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Common Council to Vote on Local Landmark Designation for Trico Next Week

If you have an
interest in the historic built environment of Buffalo, live in the Fruit Belt, and/or
are concerned about the future of the National Register listed, Trico #1
Building don’t miss the next Common Council meeting. The meeting will be held
on Tuesday, March 26th in the Council’s chambers on the 13th
floor of City Hall at 2 pm. This is the ONLY public meeting before the common
council legislative committee decides whether or not to designate Trico as a
local landmark. The designation was unanimously approved by the Preservation
Board and now the ultimate decision lies with the Council. 

We need you
there to show your support! If Trico becomes a local landmark, we will have
more say in what happens to Trico (aka – your personal tax dollars). This gives
us the right to have an open process about this nationally registered historic
building. Trico is of the same construction and open floor plates as the
buildings in the Larkin District that Howard Zemsky, Jim Cornell, and others
have successfully transformed in recent years.

RSVP to the
event on Buffalo’s Young Preservationists (BYP) Facebook page by
clicking here. Below
is a letter of support for the landmark designation by BYP to the Common
Council:

We,
Buffalo’s Young Preservationists, write in full support of local landmark designation
for the Nationally Register-listed Trico Plant No. 1 Building located in the
Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The question
is not, “Why should Trico Plant #1 be a local landmark?” Instead, the question
is,  “Why isn’t Trico already one?”

Trico Plant
#1 is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places which
proves, and meets numerous City of Buffalo landmark criteria, including (1),
(3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8) and (9). The building has character, interest and
value as part of the development, heritage and cultural characteristics of the
City, state and nation. It exemplifies the historic, architectural, economic
and cultural heritage of the City of Buffalo. The complex is identified with
John R. Oishei, a person who significantly contributed to the development of
the City and still continues to do so through the Oishei Foundation that he
initiated.

Trico Plant
#1 embodies distinguishing characteristics of the “Daylight Factory”
modern architectural style, which has been valuable for the study of a period,
type, and method of construction. Deeply influencing not only American
architects, but also German, French and other modern architects. The building
embodies elements of design that render it architecturally significant. Showing
its internal construction, was both structurally and architecturally
innovative.

The building
should be designated based on those facts alone, but Buffalo should consider
one more thing: making Trico Plant #1 a local landmark is sound public policy,
in line with ideas established in the City’s new Green Code, and the
Comprehensive Plan outlined in 2006. The building is eligible for New York and
Federal historic tax credits, making many of the BNMC’s plans possible, but
only if the structural and historic integrity is maintained.

Examples to
follow are not even that far away: the buildings of the Larkin District have
nearly the same exact floorplate and design, and have been rehabilitated
spectacularly. The same could be done with Trico, avoiding a demolition that
would be costly, as well as environmentally and historically irresponsible.

In closing,
to not protect and reuse Trico Plant #1 would fly in the face of rationality,
in the face of environmental and economic sustainability, as well as the proven
successes around Buffalo. To ignore the significance of the building to
Buffalo’s past would be in direct violation of the city’s own mission and
guidelines in regards to historic structures. Designating this building a local
landmark ensures its integrity as a cultural resource, as well as preserves it
to potentially become another example of sound, sustainable, development
practices, and to do anything otherwise would be negligent on the part of this
city and its leadership.

Sincerely,

Buffalo’s
Young Preservationists

bypteam@gmail.com

Written by Mike Puma

Mike Puma

Writing for Buffalo Rising since 2009 covering development news, historic preservation, and Buffalo history. Works professionally in historic preservation.

View All Articles by Mike Puma
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