The beautiful little storefront building at 454 Connecticut Street featured as a likely demolition candidate a week ago goes before the Buffalo Preservation Board this Thursday December 5th as the first step in the demolition permit process. The owner is requesting the demolition to “beautify the land” according to the Preservation Board agenda. This jibes with sources who state that they have been in contact with the owner who allegedly says they would like to remove the building because it is an eyesore which is beyond repair. I do not believe the Preservation Board has anything but advisory authority in this case since this is not a designated historic landmark or preservation district. But if they approve the demolition it is a virtual guaranty that this building will be sent to the dump. In any event it is important that anyone interested in saving this jewel try to be at the meeting and show support for saving it. The city government has to be made aware of the importance and value of these irreplaceable buildings. Losing this treasure to a few new shrubs and some mulch will be a travesty.
This building is an eyesore only to those who lack vision. Demolition will be shortsighted and will rob this rebounding street of real potential. An interested developer has approached the owner with an offer and assurances of a quality restoration. Last I heard was rebuffed. The building is in rough shape but hardly beyond saving. Ironically the removal of the drab (asbestos?) siding prior to the demo permit approval has shown the building to have a remarkable amount of its delicate original detailing. The missing windows make this look like a burned out shell but its lines are plumb and the roof looks relatively new. Buffalo has to stop this kind of short sight removal of its historic assets. The continued degradation of the city fabric is harmful to everyone. These are the buildings that are drawing people back into the city. A new “green space” filled with sparse and sickly looking shrubs in place of this building will be the opposite of beautifying this land and most certainly will do nothing for the growth of this business street.
Buffalo Preservation Board Meeting N0. 595, Thursday December 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm room 901 City Hall