There is a concern among neighbors in Parkside that one of its anchor buildings is on its way to becoming a suburbanized eyesore. After years of hoping that the owners of a low profile (literally) building would spruce up the facade, and attract a series of stable commercial tenants, those hopes are now waining. While there is no word about future tenants, it is plain to see the direction that the building is going. The old wood doors have been replaced with plastic-looking doors. The leaded glass windows (some that were under plank boards) have been removed, and word on the street is that the building owners were, at one point, hoping to create a Disney-esque themed facade. It’s times like this when you wonder what the heck is going on with The City’s Green Code.
If done properly, this building, located across from The Zoo, could become a gem for the neighborhood. If done improperly, it could become a real eyesore. I spoke to one neighbor who was jumping up and down, mad as hell about the changes that were underway. Seeing that this is essentially a gateway to such a historic neighborhood, there are those who are wondering how, in this day and age, work can be underway on a building that appears to be stripping the valuable character from the exterior.
For years the Parkside Community Association has been working hard to bring back the luster of surrounding blocks. This building is about as high profile as it gets, with thousands of people passing by each day. It is easy to see the building blocks being resurrected all around this building. In the midst of what appears to be a bit of a renaissance in the district, this could be a significant setback if the work continues on in this direction.
Original drawings for the building are apparently beautiful, ands still exist. The plans that the owners presented The Parkside Community Association approximately a year ago were said to be very Disney-esque. Those plans did not get the seal of approval from the organization, and now no one is exactly sure what the current plans entail.
The historic windows are being removed right now, including the transoms. The vinyl windows are coming, and the plastic doors are being installed. Let’s hope that some of this can be reversed, for the benefit of Parkside and the city of Buffalo.