It was brought to our attention via email this past Saturday that McBride’s Tavern (c.1850’s) was in danger of coming down. The ice, snow and recent high winds crumbled the front of the of the building on the corner of Chicago and Miami Streets in the city’s First Ward neighborhood.
As recently as January 11, the owner of the building, police detective William Crawford, was vowing to move and reopen the tavern. Details of the building’s history can be found in this Buffalo News story by Gene Warner. The tavern was slated for an emergency demolition, and Crawford was given a deadline of today, February 5th, to come up with a plan according to Garrett’s city hall contact.
The author of the email we received, Buffalo Preservation Coalition Board President Cynthia Van Ness, had hoped that the building could be preserved, but Harvey Garrett felt that the assessment couldn’t be made “without a stamped structural engineer’s report, a financial plan with timelines, and some level of comfort that the current owner (or a new owner / partner) was able to complete the project.”
Commissioner Richard Tobe Department of Economic Development, Permit and Inspections got back to Garrett saying that he would meet with McBride’s owner on Friday to discuss the fate of the building. The city had filed in housing court in early January, but Tobe explained that the structure, owned by a corporation, had yet to go to court.
In Garrett’s words, “Tobe is a good guy trying to do the right thing. If he’s given a good plan he’ll support it.”