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19th Street Block Party: A Great Reason To Celebrate

19th-party-Buffalo-NYA little over a year ago Buffalo Rising featured an article on some of the transformations that had taken place on 19th Street on the city’s West Side. Over the years, the street had become a haven for drugs and gang activity, and many said that it could not be cleaned up. Instead of figuring out a solution, more people moved out of the neighborhood and the battle appeared to be lost by the community.

Then organizations such as Homefront (The Homeownership Center), with the help of grassroots community activists, People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH) and The City, began to reclaim this street (and others) by making purchases and then renovations to derelict houses. The plan was to get the houses filled with homeowners who would take care of the properties and ultimately the neighborhood.

This morning I saw that PUSH (a pioneering organization that paved the way for others) was promoting a 19th Street block party, which to me is an incredible sign that the neighborhood is indeed continuing to rebound, and is ready to show off its victories. The party is being organized by one of the street’s newest Homefront home owners, Lori Willoughby.

From PUSH:

“They say that when you plant seeds that one day they begin to grow. Lori Willoughby has been a welcome addition to 19th St. She has organized this street’s first ever block party. She’s inviting the community to come on out!”

And this from Michael Hargrave’s 2012 article:  (see BRO article

homefront, inc., a community development agency located on 780 Fillmore, is part way through a large community rebuilding effort on the city’s West Side. For the time being, the agency is focusing on 19th Street, very close to several other projects by organizations such as People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH) and a few private investors. 
What the organization is doing is far more ambitious than cleaning up a vacant home or two. They’ve gone and purchased several homes on 19th – a street that has long been known for its illicit activities. In fact, Homefront purchased just about all of the homes that were vacant and available for sale – a number that tallies about 10, and may grow as the program expands. 
The homes are getting completely stripped out and rebuilt to code with the intent that future homeowners will not have any major maintenance for at least 15 years. 
Now it’s time to celebrate the transformations such as #38 19th Street (see below), as well as a number of others that you will find on Homefront’s Facebook page.
#38 - 19th Street
#38 – 19th Street

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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