made a plan. They could have said…this is were the Casino will go. This is how it needs to interact with the urban landscape. These are the buildings you will renovate. You will provide this much new housing and you will pay the state and city this much money. They let the Senecas make the deal and gave away the house. No urban paln. Nothing! The State did that not the Senecas. It is a lost opportunity and now we have to make the best of it.
    The state held all the cards because they could have been negotiating with more than one tribe to get the best deal. They could have held the Niagara Falls Casino as a big giant carrot. But, they did not.
    On the positive side downtown will be gaining a 24 hour a day attracion and 1000 new jobs

  • Unfortunately, we have so many vacant grain elevators and cement mills that we can’t save them all.
    But, for something interesting to think about, check out Quaker Square, in Akron, Ohio. It’s a grain elevator that’s been converted into a hotel. I’ve been inside and I can tell you that it’s very cool!

  • hamp

    Yes we can blame the Indians. They are going to make tons of money. They have the cash and power to save these historic mills, but they are choosing to demolish them, possibly for parking. If that isn’t “old” Buffalo, I don’t know what is.
    Maybe we can’t save all of the grain mills, but this is the perfect opportunity to save these.

  • I too doubt whether all of the grain mills could or should be saved. I love them, personally, but I know they look like a bombed-out wreck to your average Skyway or 190 driver. If they had to go in order to make way for some shiny new (perhaps mixed-use) development that meant lots of jobs and hustle and bustle, progress, I think I’d be okay with it. I ought to be. But if a historic building is torn down for a huge parking lot in the middle of what could be a resurgent part of town … well, that would suck.

  • ScotchTape

    I’ve lived off of South Park Avenue for most of my life, and must say, this is one of my favorite buildings- I knew this was going to happen. The Library of Congess included the building in its Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic Engineering Record as part of the American Memory project. Was it Paladino who sold the Seneca’s this property?? It’s bad enough we’re getting a casino forced upon us let alone important structures being smashed to bits for nothing but a possibility of a heartless parking lot. Thanks. It would’ve been nice if the Buffalo News told us a little sooner. Maybe if they werent busy laying people off they could’ve. There’s a link to the American Memory site:

  • bjfan82

    They can’t even go into the H-O Oats building to restore it because it is so dangerous. Others have tried and said screw it.
    The Senecas will be building a 12 Story Casino/Hotel and a 10 Story parking ramp on that site.

  • Wilkeson

    Jessica, Maybe you should give the “average Skyway or 190 driver” more credit. Not everyone out there is like brainman and momo. That building is iconic and was one of the things that made me fall in love with Buffalo. I’m sure that building is important to many natives too.
    ScotchTape, I don’ t think we can blame the News on this one. From the moment the Senecas bought that land it was clear that the building was coming down. I think I and others said as much on a BRO posting.
    I say kudos to Tim Tielman for having the fortitude to fight the impossible fight. And to those who blame him (and others in the case of the Peace Bridge) for things not getting done — all he’s asking is that projects comply with the applicable laws. If the Senecas shouldn’t be allowed, as a matter of existing law, to demolish these buildings, then they shouldn’t be demolished.

  • brainman

    Let’s not forget that we still do not have any funding in place for the beautiful and internationally famous Richardson’s Towers of the Buffalo Psychiatric Center. There was a big show when Pataki came to town but there is no money firmly in place and I don’t think there will be and nor does Pataki gives a hoot. So I should worry about a crumbling and dangerous grain elevator that looks like hell and perpetuates the image of Buffalo as a rusty, deteriorating industrial wasteland? No way. Tear it down! I’ll be there with my sledge hammer (and respitator mask) to help. Let’s encourage our preservationist voices get their priorities straight instead of grandstanding. I appreciate our heritage as much as the rest and I’m absolutely passionate about it but we will only move forward by making the tough decisions and this is one of them. And by the way, the Seneca’s are getting their just due. We’re paying the price for the deeds of our ancestors. As the saying goes, “payback’s a bitch.”

  • NatalieGT

    I’m so sad for our city. ANd angry at our shortsighted politicians who think this will be good for our region. There’s nothing that says desperate and downtrodden like a casino downtown.
    I could even see the silo come down, but the brick and concrete building would be salvaged in a more sophisticated city.

  • “And by the way, the Seneca’s are getting their just due. We’re paying the price for the deeds of our ancestors. As the saying goes, “payback’s a bitch.””
    OT, technically, but this irked me. I’m as regretful as anyone for the way native amricans were treated, but don’t you suppose there are more constructive ways to atone than casinos?

  • hamp

    My ancestors had nothing to do with the plight of the Seneca Nation.
    Like many others, they immigrated to the United States. And they spent their lives working in industrial buildings similar to the ones the Seneca’s want to knock down for a parking lot.
    To suggest that we are paying back for our past treatment of the Seneca’s is not only ludicrous, but it’s an insult to all of our ancestors that made this city what it is. That’s why I want to see these buildings saved.
    As for Tim Tielman, we should all care about this city as much as he does.

  • carlpaladinoisthedevil

    I completely agree with NatalieGT.
    The building may never have been reused. But that would’ve been fine with me. Why must we imagine casinos, boutiques and crowds of people? Why can’t we imagine a city with structurally stabalized yet empty grain elevators in its future? The hate that people have for the anything old and gritty reaks of insecurity. If you want glassy skyscrapers go find some glassy sky scrapers. in Toronto or New York. Buffalo is a little gritty, old and has alot of available space. That is just the city that it is. Empty space doesn’t have to mean crime or poverty –its just empty space. If it were stablized–I see no need for a hotel or a mall or an amusement park. I’m fine with grain elevators being grain elevators and I love Buffalo for Buffalo. A casino would be perfect for Cheektowaga–they can have the Galleria, Rick’s Tally-ho, Salvatores Italian Gardens and the countless pink flamingos too.

  • The above commentary is moronic and backward-thinking. Stop blaming Carl Paladino. He’s delivered some beautiful new Downtown residential renovations–including the University Club and the LL Berger project. There are many other historic sites that need and deserve preservation dollars than a dangerous, rotting, rat-infested grain mill. Got any idea how much it would cost to renovate the same Einstein? Would you invest YOUR money in ‘stabilizing’ the H-O mills? Doubtful.

  • Jeez, all this name calling seems so Old Buffalo to me. Could we all have a little respect for each other’s opinions here?
    I used to thing those gritty old industrial buildings were ugly eyesores, but now that I understand Buffalo’s history better I see these “ruins” in a whole new light.
    I think they should be preserved – there are plenty of locations in downtown Buffalo for modern trendy architecture. I don’t want to see Buffalo end up looking like every other cool city. A blend of the old and new makes for a much more interesting and distinct urban environment.
    If some of these grain elevators can’t realistically or economically be reused, they could be cleaned up and redesigned into artisitc uber sculptures / monuments /etc. Buffalo, of all places, should be able to come up with some creative ideas for saving these unique structures rather than resorting to the typical tear-it-down-and-build-something-new solution.
    Two wrongs don’t make a right. I don’t understand why the
    Seneca Nation insists on putting a casino where it’s clearly not wanted by the majority of citizens. I think this shows a distinct lack of respect for the city and people of Buffalo. This is not a good way to bring the tribes together – any Seneca VIPs out there care to explain the rationale here??

  • PS – I’m really a good speller – it’s my typing that sucks! Anyone know how to get a spellcheck on this site?

  • hamp

    Those of you who think we should be focused on finding money to save other historic buildings are right, but you are missing a very big point. We have a project here, and a developer (Seneca Nation) with plenty of money to spend in the Cobblestone District.
    They’re going to spend millions of dollars on whatever they do. If we really believe in the city’s heritiage, doesn’t it then follow that we should encourage them to spend the money to save these buildings?
    Do we really need another parking lot?

  • Chris Hawley

    Guys, let’s not forget about the mills. It’s not only the elevator. It’s all part of an interlinked complex, an solid industrial landscape of valuable and reusable buildings. The kind of people who create jobs, start businesses, move to dynamic cities, VALUE buildings like these. If we take them down, we’re going the way of Detroit. Casinos will be as successful here as they were there in producing dead streetscapes and zero impact on the regional economy.
    The entire HO Oats complex is a National Register-eligible landmark. It’s part of the fabric of the city. The Senecas should know as much as anyone the tragedy of having something meaningful taken away from them.
    We’re not merely taking away a vital part of our past. We’re robbing the Elk Market District and the entire region of the opportunity for something interesting to prop up in our future. Is this casino parking lot worth ridding ourselves of the possibility of attaining a new loft living district in Lower Downtown?

  • Wow. I just thought that I disliked the whole casino-thing for moral reasons. Now that they will be tearing down buildings that are part of the fabric of this city, I have a whole new reason! Gee thanks, Seneca Nation, for giving me a different view of why this is an awful idea!

  • BLO

    Since the property is now in the hands of the SN, its now moot point to bring up saving these bldgs. If these bldgs. were worthy of being saved a not-for-profit corporation could have been created by people willing to save them (e.g., The Darwin House). Instead, in the spirit of New Buffalo, I suggest the following:
    1. Allow this Grain Mill to die in peace. Document this Bldg. with its history, establish a record of its existence and delivery it to the historic society for future generations to appreciate.
    2. Allow progress to happen. Imagine a 12 foot hotel/casino reaching into the sky. Imagine the cranes that will highlight the sky between this project and Blue Cross. More importantly, each person should take the time and drive down to the site. This is an opportunity to create something from the ground up and this type of development does not happen to often in BLO.
    3. Think about the bigger picture. Does everyone want this development — NO! Of course, what development is every accepted with open arms by the community at large. Instead, drive down to the site. Look around. Now imagine, the SN casino/hotel, the new cobblestone development, the Arena, the Erie Canal development and even maybe the Bass Pro in the Aud. Now ask yourself, five, ten, even twenty years ago would we believe all this was possible? This is new BLO! To call for a “New” BLO, NO to demand a “NEW” BLO, and our generation has the right to make it stamp upon its landscape much like the builders of this Bldg.
    4. Preservationist do your job! Challenge all development and let all voices be heard. However, learn when to lose the battles to win the war. For example, preservationist take this opportunity to lose this battle but secure promises from the City that the Great Northern will always be there for future generations.

  • Chris Hawley

    In five, ten, twenty years, a more enlightened citizenry will be rueing the day we ever allowed buildings so precious to be demolished at a time when nearly any savvy investor would have seen their value in creating a new neighborhood around a unique industrial landscape, even now so rare in American urban centers.
    If that is the “New Buffalo,” we have nothing to which we can look forward.

  • BLO

    Chris – please stop using “we” for the City (not everyone shares your opinion) and please given me a good reason why this Bldg. standing in the way of progress should be saved (And, yes I agree with you that a casino is not best form of development). While I will grant you certain Bldg. like the NY Central Terminal and Darwin House require our generation to maintain until the next, not every building of yesterday has the right stop development. Instead, the next generation will ask why didn’t New BLO care about it and new development and new jobs?
    If you want to live in a City that never changes go to Venice. An amazing City with great history — I was recently there. However, a City that once was the center of commerce of the world and with hundreds of thousands of residents is now home to mainly tourist and only 60,000 resident. Is this what you expect future generations of Buffolians to look forward to? I (not “we”) hope not!

  • square peg

    Larry – google “spell check” and the name of your browser, then download a program. I had one for IE and am using one for Firefox. Then you have to remember to actually use it before hitting “submit”!
    Now if I could only find a “grammar-check”…
    Face it, this entire city is old, and different people have attachments to different things, and for different reasons. In themselves, they’re only buildings – it’s people that make them have life. They’re shells that hold history – sometimes beautiful shells.

  • I think that many people would not define the casino and the tearing down of these particular buildings for a parking ramp as progress. I’m sure it was considered progressive when the Larkin Building was demolished for parking – we now know better.
    Reports and statisitcs I’ve read show that casinos such as the one the Senecas want to build are detrimental to a city on many levels. Ask the local businesses around the NF casino how well they’re doing – many have been hurt by that casino.
    I don’t see how this can be called progress. It’s especially sad that exisiting buildings with a rich and historic past will be destroyed to build somehting which will ultimately be destructive to the Cobblestone distict and the city.

  • hamp

    Atlantic City, Detroit, New Orleans.
    They all built casinos to turn their economies around.

  • shopitall

    Why are they allowed to take it down without telling Buffalo what they are planning on doing on that property?
    How are they able to DESTROY with out a plan?
    Byron Brown….Mayor Elect…..Casino Supporter….
    What’s UP WITH THIS?

  • momo

    Guys, this area has been desolate and near deserted, save for the Perry Street Drug Projects, for decades. Then Elk Terminal Lfts get put in and everyone wants to save the area. Please, I dont buy it. Where was Tim Teilman 5-10 years ago when he could have bought the building for $5,000? Why do all the preservationist try to block progress without putting up one penny? I have an idea Tim et al. Buy the buildings you want saved and then no developer will touch them and you can have your islands of ugly, old, obsolete building which have “significant” historical value.
    Has Tim Teilman ever bought a building, raised the money and then renovated it into something truly historic..or even viable for that matter? This is all abunch of bullshit and this is why Buffalo is what it is…a bunch of Democrat cry babies who want to impede because they’re not included. Boo hoo Tim and the Preservation Crew…your ugly silver building is coming down and theres not a damn thing you can do about it. I wanna throw some dice, play poker and finally..HAVE A CIGARETTE WITH A DRINK INDOORS!! In the words of Special Ed…YEEEAAAAH!
    PS. Grain Elevators are horrible eyesore

  • momo

    Chris Hawley, WHy is this BUilding “So Precious”? It has sat ignored for 40 years, is an eye sore, and a safety threat? Please make me understand.

  • NatalieGT

    The Richardson towers have been ignored for years too. Just because you don’t understand the significance of the Cobblestone area and the historic nature of those buildings doesn’t mean there isn’t any there. Ignorance is no escuse and strength of opinion does not pass for logic.
    I called Carl Paladino’s company about 4 years ago about his property on Chicago street, that included the Harbor Inn. It was not for sale. What did he know that I didn’t? Probably only the same thing I did know: Waterfront land, or land near it, will always eventually be useful to someone. I liked the quaint buildings left on it… the firehouse, the cool quite old industrial brick buildings. The late, triangular Harbor Inn.
    Atlantic City, Detroit, New Orleans. Can’t we aim higher??

  • MD

    I am completely outraged by the aspect of the Seneca Nation tearing down the H&O Oats structures so they can say they have a shovel in the ground by December 9, 2005. This is a travesty of the highest degree and not only because they are tearing down an important piece of Buffalo’s history but also because they are tearing it down with no future plans for the site developed. I have always found the H&O Oats structure to have great potential for redevelopment especially with the mix of building types that lend to many different uses. If this structure is torn down Buffalo will be left with another potential building site that will end up being a surface parking lot. Also this is just another example of Buffalo’s history being chipped away. Developing cities would die to have a structure with such historical significant and development future in a downtown to redevelop. Again Buffalo has missed handled a great opportunity to capitalize on.
    My take is that I do not believe that this railroad approach that the Seneca Nation has taken is acceptable, there must be a review process before a structure of this significant is torn down. If anyone has an idea of how to stop this please put it on the blog and hopefully we can generate enough interest to stop this development. And don’t get me wrong I am all for development in downtown and I don’t feel that every building has to be saved but tearing down a building to say you have a shovel in the ground is obsurd and I think that everyone preservationist or not should be upset with this near sighted approach.

  • bjfan82

    shopitall, they have said what they’re going to do with the property – build a casino, hotel, and parking ramp by demolishing the abandoned and boarded up buildings on the site now.

  • MD

    And you believe them that’s good I’m glad someone does because I don’t. Didn’t they say that they want to go in the DLW? So if that happens what are they going to do with the property, surface lot?

  • hamp

    Nothing should happen at the site until they present their plans to the public.

  • bflover

    It’s all way too late for saving HO. The city should have written preservation standards into the deal with the Senecas for these 9 acres. Too late, contracts signed, Senecas can do what they want. Preservationists who snooze, lose.
    IMO, HO is an eyesore as are the other GEs. But they are historically significant. Should they come down? Depends on whether they can be redeveloped, redeployed, and maintained. If they can’t, and another developer comes up with the cash to acquire and develop the property they stand on, then that developer has the right to do what they want with those structures.
    The other alternative is to bestow landmark status on the GEs, which is too late for HO. So the race is on between the preservationists who want to keep the GEs and the developers who want the real estate, whether or not they want the GEs. So far, the preservationists are losing. Time to get moving before another GE meets the wrecking ball.

  • bflover

    P.S., “Progress” is in the eye of the beholder. To the Senecas and gamblers, this casino is “progress.” To those (like me) who’d rather see some other brand of job creating, tax revenue generating private enterprise, it is not. But that’s irrelevant because this, right now, is a real estate transaction involving historically significant — but not landmark — structures. And until these structures attain landamrk status and protection, anyone who buys the real estate they stand on can do whatever they want with them — including razing them.

  • Please got to this website for valuable information:
    As most of you know by now, the Seneca Nation of Indians plans its groundbreaking ceremony for its proposed casino in the heart of Buffalo’s historic Cobblestone District on Thursday, December 8, at 10:30 a.m. According to the Buffalo News, the groundbreaking will take the form of a wrecking ball swung at the HO Oats grain elevator and mill at Marvin and Fulton Streets. The HO complex is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, and as such its destruction would violate state and federal preservation laws.
    Showing his usual disdain for the concerns and welfare of ordinary citizens, and for the laws he is sworn to uphold, the Governor is expected to participate in this ceremony. What can you expect from the leader of a government that recently announced its intent to use its eminent domain powers to evict homeowners and businesses from their Niagara Falls properties to make them available for expansion of the Seneca Niagara Casino complex?
    Well, we plan to be on hand as well — 10:00 on Thursday at the corner of Marvin and Fulton Streets — to protest this symbolic act of demolition with an informational picket. Afterwards, we will hand out leaflets at downtown locations to be announced later. Please try to JOIN US if you possibly can, and please watch your e-mail for further details as our plans develop more fully.

  • MD

    Correct me if I am wrong but even razing buildings have to go in front of the city and planning board for public review? I never saw a public notice of this event occuring did you?

  • Planning board? Public review?
    That property is no longer in New York State, much less the City of Buffalo.
    You can thank Governor Pataki and the State Senate and Assembly for ceding parts of NYS and the City of Buffalo to a sovereign Indian nation.
    I would doubt that any City or State civil regulations apply to that property.

  • “A Buffalo casino would be a “convenience casino,” deriving its revenue almost entirely from local residents. At best, locals will gamble with money that would otherwise be spent at restaurants and theaters, or to buy consumer goods. At worst, it they will gamble with the grocery and rent money.
    Casino advocates tell us it takes three to five years for the casinos to do their economic development magic. (How convenient, since Buffalo is being asked to establish its casino just shy of three years from the opening of the Seneca Niagara casino). But, outside of Las Vegas, there is not one area where casinos have fulfilled this promise. What we see in cities like Detroit and Atlantic City is urban blight and increased crime, bankruptcy and gambling addiction. What we don’t see is economic prosperity.” – taken from
    I don’t consider a casino in Buffalo progress. Proponents of the casino are looking for that silver bullet and are ignoring reality. We already have plenty casinos in NF, NY and NF, Ontario for those who wish to gamble and smoke indoors. The Senecas need to be held accountable for their actions, just as politicians and corporations must. This is truly a travesty – IT WILL NOT HELP BUFFALO!

  • brainman

    Ethan Cox: we did try another way to atone for our transgressions regarding Native American’s: They’re called reservations. Have you visited one or worked on one lately? As for Mr. Tielman I believe he and/or his wife own a building on Main Street that looks like hell and the ceiling is or was falling in. Grandstanding for (quasi) political jockeying is all that this amounts to. Read the Greater Buffalo Publication: every article is by, guess who? and all negative. “I hate the ugly federal court building, I hate the proposed Health Now building, move this, keep that, don’t touch the flooded AM&A’s building” (that’s stinking), WAAA! WAA WAA Cry-baby Tielman. I’m loving the demolition of HO OATS and I hope there are many more of the ghastly, rusty, dangerous, stinking eyesores to come down and there will be with the new deal just struck with the NYPA as the entrepreneurs with the big money (not big mouths) buy-up the waterfront and make this place proud. Govenor Pataki: How nice to see you!

  • brainman:
    I don’t believe reservations are either an attempt to atone for the sins of the past (they are rather a part of it) or nice places; I certainly don’t need to visit or work on one to know that, as I’m sure you’re aware.
    But in order to challenge my position, you actually had to provide evidence that either:
    1) casinos have improved conditions for native americans or
    2) nothing else would be more beneficial.
    you did neither, ergo, I consider my statement unchalleneged by you.

  • MD

    It is unfortunate that the only way to have a discussion about the future of Buffalo is by name calling, yelling and screaming. It seems that there has to be a thoughtful conversation about the growth of the city to make it successful instead. Arenit you tired of one time deals that never grow into fruition that are stand alone elements and donit take into consideration the betterment of the overall city? Case in point: Convention Center, Bass Pro, Donavan Building. My original point is that the Seneca Nation is going to move forward with demolition of this property and they havenit even presented a plan for the Casinois design. From what I am hearing they donit even want to build on this site they want to use the DLW so why tear down this building? For another surface parking lot? That is not how you create a vibrant bustling city and I believe that is what we are trying to achieve.
    With the Erie Canal development occurring, Health Now and a multitude of other developments occurring I hate to see this momentum distracted by the misguided development of a casino. This is an issue that needs to be discussed and not ignored and rushed through. And remember not everyone views this building as beautiful or ugly but it is a piece of Buffalois history that we are tearing down for no reason other to make a political deadline. Did we not learn anything from the Erie County struggle, avoiding an issue will only get you in trouble.

  • brainman – just because you think the H-O complex is a “stinking eyesore” doesn’t make it so. Many see beauty in it, and like many old and crumbling buildings everywhere, it can be restored to become a unique visual icon for this neighborhood.
    The Cobblestone District can become a very vibrant and unique urban neighborhood like The Pearl in Portland or SoMa in SF. We don’t need an antiseptic suburban oasis downtown – we need to maintain its old character and complement it with thoughtful and appropriate new development. A casino and parking ramp is neither.
    There aren’t many original buildings left in Cobblestone – we need to preserve every last one and use the existing empty spaces for new development. If we don’t, we’ll end up with a bland and tacky Anywhere, USA neighborhood.
    Do we really need a mini-Vegas in Buffalo when we’ve already got one 20 minutes to the north? This casino is NOT going to bring new tourists to Buffalo – it’ll end up being another Buffalo Boondoggle. Only the Senecas will benefit – everyone else looses.

  • comptart

    shop it all n (I know you already know this) the Seneca Nation can do whatever the hell they want on whatever land they own because they are a SOVEREIGN NATION, not accountable to local, state or federal laws. Might as well have handed it over to France, China, Sri Lanka for that matter.
    WebstersOe SOVEREIGN = possessed of supreme power b : unlimited in extent : ABSOLUTE c : enjoying autonomy :
    Gov Pataki is the one we ought to be reeling about!!! I’d like to see him give away rights to the core of Albany or HIS hometown and see how popular that makes him with the neighbors! He treats upstate like the back 40, dumping all his trash and neglecting his properties (can you say Psych Center!?) that don’t “face the street” (aka Albany and NYC).

  • comptart

    Does anyone here know anyone in leadership of the Seneca Nation? Do ya think it would be useful to email them a link to this and simillar postings and comments? Color me starry-eyedOe maybe there’s some explanation of plan to be learned? or at the very least, and opportunity to influence. Isn’t that what BRO is really all aboutOe influence?

  • Gabe

    The only way the casino would work is if there was legal prostitution and marijuana cafes on the premisis, a little “Amsterdam on the Lake.” Otherwise I couldn’t think of a single damn reason why any toursit would take a detour from NF to come down to this thing.

  • Cynthia Hammond

    Cheektowaga, dear neighbors, where are you when we so desperately need you? You can have the Senecas back, no questions asked. It wasn’t true love, it was just a physical thing, you see. It wasn’t that good for us, and we don’t need a date to the prom this badly. You could plunk them down by the airport, give ’em a chunk of your mall, perhaps there’s a section of Union Rd no one would miss. I’ll throw in the corsage, and I will get Tim Tielman to pay for the tux…Seriously, this is a lousy idea on just about every level, whether you’re talking ethics, aesthetics, history, or plain business sense. Since when is getting a few cents back on a dollar spent considered a great source of revenue?

  • Cynthia – the Cheektowaga casino was set to be constructed literally blocks from a residential neighborhood and very close to a school.
    This particular casino that requires ceding of land to create a sovereign exclave in New York State is bad whether in downtown or Cheektowaga.

  • Wilkeson

    brainman, could you be more specific with regard to Tim’s property on Main Street? I have heard nothing about that and wonder whether someone hasn’t been misleading you.

  • Wilkeson

    brainman, just a quick follow-up. The City shows no property owned by time and the only property owned by his wife as the house they live in. So, again, if you could offer something more specific it would be helpful.

  • hulking old grain elevator vs. indian casino

    The H-O Oats mill and grain elevator in Buffalo NY is going to meet the wrecking ball tomorrow morning, to make way for a casino and/or parking lot to be built by the Seneca tribe. (I had some things…

  • Brainman is possibly referring to property owned by Scot and Jessie Fisher on Main at Ferry, which has been cited for violations.
    Preservation activism (like Tim does) does not pay enough to amass big or even small real estate portfolios, which is why preservationists are not out buying every vulnerable building in sight.

  • Chris Hawley

    It doesn’t take an avid preservationist to see the value of hundreds of new loft residences repopulating the Elk Market District only blocks from Main Street and the waterfront. Rebuilding Buffalo’s economy will require, in part, attracting creative people who demand innovative new housing in urban neighborhoods. The HO Oats Mill and Elevator are all apart of that puzzle. Buffalo demolished hundreds of these kinds of buildings forty years ago. If they were still around, developers in neighborhoods like Brooklyn’s Williamsburg or Denver’s LoDo would have looked to us for inspiration, not the other way around. There’s still a core grouping of well-constructed, character-besotted industrial structures with the critical mass necessary to rebuild a vital neighborhood in Lower Downtown. Erasing the HO Oats Mill and Elevator will be a serious detriment to that goal. The buildings were a natural next step, and before this deal, that was Carl Paladino’s longstanding plan for the complex.
    It’s a remarkably discouraging commentary to admit that we’ve never ceased making the same mistakes, over and over, for the past fifty years and counting.

  • momo

    Where are these new “loft” residents coming from? There is not a new wave of people moving here…just like the restaurants…just shuffling people around from Elmwood area to downtown lofts

  • RealityChecker

    The silo is ugly, it wasnt meant to be pretty like the buildings are it was a SILO!I the preservation board wants to save everything but where is the money? I dont agree that buffalo needs a casino but I dont agree we need that silo either,

  • hamp

    Those that don’t find the grain silos attractive might want to read Le Corbusier’s book: “Towards a New Architecture”.
    He describes them as having “sublime” form. Great photos too.
    Also, Reyner Banham’s “A Concrete Atlantis” has lots of Buffalo grain elevators.

  • Cook

    We shouldn’t be focussing on this pathetic building that is an eyesore, and dangerous to anyone that goes in it. No one wants to live in an area that has nothing going for it. This will hopefully begin a neibhorhood of mixed use gaming, shopping, sports entertainment and an area that has something for everyone and every age. We should now focus on other close by buildings that can be converted and even build new ones. For every development, you need forward progress to start new investments. We all know Buffalo has enough old buildings to focus on especially in the cobblestone district, lets focus on those now to make everything work together. Lets all focus on moving on and fighting the right battles. And if you hate casinos that much dont go. For every one else lets make buffalo a destination. There are many other old buildings we could convert just like the lofts right across the street. The more diversity and option the better. Casinos, Shopping, Sports, Bars, Fishing Stores, Boating, Restaurants chain and local. Buffalo hoefully the place for everyone.

  • Orlando C. Monaco

    Respectively speaking to all preservationist, Buffalo needs to preserver it’s heritage but we also need to move this city forward. These silos are an eye sore and offer no esthetic enhancements to the downtown area. As I drive into work everyday downtown I find these buildings make Buffalo look run down and in a state of disrepair. Historicaly speaking the initial terminus ot the Erie Canal and the Martin Darwin house are historical landmarks not some dilapitated grain and cement silos.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think anyone should shed anymore tears over the H&O silos. As I understand it