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ReHab Walk: A Good Sign for Buffalo

This
year, while attending Garden Walk Buffalo 2009, I took the opportunity to look beyond
the beds and take in the neighborhoods and homes in them, many of which were in
the process of being rehabilitated.

What
I noticed is that Garden Walk has
brought tremendous synergy to its neighborhoods–not just inspiring flowers and
gardens–but also a lot of house painting and, increasingly, house rehabs. As a
matter of fact, I made my own path and found rehabs on the City’s West Side
this year that weren’t even on the Garden Walk.

Rehabs
are an important sign to me of continuing progress in the rebirth of the West
Side of Buffalo. I can recall specifically not seeing any rehabs during the
90’s. Instead, I saw a lot of “For Sale” signs, so many in fact, that I started
wondering whether something deadly was happening on Buffalo’s West Side.

In
the mid 90’s, it wasn’t uncommon to see 5 or 6 “For Sale ” signs on both sides
of the street on every block of Richmond, Ashland and Norwood and just as many
on the cross streets. There is no doubt in my mind that the GardenWalk was a
main contributor in ending this very scary situation. Currently, you see one
house for sale, maybe every other block, and it sells quickly and for a good
price. Rehabs don’t happen in declining neighborhoods.

Rehabs
express progress, and they express faith in the future of Buffalo.

So,
let’s start with 109 Norwood (rendering at top and photo below). This house is undergoing a complete external and
internal overhaul. The finished product will be a single-family and brick.

norwood.jpg

Another
house that is undergoing external and intensive internal renovation is located
at 345 Virginia Street (below). It too will be a single when the renovations are finished.

virginia.jpg

A
house located at 196 West Tupper Street (below) is undergoing extensive renovation and will
join a number of houses that have recently been rehabbed on this street.

tupper.jpg

Interestingly,
a house at the corner of Johnson Park and Carolina Street (below) that’s been the subject
of a past BRO post is almost finished with
it’s renovations. It will be a two-family dwelling. There are other rehabs
going on, some on the West Side and some in other neighborhoods of the city.
Some of these will be the subjects of future stories on rehabs by other BRO
contributors.

jpark and caro.jpg

UPDATE

Two
years ago, I wrote a similar story about houses that were being
rehabbed that summer (last photo in previous post). One rehab project involved 5 houses on Bryant Street that
had been destined to become offices for Kaleida but instead were being rehabbed
as residences by Peyton Barlow. I’ve included pictures of a few of the finished rehabs
belowt.

bryant1.jpg

bryant2.jpg

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