Last year, when the pizzeria building located at the corner York and West was knocked down, many neighbors feared that parking for D’Youville College was imminent. The corner is high profile in that it is very visible when traveling down Porter Avenue from the Peace Bridge to the Kleinhans neighborhood. We all know how parking can change the look and feel of a neighborhood – just look at the property that was formerly Duty Free located on Porter Avenue at Front Park… it’s an embarrassment.
When I spoke to neighbors regarding the substantial corner gardens, they told me that they were the result of a community effort and a progressive watchdog campaign. Whether or not D’Youville originally intended the land to be parking, it became apparent that there were plenty of people willing to put up a fight to ensure that the corner was designated as a garden. If you remember what the pizzeria building looked like, it was not the most attractive setup on the block, and nearby homeowners are very pleased to see the green space being added – so much so that a few of them are now working on their own gardens.
The project is a joint effort “spurred on by the DYC advisory board that Councilmember Rivera formed”, which includes D’Youville College, the immediate neighbors and Fargo Estate and College District block clubs.