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PBN Submits Local Landmark Application for Delaware Court and Pushes Preservation Board for Designation

Last week on December 4th, Preservation Buffalo Niagara announced their push to have the Delaware Court Building designated as a local landmark. The building has been threatened with demolition since plans to build a new 12-story structure in its place were made public by the owner earlier this year.

The local landmark application for the Delaware Court Building went before the Preservation Board last Thursday (12/5) for their approval but was tabled by the Board for being ‘incomplete’. Watch Channel 2’s coverage of that meeting HERE. The Preservation Board had previously voted to approve the demolition permit and decided against landmarking the building. Preservation Buffalo Niagara received confirmation in October from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) that the building is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Preservation Board is expected to make a final decision on the landmark application for the Delaware Court Building at their next meeting on December 19th at 3pm in room 901 in Buffalo’s City Hall. The public will have an opportunity to provide input to the Board at this time. PBN encourages all interested individuals to attend and persuade the Board to approve the landmark application.  You can read the full application by clicking here.

Below is PBN’s original press release from December 4th for reference:

Tomorrow, December 5th, the Buffalo Preservation Board (Board) will be considering action on a local landmark application for the Delaware Court Building (Building) located at 250 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo. The Board had previously moved to explore designating the Building as a local landmark at their September 5th meeting but has not taken any related action since. On September 19th the Board voted to Receive and File a demolition permit request by the owner Uniland Development Company (Owner) for the Building. If the Board is successful with their action to designate the Building, the Owner would not be prevented from demolishing the Building; the designation would allow the community to have an opportunity to provide input on the proposed future of the Building.
Local Historic Landmark designation is a critical tool used to protect threatened historic buildings and sites in the Buffalo Niagara community. Under the City of Buffalo’s Preservation Ordinance, the Board has a duty to actively survey and locally designate properties that are historically significant to the city’s history. To be considered a local landmark, properties must fulfill at least one of nine established criteria relating to architectural design, historic significance, and community importance outlined in the Ordinance. The Building has already been determined by the New York State Historic Preservation Office to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places which means it does qualify under the criteria for local landmark designation. If successfully designated as a local landmark, a property then has the benefits of local recognition for its history as well as protection in the form of additional permit review and a mandatory public hearing regarding any major potential plans for the site. This elevated status ensures the opportunity for meaningful community dialogue and protects the interest of the public in preserving our city’s priceless architectural heritage.

Preservation Buffalo Niagara (PBN) fully supports the Board’s decision to pursue local landmark designation for the Delaware Court Building. After having an opportunity to review the landmark application (Click here to view the application), PBN believes that the Building is eligible for listing as a local landmark as the Building meets the criteria outlined in the Preservation Ordinance. Although designating the Delaware Court Building as a local landmark can not ultimately prevent the Owner from demolishing the Building, PBN firmly believes that the resulting community input would be vital in the discussion surrounding the future of this community asset. Local landmark designation is a vital privilege entitled to the citizens of the City of Buffalo and must actively be pursued in order to ensure the uniqueness of our city and region.

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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