BRO Submission By Franklin LaVoie:
This Tuesday, July 14th, at 6PM, at Rockwell Hall, on the Buff State Campus, the public will have their last chance to comment on the master plans for the renovation and reuse of the Richardson-Olmsted Complex which includes the old State Hospital brownstone towers on Forest Avenue. Thus far these meetings have been extremely well run, and very well attended. They pass out devices that look like a VCR remote, and this allows them to poll the audience with the results appearing instantly on wide screen projection TVs. It’s cutting edge, high tech, and it’s fun to participate.
At issue is how to reuse the ROC brownstone towers and the adjacent facilities. Currently, the master plan calls for an Architectural Museum, two hotels, boutique shop, apartments, and offices. I’m certain Buffalo can do better. I believe Buffalo’s destiny hinges upon this single issue: How to move forward with the Richardson-Olmsted Complex?
In case readers don’t already know, H.H. Richardson and Frederick Law Olmsted are, respectively, (and arguably) the greatest American Architect and Landscape Architect in American history. Their collaboration in Buffalo has catapulted the ROC onto the National Historic Registry, therefore, there are goodly funds mandated for its reuse. Here are three themes I think Buffalo must consider for this generous allocation: Green Technologies, Integrative Medicine, and The Arts in Healthcare, by focusing on these three issues at the ROC, Buffalo could position itself at the forefront of energy, infrastructure, and healthcare reform ahead of the Nation.
If the City of Buffalo were to feature Healthcare, Green Architecture, Alternative Energy, and The Arts in Healthcare, we’d be ‘taking the bull by the horns’ thus creating a future worth holding onto. The advantages to this strategy are many: the Nation’s energy and healthcare crises gets addressed; we create green jobs on the Niagara Frontier; all Colleges, Universities, and K-12 Schools, benefit, as can Buffalo’s hospitals and neighborhoods. We can attract world class scholars and innovators, and benefit from green clean technology. Our Schools can help transform Buffalo’s blight into green model homes, advancing research and innovation.
Western New York is a powerful hub where three sources for alternative energy are found in abundance, it’s a perfect corridor for such research. Buffalo-Niagara is the site of the first, and perhaps the greatest green energy revolution in history [hydro-electric alternating power] Let’s honor this distinction with more of the same. If you hearken to this vision please come to Tuesday’s meeting and be heard.
RICHARDSON OLMSTED COMPLEX PUBLIC MEETING
Last in a Series
Tuesday, July 14, 2009, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
Rockwell Hall, Buffalo State College
1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY
*Join the Community Advisory Group with the Richardson Center Corporation and it’s team of consultants for the final presentation of the Richardson Olmsted Complex Master Plan. Work on the Master Plan is nearly complete; your input so far has helped shape a series of elegant yet practical strategies for rehabilitating and reusing the historic Richardson Olmsted Complex. The planning team will present their proposals, transitioning the Richardson Center Corporation’s (RCC) work from planning to implementation. The RCC will provide updates on ongoing work including progress on stabilizing the buildings and landscape. You are invited to join the Community Advisory Group, the RCC, and the planning team in a discussion of this work and a final opportunity to comment on the Master Plan before the GEIS process.