Preservation Buffalo Niagara(PBN) will be hosting a press conference this today Monday, April 29th at Noon at City Hall in downtown Buffalo. Tom Yots, Executive Director of PBN, and other speakers will address the media regarding the pending decision to locally landmark the historic Trico Plant #1 Building. The Trico building was previously denied landmark status last spring when the common council refused to act on the application. The Trico building, which has been listed on the National Register since 2002, has been determined to be eligible for landmark status by the City of Buffalo Preservation Board twice in the past year – both unanimous votes by the board. The Common Council will have another opportunity to approve the landmark designation for the Trico building during next Tuesday, April 30th’s council meeting. This local designation would allow for greater transparency and ensure valuable public involvement in the reuse discussions surrounding the property. Local landmark designation would also protect the historic integrity of the Trico building and it’s eligibility for historic tax credits and/or other State and Federal funding which could ultimately be used to rehabilitate the property. PBN asks that it’s members as well as the general public to actively support the local landmark designation of the Trico Plant #1 Building by contacting their respective City of Buffalo Common Council Members before next Tuesday’s Council meeting.
The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) has proposed demolishing all or part of the massive building so that they can expand their incubator facility on this block. They are proposing to demolish a portion of the building to construct a new building directly adjacent to their current facility. They have also floated the possibility of demolishing the remainder of the building to accommodate temporary parking. BNMC has stated they are not interested in renovating the former factor for any use.
My hope is that the BNMC think again and perhaps take their very valuable project to another block in this part of the city. There are acres of parking that need to be filled in with dense urbanism. There are a couple of blocks of cheaply built one story buildings on Main Street, just a block away, that desperately need to be replaced with quality buildings. Certainly there is nothing magical about the TRICO block that keeps them from considering other nearby options.
If you think that there is no way to possibly ever renovate the big old TRICO #1 then take a look at these 2 recent BRO stories, one on reuse of dozens of similar factories in Milwaukee
and the other showing reuse of a giant factory in Chicago
. It is just one of hundreds of such buildings renovated in that city. If these examples are too far away for you to relate to then check out what was done with the equally massive TRICO Plant #2 now known as Tri Main Center
. Or you can look at the Larkin Development Group’s
work with 2 giant warehouses which did not even have the benefit of being downtown and near a major medical center. Renovation of TRICO #1 is doable. It should not be demolished and it should be declared a local landmark – becasue it is!