Author: Robert Creenan
In an extraordinary meeting at City Hall, the Buffalo Preservation Board motioned to recommend three sites for local landmark status – the Crosby Company site, the North Park Library, and the Bachelor Apartments.
For each of these buildings to be recommended, they needed to meet at least one of the nine criteria laid out by the common council. The three sites in question each met at least six of the criteria.
The North Park Library was brought up first, with the detail of how its architect, Howard Beck, designed over 20 public use buildings in Buffalo, including libraries, firehouses, schools, and police precincts. It is the only remaining 1920’s property in the north Buffalo neighborhood it resides in. Some of the citizens that spoke up for the library grew up spending time there, to read after school or simply for fun. If the former library becomes a landmark and reopens (in any capacity), it needs to be cleared of asbestos issues, which is why it initially closed.
The Bachelor Apartment building is believed to be the first purpose-built apartment building in Buffalo, dating from the 1880’s. The demolition plans call for it to be replaced with a parking ramp. Some current and former tenants of the building were in attendance to speak on its behalf, saying that they loved living in such a historic building. A tenant who lived in the building in the 1960’s said that he saw many of the buildings surrounding it being torn down for parking spaces. The current historic state The Bachelor is a bit altered from its original appearance – it has inappropriate windows for the architectural style, and it has a paint job that doesn’t match the period it was built. If the building is issued landmark status, then renovations will take place to restore it to its former splendor.
The Crosby Company site discussion had the privilege of Jason Crosby (building owner) talking about the steps he was taking with the complex. Crosby brought along a representative from Clinton Brown Company Architecture, as well as his lawyer, in order to table the decision for 30 days. The concerns Crosby raised were that he wants to know the specific buildings that are being considered for preservation, to which the board replied that the entire lot is what’s being considered, as each building complements the other in industrial heritage. The preservation forms delivered were very specific in the buildings that preservationists want listed. A number of people present are hoping to see the complex transformed into a small business district. The renovation of the complex would be a very exiting advancement for that part of town. A philanthropic gesture from Mr. Crosby would be remarkable to see, as the future of the site is mostly dependent on key structural repairs and refurbishment.
What happens next is that the Common Council will decide whether to act on the board’s recommendations or not. There is no set timeframe for this stage, so the best way to let them know where you stand is to get in contact with your representatives.
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Also, for detailed information on each site, visit the following:
Photos: Preservation Ready