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Wrecking Buffalo: 2016, a Preview of What Might be Lost

The pace of real estate development in Buffalo has caught fire in the last five years or so.  A trickle of new construction less than a decade ago has now arguably become a torrent.  The downtown area alone boasts 54 projects, large and small, recently completed, under construction, or recently announced.  Additional projects out in the neighborhoods, such as the Larkin District, the massive River Bend solar panel pant in South Buffalo, and countless renovations in the Elmwood and West Side areas totaling in the billions of dollars have visibly boosted spirits in Buffalo.

Much of this new development activity has taken the form of historic renovation.  Locations previously unimaginable for investment are seeing major renovation projects, with long empty buildings filling up with tenants immediately upon completion.  Historic buildings formerly thought of as demolition candidates are suddenly seen as valuable resources. Developers have been scouring the city in search of the buildings that provide the unique historic character that today’s tenant market is demanding.  Only a short three years ago civic leaders could imagine nothing more for the massive downtown Trico building than to turn it into a “temporary” parking lot.  Today the building is on the verge of being renovated into a major new downtown mixed use hub of commerce and activity.

With this new trend in mind you would think that Buffalo’s historic building resources would now be safe from demolition and neglect.  Each renovation has been like finding gold in the streets.  You don’t throw away gold right? You would think that these proven economic assets would be safe from destruction. But you would be wrong. Demolition of Buffalo’s valuable and finite historic buildings continues at a frantic pace.

Demolition by neglect is still a big thing in Buffalo and the city still has a problem holding slumlords accountable by not enforcing its building codes. East and West side residents continue to be victimized by neglectful owners who drag potentially strong neighborhoods down. Ineptitude at City Hall can be epitomized by the still rotting Blacksmith Shop in the Popular Canal Side/Cobblestone area. It is just a matter of time until a wall collapses and emergency demolition is ordered. But that’s not the only danger to Buffalo’s historic buildings.  In addition to demolition by neglect there is a growing new threat to Buffalo’s historic assets; demolition for development of new buildings.

Interestingly, as historic buildings available for renovation become more scarce, Buffalo’s developers have also begun planning for new buildings to fill demand in Buffalo’s popular neighborhoods.  Great, you say! Buffalo has gobs of empty land and parking lots crying out for new buildings!  But, more and more often developers are not targeting these empty  lots for their projects.  They are targeting the valuable historic building fabric that has spurred so much new interest in Buffalo as a place to live and do business.

Perhaps the most high-profile example of this demolition for development trend is Delaware North’s flashy new tower, built on the footprint of the elegant Delaware Court building at Delaware and Chippewa. The dramatically curved 1920’s era terra-cotta building was removed and replaced with a glassy tower.  As a gift back to the city the developer clad the first two floors with a superb replication of the original Delaware Court terra-cotta facade. People have unanimous praise for the replicated terra cotta. But, the clunky tower has gotten less complimentary reviews and the infill storefronts of the first two floors are a shallow mockery of the historic originals (more on that in another story).  A few blocks away,  acres of empty downtown land remain undeveloped. Could this project have filled one of those lifeless empty blocks?

Further up town in the Elmwood Village, a similar new development threatens a pair of historic blocks at Elmwood and Potomac.  Ciminelli Development has announced their intent to tear down some of the neighborhood’s most iconic historic commercial buildings to build a pair of multi-floor mixed use apartment buildings. Frizlen is said to be the project architect. The developer assure us that there is no need to worry, because they are planning to incorporate portions of the historic brick facades into the new structure. A few years back I wrote about one of these endangered buildings, pointing out the importance of Buffalo’s ordinary buildings.  Preservation is not just about saving the major landmarks.  Great cities are made up of a fine grain of beautiful little ordinary buildings like this one. The skate shop, which recently occupied this unique shop front with the elegant entryway stair announced that they have moved to Grant Street in order to make way for the proposed new development.  Pasting a historic facade onto a new building is not preservation.  This building is an important reason why people are attracted to the Elmwood Village.  Its loss will be a damned shame. With so much land in Buffalo begging for development it makes you scratch you head in wonder as to why this block needs to be destroyed.

These buildings are said to be doomed for new development.  Will the little building on the right serve as the garage entry?

A recent disturbing rumor has another delightful historic block of Elmwood in the crosshairs of development. An owner of a commercial building on the east side of Elmwood just south of Bryant posted on Facebook that a developer was asking if they were interested in selling their building.  They indicated that they had assembled adjacent buildings for a planned “corner project”  What that corner project is and how true the rumor is remains to be seen.  The corner in question holds one of Buffalo’s most charming groups of commercial buildings.  The property directly across the street to the west and north hold nothing more than parking.  These parking lots are begging to be filled with attractive pedestrian oriented development.  Why would a developer focus on destroying these gorgeous buildings instead of planning to eliminate these negative parking lots?  Shame on Buffalo if it allows these buildings to be destroyed.

elmwood

Rumor has this group of beauties in the crosshairs. 

Another instance of a developer proposing to replace a historic building with new development is a mixed bag.  The Project proposed by Elliciott Development would include renovation of the former Christian Center in combination with a new hotel/parking ramp tower on adjacent property.  The adjacent property is partially occupied by the historic Bachelor Building, which would need to be demolished.  The Bachelor is a simple but charming corner building, that has always been maintained in good condition. It is one of a few buildings still standing in this part of downtown.  Ellicott says that the project can only be done if the old building goes.  The Bachelor was originally a residence for young unmarried professional men just starting out on their career.  It is one of the earliest buildings designed by Buffalo’s great and prolific architect E.B. Green.  It will be replaced mostly by the parking ramp portion of Ellicott’s project.  The developer claims that this is one of the most congested parts of Downtown Buffalo, making parking essential.  Take a look at this image below.  The red represents land currently used for parking on the surrounding “congested” blocks.  The only thing congesting this part of the city is parking.  It is a terribly ugly part of the city because of the vast dead sea of asphalt.  It is a damned shame that Buffalo’s developers are so lacking in imagination that they cannot find a way to incorporate this beautiful little building into a new project while so much nearby empty land is begging for a higher use.  I am sure it would not be very hard to find space just a few feet away for the parking ramp.  Is demolition really necessary?  No, it really isn’t.

Bright red marks the Bachelor Building.  Aqua approximately marks the rest of Ellicott’s  proposed parking/hotel project. Dark red marks the vast array of parking options which supposedly are in short supply.

Here is some help finding that empty space. Just a block away from Ellicott’s proposed parking ramp / hotel is a vast empty space formerly occupied by a movie palace and the Vernor’s Building. Both grand buildings were removed over the preceding decades to create some of  that much sought after “development ready land”.   Except, the only development on this land has been creation of a grassy plot and a partially paved  parking lot fronting on Main Street.  Buffalo should be embarrassed that such a prominent site sits empty decade after decade.  Instead of developing this prominent corner, Buffalo’s developers are still demolishing the valuable historic buildings that have fueled so much recent interest and reinvestment in the city. Why demolish a valuable historic building while this gravel parking lot sits like this year after year after year after year?

“Main” Street in Buffalo, a gravel parking lot waiting for development, but somehow local developers still justify demolition as a necessity for their projects. 

 

This charming building is in the way of more parking in a neighborhood drowning in parking. 

Written by STEEL

STEEL

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of "Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land" ( www.blurb.com ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste,
advocate for a better way of doing things.

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  • OldFirstWard

    It’s unfortunate that even on this site, people with real estate connections and progressive thinking would love to destroy any building just like the pictures above to see some crappy bunch of lego blocks buildings rise up.  The profit margin means more than the character and historic vernacular of the area.
    What happened to Tim Tielman?  Is he retired from the active movement. Ever since he partnered with Howard Zemsky he has disappeared from the headlines and front lines.

  • BuffaloBoi

    what about that “Green Code” we keep hearing about?

  • LouisTully

    Blacksmith on Illinois? Darryl Carr? Anyone know an update?

  • clearly, for most developers, parking is sacred and buildings are expendable.

  • Captain Picard

    Are those buildings at Elmwood and Potomac really threatened with demolition, or is this just another one of STEEL’S silly pants-on-fire predictions? If so, I’d stand in front of the wrecking ball myself. It’s hard to imagine the loudmouths on Bidwell Parkway/Elmwood Village letting something like this happen. More details?

  • mikmo323

    BuffaloBoi Won’t be instituted for at least another year.

  • mikmo323

    BuffaloBoi Won’t be instituted for at least another year.

  • Carrotflower

    I’d add the Central Terminal to this list. The reaction to the news that the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation was selling the building to Harry Stinson despite his track record in Niagara Falls and Toronto (on projects that, it should be noted, are much smaller and less expensive than the Terminal) should have been long, loud, and unequivocally negative. Say what you want about the CTRC and the infighting on their board of directors and the lack of progress they’ve made – at least they’re committed in principle to the building’s preservation and have kept up-to-date enough on routine maintenance to keep the situation from getting worse than it already is. If Stinson buys the Terminal only to let it sit and rot like he did the Hotel Niagara, that’s a much worse scenario than the current one – the CRTC can’t renovate or do routine maintenance on a building they don’t own, so it’s left to its fate which could well be demolition by neglect.

  • Carrotflower

    I’d add the Central Terminal to this list. The reaction to the news that the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation was selling the building to Harry Stinson despite his track record in Niagara Falls and Toronto (on projects that, it should be noted, are much smaller and less expensive than the Terminal) should have been long, loud, and unequivocally negative. Say what you want about the CTRC and the infighting on their board of directors and the lack of progress they’ve made – at least they’re committed in principle to the building’s preservation and have kept up-to-date enough on routine maintenance to keep the situation from getting worse than it already is. If Stinson buys the Terminal only to let it sit and rot like he did the Hotel Niagara, that’s a much worse scenario than the current one – the CRTC can’t renovate or do routine maintenance on a building they don’t own, so it’s left to its fate which could well be demolition by neglect.

  • Carrotflower

    Captain Picard They haven’t even presented a formal proposal yet, so no one knows what they’re opposing. If all of the assumptions STEEL makes in this piece – that whatever proposal Ciminelli makes gets approved by the city, that the Preservation Board doesn’t try for a landmark designation, that the replacement will be a case of cheap facadism – then you can bet the Elmwood/Bidwell types will raise hell just like they did with Montante’s proposal for Gates Circle. But all of that is not nearly as certain as he’d have you believe from his ivory tower a thousand miles away. Max Willig – an architect who actually lives and works here and no doubt deals with the city on a regular basis as part of his practice – is on record as saying Elmwood/Bidwell is a dead project walking.

  • Wise Profit

    Old does not equal historic. If you think that’s the case then in 50 years the new buildings you condemn will be just as historic as those that have been lost.

  • Wise Profit

    Old does not equal historic. If you think that’s the case then in 50 years the new buildings you condemn will be just as historic as those that have been lost.

  • David Steele

    What is your point?

  • BuffalosFinest

    Abraham Lincoln once took a dump that was touched on accident by a construction worker who laid the foundation for these buildings .  The buildings should be named historic landmarks and sit there for 100 years for people to look at.

  • David Steele

    Are you saying that the only reason a building has value is if s historic figure has a connection to it? That seems very narrow minded.

  • David Steele

    Are you saying that the only reason a building has value is if s historic figure has a connection to it? That seems very narrow minded.

  • Wise Profit

    David Steele My point is condemning new in all circumstances if it doesn’t fit your agenda for preservation is silly because in 50 years the buildings you called new will be old and history will continue to be written. In 2100 they’ll be looking at the buildings built in 2015 and saying those are “historic”.

  • Wise Profit

    David Steele My point is condemning new in all circumstances if it doesn’t fit your agenda for preservation is silly because in 50 years the buildings you called new will be old and history will continue to be written. In 2100 they’ll be looking at the buildings built in 2015 and saying those are “historic”.

  • Stateofmind

    At the end of the day, it will come down to developers’ greed vs everyone else. Saddle up!

  • Stateofmind

    At the end of the day, it will come down to developers’ greed vs everyone else. Saddle up!

  • Wise Profit

    Stateofmind When you put money in your 401(k) or IRA account do you seek to make a return on your investment? Would you be okay with your co-workers telling you that you had to take a lower return because that’s what everyone else at the office decided?

  • Stateofmind

    Wise Profit Stateofmind If my deposits affected others’ investments directly, you better believe they are going to push back. Bad analogy.

  • Wise Profit

    Stateofmind Please name one, single development that has occurred or been proposed in Buffalo that has negatively impacted the value of homes for local residents.

  • Wise Profit

    David Steele Are you saying that a building is more valuable simply because its old? I would say that is equally narrow minded.

  • LouisTully

    The progressive perspective that preservation is only about the age of a building is silly.
    How the NPS evaluates:
    “Is the property associated with events, activities, or developments that
    were important in the past? With the lives of people who were important
    in the past? With significant architectural history, landscape history,
    or engineering achievements? Does it have the potential to yield
    information through archeological investigation about our past?”

  • Stateofmind

    Wise Profit Stateofmind This one. An additional three stories looming over Elmwood, the destruction of a set of buildings that work, the ousting of successful local businesses…all of this may be “new Buffalo” development, but it is at the expense of true quality of life.

  • Wise Profit

    Stateofmind Which one? There are many named in the article.

  • pfk67

    Wise Profit David Steele They should do that in Europe.  Take down the Colliseum because in 2000 yrs the new building will be considered old.  That is … ridiculous.

  • Wise Profit

    pfk67 Straw man much? What I try to avoid is extremism, like saying everything should be old or everything should be new.

  • pfk67

    Stateofmind Not sure if it is greed we are talking about here.  It is an idea that a developer had to make money and improve the city.  I agree with you that with the plethora of empty lots, is there a reason to tear anything down?  Statements like, that is the only way to do the project are silly.  He is trying to make money and support many employees.  That being said, preservationists should not just roll over.  I think the developers just need to be more creative.

  • David Steele

    Wise Profit David Steele No,  I am saying it is valuable because it is old, because it is beautiful, because it has fine craftsmanship and artistry, because it creates a great backdrop to the street, because it gives us a connection to past generations, because the replacement is more likely than not to be of lesser quality, because there are many many many many other blocks in Buffalo that need development more than this one.

  • David Steele

    Wise Profit David Steele You did not read the story.  No where did I condemn all new. Read the story then we can talk some more.

  • jmg2323

    Wise Profit David Steele No, he’s saying that a building has architectural style, which is made with high quality building material, which a lot of modern buildings are not. Plus a neighborhood is built out depending on a style and when half of it is going to be ripped out and changed it can really effect many things.

  • Wise Profit

    grad94 I think pointing the finger at the wrong person. I don’t think developers forced hundreds of thousands to move to the suburbs and escape what was at that time urban blight. The biggest detriment to bringing people back is the Buffalo Public Schools. Ask any parent if they want to move from Williamsville so their child can go to BPS and see what they say.

  • WiseDesign

    The point that why would you use land that has “historic” buildings on it when there is plenty of vacant land around is flawed for one big reason. The people that are trying to build do not own those vacant parcels.

  • mojemd01

    Captain Picard I keep seeing Steel on SNL so it must be true

  • pfk67

    Wise Profit pfk67 Extremism?  Maybe a little.  But, we are not talking about NYC here where they have already replaced the twin towers.  The next step in the redevelopment of Bflo is infill.  That is where the government has to take a role in planning the city, much like our predecessors. Buffalo still has 20+ yrs of development to make it comparable to other cities.  Tearing down an existng architectural building doesn’t help.

  • Wise Profit

    @David Steele Let me rephrase, condemning all new if it involves any demolition. I read the story. I get your points, many of which are well made. But again, the notion that we should always save buildings or always demolish them is silly. Some will go, more will come and the general tide in Buffalo has and will continue to raise all ships.

  • Wise Profit

    WiseDesign Wait there are such things as personal property rights? No!!! It can’t be!!! Darn you capitalism!!!!!!!!!!

  • David Steele

    WiseDesign Hmmm,  Interesting, Do you suppose they could buy them if they wanted to?

  • WiseDesign

    David Steele WiseDesign They could, but they are either making enough money on parking (sinners) that they will not sell or the prices got to the point that their owners want a ridiculous amount of money (based on supply and demand in buffalo right now) which could end many new construction projects.

  • David Steele

    Wise Profit It is hard to claim that we are trying to save every building when so many have been lost.  Look at the map above.  How can you say that anyone has made an attempt to save everything?  It is more of a matter of saving something of what is left.  It is a matter of pointing out the true value of saving Buffalo’s high quality historic building fabric and enhancing it with high quality new infill.

  • mojemd01

    David Steele Wise Profit I wonder if people were saying the same thing back in the 1920s when a lot of these building were built?

  • C_Angelo

    I constantly find myself asking whether it is stupidity, myopia or just plain being dense.
    For example, many cities cut off the front façade of historic buildings and use those storefront facades as infill in other historic areas. The storefronts that might be demolished on Elmwood might be very much appreciated in the First ward, Broadway, Genessee or Niagara. Its cheaper to move a façade than an entire building.
    Another example is Philadelphia where they keep the façade of the original building but rebuild the rear to the direct height and square footage. The streetscape maintains the historic context but the building is recycled into a midrise or highrise.
    There are other examples. Pittsburgh has been reclaiming historic buildings for decades as part of their renaissance. They even shared their strategy with Buffalo. As always any best practices elsewhere fail to be absorbed even after decades of failure. Why? Why? Why?

  • arcmorris

    WiseDesign David Steele They could, but my fear is that in a car-dominated city with a soft real-estate market the parking lots are worth more than the buildings.  This is probably driving the pattern we are seeing.  We can fight it project-by-project, or figure out how to flip the equation to make the parking lots less valuable than the lots with buildings on them.  One way to do this is to have a differential rate system for taxation of developed lots vs vacant lots.  This would drive up the “cost” for holding lots vacant indefinitely and disrupt the parking cartel in Buffalo.

  • mojemd01

    David Steele Wise Profit This makes it sound like old buildings are an endangered species. We need a good mix of old and new.

  • arcmorris

    C_Angelo Because the “best-practices” would serve to disrupt the lucrative business of parking in Buffalo, silly ;).

  • Wise Profit

    jmg2323 Wise Profit David Steele Value in style is in the eye of the beholder. I think the newer Ford Mustang looks like garbage compared to the old, but some people like them more.

  • jmg2323

    Wise Profit jmg2323 David Steele Hate to tell you but the property values in that area say that they’re worth every penny.

  • Chewing Wax

    WiseDesign Not only that, but the property to the west of the corner in question on Elmwood and Bryant is a Rite Aid parking lot. Let’s just build on the Rite Aid parking lot. Why not?

  • mojemd01

    I’d like to know what STEEL take is on the Northland Ave Revival is?  Old building are going to be torn down, just because they aren’t beautiful he didn’t add them to this list?

  • mojemd01

    I’d like to know what STEEL take is on the Northland Ave Revival is?  Old building are going to be torn down, just because they aren’t beautiful he didn’t add them to this list?

  • Wise Profit

    jmg2323 What area are you referring too? There were many areas named in the article.,

  • Wise Profit

    jmg2323 What area are you referring too? There were many areas named in the article.,

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    “Ellicott’s proposed parking ramp / hotel”
    Hahahaha I love it’s billed as a parking ramp/hotel. Also, if you look closer at the map you’ll see most of the lots are private parking, or not even parking spaces. They should do a map of open public parking spaces. What you see would be a lot different.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    “Ellicott’s proposed parking ramp / hotel”
    Hahahaha I love it’s billed as a parking ramp/hotel. Also, if you look closer at the map you’ll see most of the lots are private parking, or not even parking spaces. They should do a map of open public parking spaces. What you see would be a lot different.

  • JSmith11

    WiseDesign Ellicott didn’t own the Bachelor either. They bought it from Sinatra. They could buy a vacant lot instead. Or, be creative and build around the Bachelor, incorporating it into the new project.
    Buffalo has so much vacant space there’s absolutely no good reason to be destroying perfectly good heritage buildings in order to build something new.

  • JSmith11

    WiseDesign Ellicott didn’t own the Bachelor either. They bought it from Sinatra. They could buy a vacant lot instead. Or, be creative and build around the Bachelor, incorporating it into the new project.
    Buffalo has so much vacant space there’s absolutely no good reason to be destroying perfectly good heritage buildings in order to build something new.

  • David Steele

    mojemd01 My understanding is that the buildings will be renovated.

  • David Steele

    mojemd01 My understanding is that the buildings will be renovated.

  • JSmith11

    Chewing Wax WiseDesign  Well, why not? Buy out the Rite Aid, build a nice multistory building right up to the corner, with a shiny new ground floor storefront for Rite Aid. Hide the parking in the back, accessed from Bryant.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    JSmith11 WiseDesign 
    I don’t think you realize how cost prohibitive it would be. Take the old Millard Fillmore site. it’s going to cost 1 million extra dollars to make the proposed changes some noisy nimbys wanted and that’s just to the exterior. Do you realize how hard it would be and how much it would cost to tell an architect to redesign his whole plan around this very nondescript and insignificant building.

  • JSmith11

    BeardedBuffalonian JSmith11 WiseDesign Sometimes doing the right thing costs a bit more.
    But I am not convinced that incorporating this building would change the project cost. The building could become the “historic boutique hotel wing” of the new hotel project. Many people specifically seek out historic hotels to stay at – they could charge a premium for this. Or, leave it as apartments and diversify their income that way. Ground floor retail provides another rent source that a parking ramp does not.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    Wise Profit Stateofmind 
    I love how it’s “local business” being pushed out, not just “business” being pushed out. Somehow being a local shitty pizza or burger joint makes it better. Also, what do you think would happen to these business’? Answer: They’d find other parts of the city to do business in. Then BRO can write, “New Pizza Place comes to (insert area).” And we can all talk about how great it is. High tide lifts all ships my friend.

  • Chewing Wax

    JSmith11 WiseDesign That would be fine. I would be all for that. But the article makes it sound like there’s just parking.  A parking lot associated directly with a retail store should not be lumped in with open access parking lots or empty lots just waiting sadly to be developed.  The parking lot to the north on that intersection is just a parking lot for Childrens.  I don’t think the two lots should be equated.  That’s all.

  • JSmith11

    Wise Profit I don’t think David condemns all demolition for redevelopment. I bet if someone proposed demolishing the old Burger King on Main Street he would have no problems with that at all. The buildings mentioned in this article are different. They are high quality, built with artistry that is no longer seen, they contribute to the urban streetscape in a way that a parking ramp does not, etc.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    mikmo323 BuffaloBoi 
    Three years ago I heard it was going into effect in the next couple months.

  • JSmith11

    Wise Profit grad94 Take the students from Williamsville and swap them with the students in the BPS school, and suburban parents will be falling over themselves trying to get into the BPS and avoid Williamsville. This is a chicken and egg argument. School “quality” is nothing more than a reflection of the economic demographics of its students.

  • mojemd01

    David Steele mojemd01 http://www.buffalourbandevelopment.com/news/article/current/2016/01/20/100025/buffalo-urban-development-corporation-seeks-team-to-plan-northland-avenue-revival

    I counted at least 4 buildings in the area being torn down from what that article says

  • JSmith11

    BuffaloBoi There are public hearings going on now (as in, this very week). Go to one and learn more about it. Once the hearings are completed, the Planning Department staff will make final revisions and present the final draft to the Common Council for approval. Once voted into law, there will be a phase in period to get developers and city departments familiar with the new code.

  • WiseDesign

    JSmith11 Chewing Wax 
    Well going back to the original point, that land is not owned by the person that wants to build that building. And with this proposal Rite Aid either went from owning the building to renting or their rent increased significantly.

  • JSmith11

    BeardedBuffalonian Wise Profit Stateofmind If it makes you feel any better, Hero Burger will probably have to move as well.

  • bufforward

    BeardedBuffalonian Wise Profit Stateofmind The distinction matters. In terms of the health of a city, local businesses serve a valuable purpose, typically reinvesting far more in the local economy than national chains who tend to direct more money away from an area. They also add more to the identity of an area than having the same Walgreens and McDonalds on a corner that you could find in Buffalo, Cleveland, Orlando…you get my point.

  • New-ish Commenter

    On the two elmwood rumors, I just dont understand why the current structures in place cant be built/expanded upon and refinished.  It would be less costly than demo and rebuild.  It would keep a vibrant commercial block intact.  
    Are there any intentioned in Ciminell’s Bidwell/Potomac project to keep ground floor/street side retail at least?  The only positive development I can see would be that some of these businesses could follow suit on what Sunday did and move shop over to Grant Street.  If Ciminelli does intend to rent out the ground floor to retail, they wouldnt stay vacant- so  net result could be new businesses to Elmwood & Grant.  Which would be a good thing.
    Is the other side of Potomac- i.e. Elmwood Market, Ashker’s etc also supposed to be subject to this project as well?

  • New-ish Commenter

    On the two elmwood rumors, I just dont understand why the current structures in place cant be built/expanded upon and refinished.  It would be less costly than demo and rebuild.  It would keep a vibrant commercial block intact.  
    Are there any intentioned in Ciminell’s Bidwell/Potomac project to keep ground floor/street side retail at least?  The only positive development I can see would be that some of these businesses could follow suit on what Sunday did and move shop over to Grant Street.  If Ciminelli does intend to rent out the ground floor to retail, they wouldnt stay vacant- so  net result could be new businesses to Elmwood & Grant.  Which would be a good thing.
    Is the other side of Potomac- i.e. Elmwood Market, Ashker’s etc also supposed to be subject to this project as well?

  • WiseDesign

    JSmith11 For a guy in Sinatra that seems to be buying everything he possibly can, he obviously sold this one for a reason. People buy real estate (other than the house that they live in to make money) and the bachelor obviously was not doing that for him.

  • WiseDesign

    JSmith11 For a guy in Sinatra that seems to be buying everything he possibly can, he obviously sold this one for a reason. People buy real estate (other than the house that they live in to make money) and the bachelor obviously was not doing that for him.

  • Andy Wulf

    I’d add the Central Terminal to this list. The reaction to the news that the CTRC was selling the building to Harry Stinson despite his track record in Niagara Falls and Toronto (on projects that, it should be noted, are much smaller and less expensive than the Terminal) should have been long, loud, and unequivocally negative. Say what you want about the CTRC and the infighting on their board of directors and the lack of forward progress they’ve made on rehabilitating the building – at least they’re committed in principle to the Terminal’s preservation and have kept up-to-date enough on routine maintenance to keep the situation from getting worse than it already is. If Stinson buys the Terminal only to let it sit and rot like he did the Hotel Niagara, that’s a much worse scenario for a building that’s in much worse structural shape than the Niagara – the CRTC can’t renovate or do routine maintenance on a building they don’t own, so it’s left to its fate which could well be demolition by neglect.

  • bufforward

    mojemd01 David Steele
    I see two being demolished, first the 777 Northland Curtis-Wright building, which is a shame – http://www.preservationready.org/Buildings/777NorthlandAvenue
    Steele https://www.google.com/maps/@42.9189248,-78.8313648,3a,75y,157.88h,103.59t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sllAMtbRFFsatPtRS-mMEew!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1
    and 539 E. Delevan, which doesn’t look like much- not a huge loss if you ask me.
    https://www.google.com/maps/@42.9217989,-78.8365387,3a,75y,164.64h,79.26t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sZQ2RHDD8LGZ8Hjk7ge6nXA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1

  • smills

    @Stateofmind Get serious, a newbuild designed with care would be a vast improvement over what’s there currently. Oh no, three more stories “looming” over Elmwood. For people that talk about urbanity, people in this city sure fear anything that promotes it. Also, several of these buildings look like dumps built onto former houses (which is what some of them are). We’re not talking about masterpieces here.
    Criticism should be reserved until renderings and plans are seen. There’s room for improvement here and it should be considered.

  • C_Angelo The new Canopy by Hilton in downtown Ithaca is being built over an existing storefront building. It’s not simply adding stories on top of an existing building, but constructing another building on top of the older building.  The skeleton frame for the new building extends up through the old building underneath.  The old building doesn’t support the new one; it just surrounds its foundation.

  • LouisTully

    BeardedBuffalonian mikmo323 BuffaloBoi Public meeting on it tonight at Richmond-Summer Senior Center.

  • arcmorris
    bingo. land value taxation would go a long way towards taxing surface lots the same as built lots.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_value_tax

  • haydengrover8

    The development of Buffalo has been a wonderment. For me as a forever Buffalonian, well so far for 38 years any way, has been very fun and inspirational and just straight up cool. As a city we have been picked on too much through all of the years and it is nice to witness our unique comeback. However, that being written, unique is the key word. What makes us so unique has been our ability to hold on to our past and allow it to permeate into our future. That’s what we do. The point then is that I see no reason to tear down iconic and historic and structurally sound buildings just to recreate something that is not an assimilation to what made us once great in the first place. Because we all know that we can move on while preserving the past.

  • OldFirstWard

    WiseDesign
    Because he is beholden to his wealthy benefactors.

  • bufforward
    also, locally-owned small businesses are exquisitely place-dependent and cannot be simply plugged into a new location like a coffee pot.  i can think of several local establishments that i stopped patronizing when they moved a few miles away, beyond walking/biking distance.

  • I don’t know if I would weep over the loss of the buildings at Elmwood and Potomac, but I do think that the Bachelor should be saved to preserve the character of that portion of the Theater District, and if I were Ellicott I would consider appropriate, 12-14 story mixed used infill next door instead of buying my way into a larger plot of land there.

  • Zachary Tyler

    I have forwarded this to Channel 2 news to hopefully see if they will investigate into this matter furthur. The fact these developers are even considering demolishing landmarks in neighborhoods is unspeakable with all the open space for infill. Downtown is filled with parking that is unecessay. They can easily put there fancy parking garages in the same exact place a gravel or paved lot once was. If downtown converted all the parking from lots to garages downtown there would not be a parking problem for new hotels or mixed use complexes. Cars would then be able to share downtown just like Main Street does now.

  • Carrotflower Do you think Stinson will let the building rot? I hope not, but I don’t see why he would take on a project like this if he didn’t know the risks…
    I know he once proposed a 100+ story tower in Hamilton that never took off, but he has done some good in Toronto.

  • Wise Profit David Steele I disagree, I don’t think anybody is looking at the Main Place Mall for a “historic designation.” It’s a piece of crap.

  • David Steele mojemd01 In the paper it said 777 Northland and 536? E. Delavan would be taken down as a result of engineering and feasibility/market studies.

  • solonggone

    “Dark red marks the vast array of parking options which supposedly are in short supply.”
    Such a misleading statement.  How about breaking all of these parking lots down a bit further…
    Which ones are private and only to be used by a select number of people?  
    How about breaking each of the ‘red marks’ on the map into parcels that are owned by the same person or LLC?
    It’s easy to look at the issue from 50,000 feet and form an opinion.  It’s also easy to walk down the street naked in the middle of winter.  But you’re foolish if you do either.  
    Buffalo needs a plan, a real plan, to consolidate that vast see of ‘red marks’ into dense parking structures and parcels for redevelopment.  Shovel ready does not equal development ready.  Huge difference.

  • WiseDesign

    OldFirstWard And they will not let him lose money

  • David Steele

    solonggone   Does it really matter?  This much parking does not make for a healthy vibrant attractive city.  Tearing down buildings to make more parking is a silly endeavor.  Calling this part of the city congested is a mockery of city residents.

  • FreedomCM

    David Steele solonggone
    I find it hard to understand why you mark all those areas red.  Most of those are dedicated parking for the users/occupants of the adjacent buildings.  
    Do you think that those properties are available for development?  It damages your credibility in my mind that you are so loose with the facts

  • FreedomCM

    David Steele solonggone
    I find it hard to understand why you mark all those areas red.  Most of those are dedicated parking for the users/occupants of the adjacent buildings.  
    Do you think that those properties are available for development?  It damages your credibility in my mind that you are so loose with the facts

  • BuffBuffBuff

    I thought this website was called Buffalo Rising. How are you opposed to demolishing the Bachelor (a crumbling low-income residential building with no historical significance) to build a 12-story mutli-use hotel and parking garage downtown along the subway corridor that will bring visitors and residences to populate our city and patronize our small businesses, restaurants, and shops? There is a difference between historical preservation and standing in the way of progress in order to feel good about keeping junk…this publication’s recently found agenda is disappointing. Perhaps rename your website Buffalo Crumbling. You were once a reputable source of breaking news on urban redevelopment, but now you have lost me as a reader and my respect as a proud Buffalonian.

  • BuffBuffBuff

    I thought this website was called Buffalo Rising. How are you opposed to demolishing the Bachelor (a crumbling low-income residential building with no historical significance) to build a 12-story mutli-use hotel and parking garage downtown along the subway corridor that will bring visitors and residences to populate our city and patronize our small businesses, restaurants, and shops? There is a difference between historical preservation and standing in the way of progress in order to feel good about keeping junk…this publication’s recently found agenda is disappointing. Perhaps rename your website Buffalo Crumbling. You were once a reputable source of breaking news on urban redevelopment, but now you have lost me as a reader and my respect as a proud Buffalonian.

  • BuffBuffBuff

    BeardedBuffalonian I know, total baloney. Leave it to Buffalo Rising to label a 12-story mixed-use hotel, restaurant, and condo building with a space-saving parking garage as a “proposed parking ramp” to fit their agenda.

  • BuffBuffBuff

    BeardedBuffalonian I know, total baloney. Leave it to Buffalo Rising to label a 12-story mixed-use hotel, restaurant, and condo building with a space-saving parking garage as a “proposed parking ramp” to fit their agenda.

  • Carrotflower

    “Recently found agenda”? You must be new here.

  • Carrotflower

    “Recently found agenda”? You must be new here.

  • BuffBuffBuff

    Carrotflower I’ve been in Buffalo for about 7 years. Buffalo Rising used to be all about new buildings, new hotels, new restaurants, new parks…but lately its been an onslaught of this preservation propaganda. Tragic and sad.

  • Wise Profit

    JSmith11 Wise Profit grad94 True is that may be, you will not find people with children moving to the city because of the schools. As it stands now we have young people moving into the city, but once they have children of school age they will move out.

  • Wise Profit

    OldFirstWard WiseDesign Darn those wealthy benefactors (whose capital has also done great things around the city)

  • 5to81allday

    reading some of these comments are like fingernails on a chalkboard

  • BuffBuffBuff

    Wise Profit JSmith11 grad94 You sir, are incorrect. Actually, a family with a 8 year-old just moved into my condo building on Chippewa and I know many others live in the Elmwood Village, Waterfront, and Delaware Park areas as well. Downtown Buffalo has some fine schools on the subway line such as City Honors and Hutch Tech that give any of the cozy/sheltered suburb schools a run for their money. Just because you are not open enough to send your kids to school in Buffalo does not mean that everyone is as narrow-minded.

  • Andy Wulf

    Pearls before swine, Zachary. Show this building to the average Channel 2 viewer and they’ll think it’s a squalid dump and that a sterile suburban-style box would be the perfect replacement.

  • Carrotflower

    Buffaboy Carrotflower In 2011 Stinson took on the Hotel Niagara in downtown Niagara Falls without knowing the risks, and proceeded to let it rot for four years and counting. And keep in mind that’s a much smaller project than the Terminal would be. The last thing the Terminal needs is a second coming of Bashar Issa, whose mouth makes promises that his pocketbook can’t deliver on.

  • solonggone

    David Steele
    If you actually want to move past wagging your finger and bitching like a child…yes..it matters.  
    Not understanding the difference between shovel ready parcels and development ready parcels is a pretty big deal

  • Wise Profit

    BuffBuffBuff I don’t have children, but no, I wouldn’t gamble their future by sending them to BPS to see if they can be one out of two students who will make it to graduation. I guess wishing success for your children is “narrow-minded”? And if you know, where does that 8 yr old go to school? I’d put my money on private or charter school.

  • BuffBuffBuff

    Wise Profit BuffBuffBuff Washington Post ranked BPS’s City Honors the #9 High School in the Nation…I wonder where Williamsville ranked?

  • New-ish Commenter

    FreedomCM David Steele solonggone  What’s more hard to understand is people who make comments accusing someone of being loose with the facts, when their own stance is loose with the facts, and seems to portray a clear understanding of the “facts” as they were presented. 
    David Steele never said the red areas are available for development.  He simply noted that they are all parking lots, which they are, thus highlighting his point that parking is anything but an issue down there.  Thus bolstering his notion that parking is not a considerable enough issue that it should result in the destruction of an existing building, when ample alternative plans could likely be made.  Due to his belief that vibrant cities do not destroy density in favor of parking.
    I’m definitely not  a Steele apologist.  I disagree just as much as I agree with him, and even called him out on his attitude last week.  But he is absolutely correct here.

  • JSmith11 Wise Profit grad94 One thousand thumbs up. Doesn’t matter how much money is spent on education. If parents don’t care and the “students” refuse to learn, a school can have the best countries in the region and it won’t make a damn bit of difference.

  • New-ish Commenter

    arcmorris WiseDesign David Steele Logic and compromise will always set you free.  Always refreshing to see people who realize you dont have to dig your heels in.

  • Wise Profit

    David Steele solonggone “Does it really matter?” Well it wouldn’t matter if we were a communist or socialist nation. But here in the good ole’ USA we have things called “personal property rights” that our forefathers fought pretty hard to have included as part of our Constitution. Otherwise we could do exactly what you want, tell developers and landowners that their land belongs to the City of Buffalo, who can then allocate the plots of land as they see fit (also similar to oligarchy or monarchy).
    And on the parking. The proposed development to demolish the Bachelor is not just to “make more parking”, it includes a hotel among other uses. It takes a 3-story vertical building and creates a 12-story vertical building. I would have thought will all your fancy designations and studies even you would realize that the single most important part of successful urban planning is getting the greatest use of your land. The easiest way to do that is to go vertical, which is exactly what this development and others have done (Harbor Center, 250 Delaware, Conventus etc.)

  • Wise Profit

    New-ish Commenter FreedomCM David Steele solonggone That’s all well and good, except for the fact that all of these proposed developments have added to the density of the city. How is replacing a three story building and surface parking with a 12 story mixed use facility not increasing density?

  • Carrotflower

    BuffBuffBuff Carrotflower If you don’t like it, maybe this site isn’t for you.

  • Wise Profit

    BuffBuffBuff Wise Profit Whoopdie doo. That’s 1,000 students. The BPS has 34,000 students. I don’t care if the hand-selected 1,000 students were #1 in the nation, that doesn’t serve the needs of all 34,000 students that the entire district holds. So for you its who cares about the other 33,000 students, half of whom won’t graduate? That’s like measuring the health of the entire US economy by looking at how well Warren Buffett’s stock portfolio has done in the past 4 years. Its ludicrous.

  • Carrotflower

    For the record: yes, I cut and pasted my earlier comment here and put it on Facebook. It’s unfortunate that Buffalo Rising chooses to republish Facebook comments on the site itself, but I’d like my words to be read by as many people as possible.

  • Shane Sillen

    Who exactly do you think you are? It’s their land not yours fool. The audacity is sickening. Who put you incharge of lording over private property owners?

  • homemadehippy

    I haven’t read all the comments, so maybe this has been mentioned before.  Has Buffalo considered underground parking?  It works in Chicago.

  • homemadehippy

    I haven’t read all the comments, so maybe this has been mentioned before.  Has Buffalo considered underground parking?  It works in Chicago.

  • Wise Profit

    Ah but you see they aren’t landmarks, because national landmarks listed in the registry cannot be demolished to my knowledge. And in my attempts to find parking on numerous occasions downtown during the workday, I’ve found the lots you call “unnecessary” to be filled with cars. Agreed with more garages helping the overall problem of surface lots, but parking garages flat out do not make financial sense in Buffalo, unless placed within a large scale development that can generate enough revenue to offset the losses of the ramp.

  • Wise Profit

    Ah but you see they aren’t landmarks, because national landmarks listed in the registry cannot be demolished to my knowledge. And in my attempts to find parking on numerous occasions downtown during the workday, I’ve found the lots you call “unnecessary” to be filled with cars. Agreed with more garages helping the overall problem of surface lots, but parking garages flat out do not make financial sense in Buffalo, unless placed within a large scale development that can generate enough revenue to offset the losses of the ramp.

  • Northbuff

    BuffBuffBuff No significant value… hardly.History1886 – Designed by Green & Wicks as a luxury apartment called “The Bachelor”Chris Hawley: “The Bachelor…sold itself under the headline: ‘When a man’s single he lives at his ease.’ It is the oldest Green-designed building downtown and one of the oldest apartment buildings in Buffalo.”

  • Northbuff

    BuffBuffBuff No significant value… hardly.History1886 – Designed by Green & Wicks as a luxury apartment called “The Bachelor”Chris Hawley: “The Bachelor…sold itself under the headline: ‘When a man’s single he lives at his ease.’ It is the oldest Green-designed building downtown and one of the oldest apartment buildings in Buffalo.”

  • Carrotflower

    Wise Profit Wrong. There’s two different types of landmarks (of which the Elmwood/Bidwell buildings are currently neither). Nationally registered landmarks are eligible for tax credits on historically sensitive repairs and maintenance, but there’s no prohibition on demolishing them. Locally listed landmarks can be demolished, but only with the approval of the Preservation Board (except under emergency circumstances).

  • Carrotflower

    Wise Profit Wrong. There’s two different types of landmarks (of which the Elmwood/Bidwell buildings are currently neither). Nationally registered landmarks are eligible for tax credits on historically sensitive repairs and maintenance, but there’s no prohibition on demolishing them. Locally listed landmarks can be demolished, but only with the approval of the Preservation Board (except under emergency circumstances).

  • New-ish Commenter

    Wise Profit New-ish Commenter FreedomCM David Steele solonggone   it does increase density.  You’re absolutely correct. It increases it even more when an alternative plan is crafted that does not destroy a building in its wake.  Having both is more dense than having one, is it not?  The whole point is, Buffalo is not a city that has dried up its resources to the point where the only option is to replace and build up.  It’s still very much in a state of build around.  To suggest there is no middle ground, is to be lazy.

  • New-ish Commenter

    Wise Profit New-ish Commenter FreedomCM David Steele solonggone   it does increase density.  You’re absolutely correct. It increases it even more when an alternative plan is crafted that does not destroy a building in its wake.  Having both is more dense than having one, is it not?  The whole point is, Buffalo is not a city that has dried up its resources to the point where the only option is to replace and build up.  It’s still very much in a state of build around.  To suggest there is no middle ground, is to be lazy.

  • Wise Profit

    Carrotflower Wise Profit I didn’t know that, I guess you learn something everyday. Thank you.

  • Wise Profit

    Carrotflower Wise Profit I didn’t know that, I guess you learn something everyday. Thank you.

  • Captain Picard

    FreedomCM
    What credibility?

  • Captain Picard

    FreedomCM
    What credibility?

  • Zachary Tyler

    I’m not overly concerned about the buildings state but rather the precedent of demolishing existing structures that give the area something other cities wish they did and not taking advantage of the fact that open lots are available. The plan downtown by Cimenelli have a plot right on the opposite side of the street with equivalent space for the same footprint building they want to construct.

  • Zachary Tyler

    I’m not overly concerned about the buildings state but rather the precedent of demolishing existing structures that give the area something other cities wish they did and not taking advantage of the fact that open lots are available. The plan downtown by Cimenelli have a plot right on the opposite side of the street with equivalent space for the same footprint building they want to construct.

  • BuffBuffBuff

    I think you need to go look at the proposed project site on Franklin that was vetoed by one of these “historical” buildings. The article reads nice and the author is pursuasive, but many of those buildings are not actually historically significant and would greatly benefit Buffalo if demolished and replaced with a structure that will help our city continue to grow. Yes, a turn of the century church, architectural achievement, or site of a historic event should be preserved….but not every crumbling building just because it’s old. For example, the Bachelor was going to be part of a parking garage attached to a new 12 story hotel/condo building with restaurants…much of which was going to be built in place of existing surface lots. The Bachelor is just the one 4 story building amidst a sea of existing surface lots that would be transformed into a space-saving parking ramp while the rest of the $75 million facility would replace existing parking and attract residents and patrons to the cities small business, restaurants, and shops in downtown. Instead, that project is blocked because of a crumbling apartment building where no one you ever heard of lived 100 years ago.

  • BuffBuffBuff

    I think you need to go look at the proposed project site on Franklin that was vetoed by one of these “historical” buildings. The article reads nice and the author is pursuasive, but many of those buildings are not actually historically significant and would greatly benefit Buffalo if demolished and replaced with a structure that will help our city continue to grow. Yes, a turn of the century church, architectural achievement, or site of a historic event should be preserved….but not every crumbling building just because it’s old. For example, the Bachelor was going to be part of a parking garage attached to a new 12 story hotel/condo building with restaurants…much of which was going to be built in place of existing surface lots. The Bachelor is just the one 4 story building amidst a sea of existing surface lots that would be transformed into a space-saving parking ramp while the rest of the $75 million facility would replace existing parking and attract residents and patrons to the cities small business, restaurants, and shops in downtown. Instead, that project is blocked because of a crumbling apartment building where no one you ever heard of lived 100 years ago.

  • BuffBuffBuff

    The Bachelor and it’s surrounding parking lots were going to be converted to a garage but aren’t anymore because it’s “historic”, not even a landmark.

  • BuffBuffBuff

    The Bachelor and it’s surrounding parking lots were going to be converted to a garage but aren’t anymore because it’s “historic”, not even a landmark.

  • Rand503

    mojemd01 David Steele Wise Profit Uh, we have already demolished about one -third of the entire stock of buildings in the downtown area.  We already have a good mix of the old and the new, and I since we have plenty of empty space, I see no reason to demolish any further.

  • Rand503

    mojemd01 David Steele Wise Profit Uh, we have already demolished about one -third of the entire stock of buildings in the downtown area.  We already have a good mix of the old and the new, and I since we have plenty of empty space, I see no reason to demolish any further.

  • David Steele

    Rand503 mojemd01 David Steele Wise Profit It is more like 60% of downtown has been demolished. The neighborhoods directly east west and south of downtown have been 100% demolished.  The thesis that too much is being saved is absurd.

  • NewSpin

    C_Angelo  I agree with this method of preservation.
    Another example of using the historic is in Hoboken, NJ. The city kept the façade of an old building (with structural issues) and created a new park behind it. It maintained the streetscape, while adding much needed green space in a dense urban landscape.
    The world of preservation, outside of Buffalo, is creative in the attempts to maintain historic integrity. Facade preservation is an effective method to consider in Buffalo.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    OldFirstWard WiseDesign
    Not really. Knowing him personally her pretty much does as he pleases. His “investors” have enough faith in him to know what’s best.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    grad94 bufforward
    I think that says more about your laziness than anything else.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    grad94 bufforward
    I think that says more about your laziness than anything else.

  • OldFirstWard

    Northbuff
    What is the provenance of this claim? I not saying it isn’t, yet I can’t say it is without documentation other than hearsay on a blog.

  • OldFirstWard

    Northbuff
    What is the provenance of this claim? I not saying it isn’t, yet I can’t say it is without documentation other than hearsay on a blog.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    bufforward
    That’s exceptionally narrow minded thinking. I just got back from Paris a month ago and guess what, there’s a McDonalds and a bunch of other chain restaurants in the La Louvre for crying out loud. And way to bring up Mcdonalds or Walgreens as examples. What if it was an In and Out Burger, or a Trader Joes. Those are all chains. Shoot, Spot Coffee is a chain and people on here lost their sh!t when Panera moved next door. Truth is no matter if the company is a chain or local, they still employee workers who live work and spend money in the local economy. Do you think Johnny Rich guy who owns Somewhere clothing on Elmwood is making his money and spending it all here. No he’s going on vacations and buying lavish products that are made elsewhere.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    bufforward
    That’s exceptionally narrow minded thinking. I just got back from Paris a month ago and guess what, there’s a McDonalds and a bunch of other chain restaurants in the La Louvre for crying out loud. And way to bring up Mcdonalds or Walgreens as examples. What if it was an In and Out Burger, or a Trader Joes. Those are all chains. Shoot, Spot Coffee is a chain and people on here lost their sh!t when Panera moved next door. Truth is no matter if the company is a chain or local, they still employee workers who live work and spend money in the local economy. Do you think Johnny Rich guy who owns Somewhere clothing on Elmwood is making his money and spending it all here. No he’s going on vacations and buying lavish products that are made elsewhere.

  • RPreskop

    It is time to push these local yocal developers aside and invite professional big city developers from Chicago and New York City who will incorporate the existing historic buildings into the new developments and get rid of the hideous surface parking lots. These local guys only know demolition and surface parking and their architectural taste is all cookie cutter faux quaint with painted pre cast concrete. Ellicott Development’s latest 12 story proposal is a hideous abomination that is commonplace with our local architectural talent which is very sad but true.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    pfk67 Stateofmind
    I hate the argument of, “there’s plenty of other lots.” Great! How many are for sale? How many are private? How many are big enough to support the proposed project. Also, real estate is all about location location location. So take all those factors into account and get back to me.

  • RPreskop

    The Bachelor is not crumbling and it is not decrepit. It is a well maintained apartment building that is a beautiful architectural cornerstone to the southeast corner of West Tupper and Franklin. It should be saved and incorporated into redevelopment plans for this site.

  • CGirl

    Carrotflower Captain Picard If this is a dead project walking, so glad to see that the developer managed to get Sunday out of the building already so it can just sit here vacant for however long now.  Sunday was a great neighbor on this street and it is a net loss for them to be gone now in favor of a vacant storefront while this is tied up in planning and approvals that may never be obtained.  The chances of landing a new tenant in there while this is going on seem quite slim.

  • CGirl

    Carrotflower Captain Picard If this is a dead project walking, so glad to see that the developer managed to get Sunday out of the building already so it can just sit here vacant for however long now.  Sunday was a great neighbor on this street and it is a net loss for them to be gone now in favor of a vacant storefront while this is tied up in planning and approvals that may never be obtained.  The chances of landing a new tenant in there while this is going on seem quite slim.

  • Nickel_City

    Downtown is anything but congested. The best part of going downtown right now is how quickly and easily you flow through stop lights and the streets. Nowhere near the traffic and parking woes of other districts

  • Nickel_City

    Downtown is anything but congested. The best part of going downtown right now is how quickly and easily you flow through stop lights and the streets. Nowhere near the traffic and parking woes of other districts

  • In the recent Colter Bay post, we see a business person making a decision about how to better utilize the space he owns.  It’s an easy scenario to understand.  A vibrant economy calls for the creative destruction of all type of assets, to be replaced by more productive assets, that increase the overall wealth of a population.
    Do any of us use a Radio Shack pc to go online?  Would you use a first generation cell phone?  
    Some of our architecture is worthy of preservation.  When places like the Bachelor are considered ‘special’, you’ve made a mockery of preservation.  It’s not just obstructing the new building, but more importantly, the jobs that would be created (not just construction, but the 100’s of service oriented positions).

  • In the recent Colter Bay post, we see a business person making a decision about how to better utilize the space he owns.  It’s an easy scenario to understand.  A vibrant economy calls for the creative destruction of all type of assets, to be replaced by more productive assets, that increase the overall wealth of a population.
    Do any of us use a Radio Shack pc to go online?  Would you use a first generation cell phone?  
    Some of our architecture is worthy of preservation.  When places like the Bachelor are considered ‘special’, you’ve made a mockery of preservation.  It’s not just obstructing the new building, but more importantly, the jobs that would be created (not just construction, but the 100’s of service oriented positions).

  • Rand503

    bfranklin No, not a mockery.  Go to Charleston, for instance.  They have tons of houses, many of which are of midling quality and they have many of them.  Should they have destroyed those that were rundown and replaced them with something more up to date?  They could have, but then it would have diminished their status as a lovely well preserved southern city.
    Or how about Boston or Philly?  Dozens of average colonial buildings still exist.  They could easily remove those for the economic development the bring, and they have done so.  It still didn’t prevent those cities from going into economic decline from time to time.  
    The Bachelor is a great example of late 1800s apartment architecture.  Fully restored, it would be the pride of the community, and even you can see that.  Or gut the thing and turn it into a modern office building.  I would have no objection to that.  
    The Bachelor is a fairly small building — it stands in the way of nothing.  Go ahead an build a huge building — twenty stories, for all I care.  You can do that in the space that is left. 
    But buildings like the Bachelor are part and parcel of our history and our heritage, just as much as colonial buildings are in Boston or Philly. 
    We go through economic cycles all the time.  In the lifetime of the Bachelor, it has seen several panics, recessions and a depression.  Tearing it down will not stop that from happening.  Destroying any building will not insure the economic vitality of any community!  But once the building is gone, it is gone forever.

  • Rand503

    bfranklin No, not a mockery.  Go to Charleston, for instance.  They have tons of houses, many of which are of midling quality and they have many of them.  Should they have destroyed those that were rundown and replaced them with something more up to date?  They could have, but then it would have diminished their status as a lovely well preserved southern city.
    Or how about Boston or Philly?  Dozens of average colonial buildings still exist.  They could easily remove those for the economic development the bring, and they have done so.  It still didn’t prevent those cities from going into economic decline from time to time.  
    The Bachelor is a great example of late 1800s apartment architecture.  Fully restored, it would be the pride of the community, and even you can see that.  Or gut the thing and turn it into a modern office building.  I would have no objection to that.  
    The Bachelor is a fairly small building — it stands in the way of nothing.  Go ahead an build a huge building — twenty stories, for all I care.  You can do that in the space that is left. 
    But buildings like the Bachelor are part and parcel of our history and our heritage, just as much as colonial buildings are in Boston or Philly. 
    We go through economic cycles all the time.  In the lifetime of the Bachelor, it has seen several panics, recessions and a depression.  Tearing it down will not stop that from happening.  Destroying any building will not insure the economic vitality of any community!  But once the building is gone, it is gone forever.

  • Rand503

    BuffBuffBuff I don’t see why we can’t have both.  Why must it be either/or?

  • Rand503

    BuffBuffBuff I don’t see why we can’t have both.  Why must it be either/or?

  • Rand503

    Part of the myopia surrounding the Bachelor is that it is standing alone.  Some people even say it is decrepit and crumbling, which it clearly is not.  It is well maintained, but saying so betrays people’s bias — if it is old, it’s falling down and not worth saving.
    But the real problem I see here is that all the surrounding buildings are gone.  They were all torn down in the past without anyone even trying to save them.  Those who have this fetish for demolition — judging by the vehemance of some, it most certainly is a weird insistence for destruction — have gotten their wish.  All the rest of the buildings on that block are now gone.
    And so this one building remains. Now because all the rest are gone, everyone is saying this one has no value at all and it MUST be gone.  Ironically, if the rest of the buildings were there, the argument for keeping them would be clear.
    How do I know that?  Look at the stretch of buildings at the Genesee Gateway, near the Elm and Oak streets.  For years they were abandoned (decrepit and crumbling, no doubt!).  Not a one of them has any architectural or historical significance.  Yet a good visionary developer revived them, and they are now filled to capacity, creating jobs and wealth.  And it is clear from looking at them today that they create a sightline that helps make Buffalo unique.  
    Those buildings COULD have been demolished and replaced with something today modern, like the pastiche that Paladino is proposing, but the good news is that they were not.  We have our cake and are eating it too.
    So why are people so blind to seeing that the Bachelor has value at least as good as the Genesee gateway buildings?  That it can contribute economically as much as they do?  Perhaps more?  
    I just don’t get it.  If you want Buffalo to look like every other new city in America, go move there.  But oddly enough, many of THOSE cities are in poor economic shape.  And there is no tourism there to fall back on because they got rid of anything interesting.  Tearing down the old did not save them from economic downturns, and it did not lift their cities up to economic miracles.  
    Removing the Bachelor may have, at best, a short term benefit to the city on a purely economic level, but it comes at a cost.

  • Rand503

    Part of the myopia surrounding the Bachelor is that it is standing alone.  Some people even say it is decrepit and crumbling, which it clearly is not.  It is well maintained, but saying so betrays people’s bias — if it is old, it’s falling down and not worth saving.
    But the real problem I see here is that all the surrounding buildings are gone.  They were all torn down in the past without anyone even trying to save them.  Those who have this fetish for demolition — judging by the vehemance of some, it most certainly is a weird insistence for destruction — have gotten their wish.  All the rest of the buildings on that block are now gone.
    And so this one building remains. Now because all the rest are gone, everyone is saying this one has no value at all and it MUST be gone.  Ironically, if the rest of the buildings were there, the argument for keeping them would be clear.
    How do I know that?  Look at the stretch of buildings at the Genesee Gateway, near the Elm and Oak streets.  For years they were abandoned (decrepit and crumbling, no doubt!).  Not a one of them has any architectural or historical significance.  Yet a good visionary developer revived them, and they are now filled to capacity, creating jobs and wealth.  And it is clear from looking at them today that they create a sightline that helps make Buffalo unique.  
    Those buildings COULD have been demolished and replaced with something today modern, like the pastiche that Paladino is proposing, but the good news is that they were not.  We have our cake and are eating it too.
    So why are people so blind to seeing that the Bachelor has value at least as good as the Genesee gateway buildings?  That it can contribute economically as much as they do?  Perhaps more?  
    I just don’t get it.  If you want Buffalo to look like every other new city in America, go move there.  But oddly enough, many of THOSE cities are in poor economic shape.  And there is no tourism there to fall back on because they got rid of anything interesting.  Tearing down the old did not save them from economic downturns, and it did not lift their cities up to economic miracles.  
    Removing the Bachelor may have, at best, a short term benefit to the city on a purely economic level, but it comes at a cost.

  • Matt Marcinkiewicz

    LouisTully BeardedBuffalonian mikmo323 BuffaloBoi did you go?  If so, you probably were seated near me in the back, since seemingly all the seats in the non-back rows appeared to be reserved for people over 50

  • Matt Marcinkiewicz

    LouisTully BeardedBuffalonian mikmo323 BuffaloBoi did you go?  If so, you probably were seated near me in the back, since seemingly all the seats in the non-back rows appeared to be reserved for people over 50

  • OldFirstWard

    Rand503
    ” Look at the stretch of buildings at the Genesee Gateway, near the Elm and Oak streets.  For years they were abandoned (decrepit and crumbling, no doubt!).  Not a one of them has any architectural or historical significance.”
    Your argument lost credibility with this statement above. This stretch of magnificent buildings dates from the pre-Civil War era ca.1840’s to 1915. Three prominent architects designed some of these buildings:
    85-87-89 Genesee St. – F.W. Caulkins- (Caulkins Building – 1886) – demolished after collapse.
    101 – 103 Genesee St. – Richard Waite – (Warner Photography Bldg. – 1895)
    109 Genesee St.- Esenwein and Johnson – (Baldwin Building – 1903)
    It is a rare grouping of mostly intact nineteenth-century brick buildings that were used for the commercial businesses of the day run by prominent Buffalo leaders and businessmen. It is a designated Historic District.

  • BeardedBuffalonian
    we all decide which products & services are worth some extra travel hassle and which are not.  in other words, the customer is always right.

  • solonggone

    New-ish Commenter FreedomCM David Steele
    Thus bolstering his notion that parking is not a considerable enough issue that it should result in the destruction of an existing building, when ample alternative plans could likely be made.  Due to his belief that vibrant cities do not destroy density in favor of parking.

    This is my point.  People are claiming that alternative plans can be made but I don’t see that as being a reasonable claim.  Because it’s not.
    Show me on plan any of these parcels that are red as to how they get developed.  People don’t even know who owns what but they talk about the big picture like an expert. 
    As others have mentioned, many of these lots are tied to buildings.  They are owned by various people/groups.  Just because a building is absent does not mean the lot is without purpose or value.
    When Ellicott proposed that massive mixed use structure many were saying that it should be moved somewhere else.  Where?  Where do you move it.  You only can develop what you have the rights to.  That’s a reality that many fail to grasp.
    IIRC, the COB had a plan a couple of years ago to build like 5 or 7 massive ramps at various locations around the city core.  The goal of that plan was to create enough parking for not only the structures that exist but also the structures that would then be built on all of the ‘shovel ready’ parcels.  Those ramps were not built.  
    Since I am criticizing others without a plan, I think it’s only fair that I present one.  So here it is..in two parts.  
    Part 1 – Move forward with the construction of 5-7 large parking ramps around the city.  I am speaking of ramps that hold hundreds upon hundreds of cars.  Provide tax breaks to developers to construct these ramps to the point where there is a bidding war for them.  
    Part 2 – Once there is more than enough parking throughout the Central Core of the city, change the tax policy of surface lots to valuate them not as a lot but as a minimum potential.  Say 3 stories.
    So if you own a 1/2 acre parcel with a building on it and a 1/2 acre parcel on the side with a surface lot for 12 spots…guess what, you’re not taxed as if there are structures on both. 
    If you want to provide ‘front door’ parking to your office, great.  But you’re going to pay a premium for that.  
    If you want to demolish a building so you can lower your tax burden while printing money with parking spaces…your margins just changed.
    This is how you solve the parking lot issue in the city.  You don’t pretend that parking is not needed.  You don’t hate on those who drive to work.  
    You simply create a market place with ‘front door’ parking is no longer the best option.  You create a market where demolishing a building to create a parking lot is no longer a viable business plan.

  • Northbuff

    OldFirstWard Northbuff I believe this organization does their homework before publishing something.
    http://www.preservationready.org/Buildings/329FranklinStreet

  • New-ish Commenter

    solonggone New-ish Commenter FreedomCM David Steele
    You expanded on what i was saying.  I’m quite confused as to why you felt the need to present it in an argumentative, condescending fashion, when your expansion and detail is one that, actually, jives quite well with my point.  Unless of course, you’re more interested in arguments than conversations.  Which seems to be the case for a lot of BRO commenters.

  • townline

    homemadehippy well, underground parking would work on the moon – it all comes down to whether its viable to spend 50% more per space than a typical structure or like a billion% more than a surface lot.  In Chicago the economics easily make sense.  Here its a tighter pro forma.

  • townline

    homemadehippy well, underground parking would work on the moon – it all comes down to whether its viable to spend 50% more per space than a typical structure or like a billion% more than a surface lot.  In Chicago the economics easily make sense.  Here its a tighter pro forma.

  • BuffBuffBuff

    Rand503 bfranklin I feel like you havent actually seen the Bachelor before…go there today, walk around and inside the building. It’s not historically or architecturally significant and not worth preserving…it needs to go.

  • LouisTully

    BuffBuffBuff Rand503 bfranklin I have.  And I disagree with you.  I don’t really feel like banging my head against a wall with this, and I’m sure it’s been mentioned several times in discussions about the Bachelor, but I’m sure it meets criteria for NRHP.

  • BuffBuffBuff Rand503 bfranklin  As with many of the commenters that tell us what we should do with our city, Rand503 does not live here.

  • BuffBuffBuff

    bfranklin BuffBuffBuff Rand503 Ha, nice. I recall someone not from Buffalo arguing that the proposed hotel was “too tall for the neighborhood”. I’m glad someone who doesn’t live here is speaking for me, the small business owners, restaurant owners, and community that wanted that building in our neighborhood.

  • LouisTully

    bfranklin BuffBuffBuff Rand503 There should be comment restrictions.  You have to live within 6 blocks, or patronize the establishment no less than 3 days a week.  If you live in the same zip code you can comment, but no more than twice.

    I mean, we saw that in the Potomac thread where no one’s opinion was worthy if they don’t live in the neighborhood.  Do you even live here?! Clearly anyone who is against demolishing the Bachelor hasn’t actually seen the building.

  • LouisTully

    BuffBuffBuff Carrotflower Many of your new things were preservation.  Come on, dude.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    grad94 BeardedBuffalonian 
    That doesn’t make any sense.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    grad94 BeardedBuffalonian 
    That doesn’t make any sense.

  • LouisTully

    BuffBuffBuff bfranklin Rand503 It is too tall.  But that’s not according to an out-of-towner.  It’s according to the Green Code the City is trying to adopt.  Maybe JSmith11 knows if the current code says it’s too tall also.

  • LouisTully

    BuffBuffBuff bfranklin Rand503 It is too tall.  But that’s not according to an out-of-towner.  It’s according to the Green Code the City is trying to adopt.  Maybe JSmith11 knows if the current code says it’s too tall also.

  • LouisTully

    BuffBuffBuff “this publication’s recently found agenda is disappointing”
    You’ve been here 7 years?  You should look at BR’s archives.  Find some old print copies even.  Preservation has been there since the beginning.  You’re disappointing with how clueless your comments are.

  • LouisTully

    BuffBuffBuff “this publication’s recently found agenda is disappointing”
    You’ve been here 7 years?  You should look at BR’s archives.  Find some old print copies even.  Preservation has been there since the beginning.  You’re disappointing with how clueless your comments are.

  • OldFirstWard

    Northbuff
    That’s fine, and they are reputable. I myself have relied on their information but in this case, I have not found anything in a random search and even BRO once had a build date of 1920 listed.  Still, if you are claiming a specific building construction date and a design by a very prominent architect show your sources and lineage. 
    The building cannot be landmarked or listed without proper documentation.

  • OldFirstWard

    Northbuff
    That’s fine, and they are reputable. I myself have relied on their information but in this case, I have not found anything in a random search and even BRO once had a build date of 1920 listed.  Still, if you are claiming a specific building construction date and a design by a very prominent architect show your sources and lineage. 
    The building cannot be landmarked or listed without proper documentation.

  • LouisTully bfranklin BuffBuffBuff Rand503  I only mentioned he was out of town after it was suggested he take a look at the building.
    He’s welcome to his opinion.  I do think that an argument could be made that things are changing quickly enough in the Medical Campus area that it’s helpful (not essential) to be here, to comment on it.
    I think some of the ‘build it somewhere else’ crowd isn’t that familiar with what’s going on down here, that Ellicott is building as close as possible, on all sides of the Medical Campus.

  • LouisTully bfranklin BuffBuffBuff Rand503  I only mentioned he was out of town after it was suggested he take a look at the building.
    He’s welcome to his opinion.  I do think that an argument could be made that things are changing quickly enough in the Medical Campus area that it’s helpful (not essential) to be here, to comment on it.
    I think some of the ‘build it somewhere else’ crowd isn’t that familiar with what’s going on down here, that Ellicott is building as close as possible, on all sides of the Medical Campus.

  • solonggone

    New-ish Commenter
    I don’t think we’re talking about the same thing.  
    I read your comment as speaking to a developer.  e.g. Ellicott – to make alternative plans for a project they want to do.  The logic used by others is ‘why can’t they build that project somewhere else..we have plenty of surface lots.  
    That’s unrealistic.  The reason that’s unrealistic is many of these surface lots are owned by property owners with no intention or ability to develop.
    I am talking about creating a system that makes it difficult for these types of parcel owners to exist.  In turn that would make it easier and more realistic for developers to build out these surface lots.

  • solonggone

    New-ish Commenter
    I don’t think we’re talking about the same thing.  
    I read your comment as speaking to a developer.  e.g. Ellicott – to make alternative plans for a project they want to do.  The logic used by others is ‘why can’t they build that project somewhere else..we have plenty of surface lots.  
    That’s unrealistic.  The reason that’s unrealistic is many of these surface lots are owned by property owners with no intention or ability to develop.
    I am talking about creating a system that makes it difficult for these types of parcel owners to exist.  In turn that would make it easier and more realistic for developers to build out these surface lots.

  • aojwny

    BuffBuffBuff Your insistence that the Bachelor has “no historical significance” has been disproven a number of times, I don’t know why we have to go over the same ground again and again.  And this type of preservation is all about making a vibrant, walkable, economically successful city, reNEWing it. Perhaps make the name of this website ReNEWing Buffalo . . .

  • aojwny

    BuffBuffBuff Your insistence that the Bachelor has “no historical significance” has been disproven a number of times, I don’t know why we have to go over the same ground again and again.  And this type of preservation is all about making a vibrant, walkable, economically successful city, reNEWing it. Perhaps make the name of this website ReNEWing Buffalo . . .

  • Rand503

    BuffBuffBuff Rand503 bfranklin It NEEDS to go?  So any building that isn’t historically or architecturally significant must to destroyed?  Why, exactly?  That would mean that 90% of downtown NEEDS to be destroyed.
    You miss my point entirely.  According to you, the entire Genesee gateway needs to go because none of those buildings are significant.  
    But I argue they in fact ARE significant, because they help define what Buffalo as a city is.

  • Rand503

    BuffBuffBuff Rand503 bfranklin It NEEDS to go?  So any building that isn’t historically or architecturally significant must to destroyed?  Why, exactly?  That would mean that 90% of downtown NEEDS to be destroyed.
    You miss my point entirely.  According to you, the entire Genesee gateway needs to go because none of those buildings are significant.  
    But I argue they in fact ARE significant, because they help define what Buffalo as a city is.

  • LouisTully

    Rand503 BuffBuffBuff bfranklin Why doesn’t anyone call for truly ugly buildings to be demo’d?  Like that blue brick by the Statler!  I hate that building and I’d even stick up for it because it’s different, it diversifies building architecture, and is a glimpse of what might have been a trend at a given time.  But it’s F-ing ugly.

  • LouisTully

    Rand503 BuffBuffBuff bfranklin Why doesn’t anyone call for truly ugly buildings to be demo’d?  Like that blue brick by the Statler!  I hate that building and I’d even stick up for it because it’s different, it diversifies building architecture, and is a glimpse of what might have been a trend at a given time.  But it’s F-ing ugly.

  • Rand503

    bfranklin BuffBuffBuff Rand503 No, I don’t live in Buffalo.  I live in Washington.   But I was born and raised in Buffalo, and return often.  And each time I return, I make a point of visiting and patronizing local businesses and restaurants in the Village, Allentown, downtown and Hertel, among other places.
    If you want to paint me as an outsider, then that should be viewed as a good thing.  I’m an outsider telling you what an outsider values about Buffalo.  As a tourist, this is what I want to see — a place with character instead of the bland places I normally see, like Tyson’s Corner.
    I should also mention that I have brought many friends from Washington to visit to Buffalo for several days, and I give them a tour of our neighborhoods.  Each one came with an attitude that Buffalo must be dreary, and each one was amazed at how beautiful it really is.

  • Rand503

    bfranklin BuffBuffBuff Rand503 No, I don’t live in Buffalo.  I live in Washington.   But I was born and raised in Buffalo, and return often.  And each time I return, I make a point of visiting and patronizing local businesses and restaurants in the Village, Allentown, downtown and Hertel, among other places.
    If you want to paint me as an outsider, then that should be viewed as a good thing.  I’m an outsider telling you what an outsider values about Buffalo.  As a tourist, this is what I want to see — a place with character instead of the bland places I normally see, like Tyson’s Corner.
    I should also mention that I have brought many friends from Washington to visit to Buffalo for several days, and I give them a tour of our neighborhoods.  Each one came with an attitude that Buffalo must be dreary, and each one was amazed at how beautiful it really is.

  • New-ish Commenter

    solonggone New-ish Commenter No, i wasnt specifically talking about developers.  I was talking about parking lots and that the map shows there is definitely a lot of parking, so the idea we need to destroy a building to make room for a lot is incorrect.  I agree, it’s an oversimplification to suggest that they can just go ahead and build on these lots.  An alternative plan, such as what you suggested, is a great idea.  
    So it seems we were in fact talking about the same thing, but reviewing it I can see how you read it the way you did.  I apologize for accusing you of being interested in nothing else but picking a fight.  Now that we’re on the same page I can see that is not true.

  • LouisTully

    DanteDAnthony BuffBuffBuff Rand503 bfranklin Some minds are just impenetrable to such thoughts.

  • LouisTully

    DanteDAnthony BuffBuffBuff Rand503 bfranklin Some minds are just impenetrable to such thoughts.

  • Rand503

    Since I’m an outoftowner, and therefore not competent to discuss Buffalo’s preservation, please allow me to talk about Washington DC. 
    Throughout the late 1800s and up to the 1940s, Georgetown was a slum.  A total slum — actual crumbling and decrepit buildings.  The only people who lived there were impoverished black people.  Many people clamored to remove this slum and build all brand new buildings.  Those were just old buildings, and none of them had any architectural or historical value. 
    First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt saw that this was part of our heritage.  She put a stop to any talk of slum clearence, and instead encouraged her friends to buy houses there and rehab them.  Slowly they did so, and by the late 50s, it became a trendy place.  JFK had a house there while senator.
    By the 60s, it became the most fashionable place to live, and has remained so ever since.  It has the most expensive real estate in the city.  Yet, there is no parking except what you can find on the street, and that is very rare.  M St., which cuts right through the middle of it, is almost always super congested from early morning to late at night.  Few of the buildings have any architectural distinction, and many are quite plain — which was the colonial and federal style, after all.  
    Maybe you should check out First Presbyterian church.  A charrming church was built on New York Ave in downtown Washington in the 1850s.  Lincoln went there.  It served the congregation well for 100 years.  Then in the 1950s, that church merged with another congregation, and suddenly, the church was too small.  So in the late 50s, they tore it down and built a new ugly one twice the size.
    Guess what happened to the congregation?  No sooner had they built it, but the congregation fled to the suburbs.  Since the 70s, the church has been viewed as way too big, and it sits there today, virtually unused, too big, ugly.  The church now realizes what a mistake it was to demolish the historic building, as it would be the perfect size for the small downtown congregation it now houses.  
    Had we listened to those who clamored for destruction, Georgetown would no longer exist.  It would just be another mediocre place of 1950s architecture, without much value to anyone. 
    Canaltown no longer exists.  We had the exact same thing, right here in Buffalo — pre-civil war buildings, all fairly plain but old.  In the 1930s, we stupidly listened to those with the destruction fetish and cleared out those slums 100%.  The only left is St. Anthony’s of padua church behind City Hall.  
    Did that help the city?  Did it help us out of the Great Depression?  Avoid the various recessions?  As I recall, the city declined during that whole time.  Nothing had been built to replace it, except just in the past few years.  That’s 50 years of nothingness.
    And yet, had we kept all those buildings, we would today be renovating them, which itself boosts the economy.  All those jobs rehabbing 150 year old buildings!  They would make perfect artists’ lofts, places for boutiques and small businesses.  We would have had several acres of pre-civil war buildings, authentic canal town buildings to lure tourists!  That would have been a boost for tourism.  
    So in Washington, at least, we have learned that sometimes it is in the owner’s best interests to preserve their historic fabric.  Sometimes we can see better that investors and property owners will make MORE money in the future with preserved buildings.  This is the fact in Washington.  Let’s hope it will be the fact in Buffalo.

  • LouisTully DanteDAnthony BuffBuffBuff Rand503 bfranklin  399 Franklin was a valuable building.  The recent demo on North… a real treasure.  My concern for those that argue in favor of the Bachelor, is that much older, unique buildings come down, while you focus your energy on a non-descript building like this.
    If a building dating to 1859 can come down so a printer can expand, but this corner lot is not cleared for a 75 million dollar investment… it’s pretty clear it’s not the value of the old building, but something to do with the new project, or those involved with the project.
    NIMBY masquerading as preservationism puts real historical buildings at risk.  You guys are smarter than this.

  • RPreskop

    Most of those service oriented job positions are minimum wage, big deal. Save the Bachelor Apartments because downtown has plenty of hotel rooms.

  • RPreskop

    All those of those hundreds of service oriented jobs will be dead end, minimum wage positions, big deal. Downtown has plenty of hotel rooms. This 12 story project needs to be killed dead. Save the Bachelor Apartments, it is a beautiful brick landmark worthy of preservation and possible reuse.

  • LouisTully

    Eh. I wouldn’t put myself in that field. I have criticism of the project but like it overall. I side with saving the building, like many buildings, more for reason of urban fabric and historical authenticity and heritage. That link Dante included reflects my thoughts. Non-descript buildings have an immeasurable aggregate value.
    Impenetrable comment was for buff btw.

  • LouisTully

    Eh. I wouldn’t put myself in that field. I have criticism of the project but like it overall. I side with saving the building, like many buildings, more for reason of urban fabric and historical authenticity and heritage. That link Dante included reflects my thoughts. Non-descript buildings have an immeasurable aggregate value.
    Impenetrable comment was for buff btw.

  • RPreskop

    There no legitimate need for anymore hotels in downtown Buffalo. There are plenty of hotel rooms.

  • RPreskop

    There no legitimate need for anymore hotels in downtown Buffalo. There are plenty of hotel rooms.

  • OldFirstWard
    go to the library and see if this is about the building. i happened on this link via google books.
    http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/18323329

  • OldFirstWard
    go to the library and see if this is about the building. i happened on this link via google books.
    http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/18323329

  • Shane Sillen
    since when do remarks in comment streams have any legally binding authority? does anyone ever try to shut down debate at sabres & bills boards by saying that fans have no business telling the pegulas what to do?

  • Shane Sillen
    since when do remarks in comment streams have any legally binding authority? does anyone ever try to shut down debate at sabres & bills boards by saying that fans have no business telling the pegulas what to do?

  • aojwny

    grad94 OldFirstWard Wow! What a cool find! That may be where the historic drawing of the building illustrated in the article came from.

  • bfranklin LouisTully DanteDAnthony BuffBuffBuff Rand503 I was in that field for a number of years and the Developers tore down a ton of stuff to build new. When we built these in Miami Beach at the Venetian Isles, the exisiting homes on the lots had to come down first. So, I’m not against modern (the architect we worked with was from Paris and living in Miami, all the backers of the company were Parisian) or against big projects. I think the better decision here is to incorporate as much of the historic context and work the parking ramp wind in the space between. I think the developer should get Historic tax credits for the difference in cost, and a variance in height. I think the height here can and should go higher that twelve stories as the building then “Bookends” the Theater/CBD with allentown.

  • bfranklin LouisTully DanteDAnthony BuffBuffBuff Rand503 I was in that field for a number of years and the Developers tore down a ton of stuff to build new. When we built these in Miami Beach at the Venetian Isles, the exisiting homes on the lots had to come down first. So, I’m not against modern (the architect we worked with was from Paris and living in Miami, all the backers of the company were Parisian) or against big projects. I think the better decision here is to incorporate as much of the historic context and work the parking ramp wind in the space between. I think the developer should get Historic tax credits for the difference in cost, and a variance in height. I think the height here can and should go higher that twelve stories as the building then “Bookends” the Theater/CBD with allentown.

  • bfranklin LouisTully DanteDAnthony BuffBuffBuff Rand503 These. https://www.behance.net/gallery/10119175/Project-Management-DCA-Venetian-Isles

  • SDGORTON

    A song from the 60’s and ’70s by Joni Mitchell says it all, ” they take paradise and put up a parking lot.”

  • LouisTully

    grad94 OldFirstWard Interesting.  Grosvenor Room.  Bet it would be about the building?

  • SDGORTON

    One item I noticed in Washington,  they kept the front faces of the buildings and the outer walls in some cases and gutted the building and adding upper stories in glass angled away from the street scape to allow the building to keep its original appearance.  I am aware that was done on the buildings surrounding the Market Arcade on Main St.  No reason to look into doing the same with these other structures.  Keeping the original look and street appearances is what makes a neighborhood warm and inviting.

  • ironliege

    Rand503 As a former resident of Georgetown I applaud your insightful perspective. Further east, on Logan Circle, shells of abandoned Victorians lined the once-graceful street. In the 80’s we wondered who could possibly want them at $50K? Those ‘eyesores’ now fetch upwards of a cool million.  Allentown nearly suffered a similar fate in the mid/late 20th century. When I purchased my fixer-upper in 1998 (for $62K) some friends thought I had lost my mind. I’m very glad I opted for insanity lol.

  • SDGORTON  “paved paradise…” FTFY.

  • ironliege Rand503  I bought mine around the same time.  It is the reason that I take some umbrage with the idea that preservation is an all-or-nothing venture.  I thought a building should be saved, and I did buy it.  I don’t recommend that for everyone.
    90% of the properties favored for preservation I agree with.  The last 10% make some of you look like the old woman in a ‘horders’ show, sitting among a pile of debris, with a rat scampering in the background, pointing to a trinket saying how valuable it is.
    I’ll be bracing an attic this weekend, in a building that all of you would scream about if it came down… while you’re posting here…telling me I don’t have a clue.

  • homemadehippy I think about this all the time – works in Toronto too.

  • Wise Profit David Steele solonggone Create density? Yes. Go vertical? Yes. But for the love of God, do it on existing parking! That is the argument. No one on here dislikes new buildings because they don’t want to see the city grow.

  • Wise Profit David Steele solonggone Create density? Yes. Go vertical? Yes. But for the love of God, do it on existing parking! That is the argument. No one on here dislikes new buildings because they don’t want to see the city grow.

  • Rand503

    ironliege Rand503 I bought my row house on Capitol Hill in 1994 when real estate here was in the trough.  There was a house for sale on every block, some had been on the market for over two years. Everyone thought I was crazy, but I’m just four blocks from the capitol and my house is worth about 5X what I paid for it.

  • Rand503

    ironliege Rand503 I bought my row house on Capitol Hill in 1994 when real estate here was in the trough.  There was a house for sale on every block, some had been on the market for over two years. Everyone thought I was crazy, but I’m just four blocks from the capitol and my house is worth about 5X what I paid for it.

  • buffecon

    Rand503

  • buffecon

    Rand503

  • RPreskop

    How about demolishing the hideous, poorly built Shoreline Apartments on Niagara Street. That apartment complex is among the most hideous in Buffalo with probably only the convention center being uglier.

  • RPreskop

    How about demolishing the hideous, poorly built Shoreline Apartments on Niagara Street. That apartment complex is among the most hideous in Buffalo with probably only the convention center being uglier.

  • LouisTully

    RPreskop Mmmm.  I’m not sure I can take a stance on that.  I appreciate it, though I don’t like those buildings.  Plus it’s a work by Paul Rudolph.
    Actually I thought those were his only buildings in WNY.  I didn’t realize he did the NF library.

  • aojwny

    RPreskop Well, RP, I can’t agree with you there.  I am aware that there are (and have been) maintenance issues with these buildings, but then many historic buildings suffer from deferred maintenance and people use that as grounds for demolition, when instead that should be used as grounds for hauling the owners into court, fining them, and making them repair their buildings.  Of course, this is the city, so what are you going to do? But they are historic, whether you like them of not, and thus deserve preservation.

  • aojwny

    RPreskop Well, RP, I can’t agree with you there.  I am aware that there are (and have been) maintenance issues with these buildings, but then many historic buildings suffer from deferred maintenance and people use that as grounds for demolition, when instead that should be used as grounds for hauling the owners into court, fining them, and making them repair their buildings.  Of course, this is the city, so what are you going to do? But they are historic, whether you like them of not, and thus deserve preservation.

  • RPreskop

    Paul Rudolph was a lousy architect. His horrible, non functionable architecture is a hideous blight on our cityscape and an example of the worst in urban renewal. His designs not only have structural deficiencies but they are downright ugly.

  • RPreskop

    Paul Rudolph was a lousy architect. His horrible, non functionable architecture is a hideous blight on our cityscape and an example of the worst in urban renewal. His designs not only have structural deficiencies but they are downright ugly.

  • RPreskop

    There is absolutely nothing historic about the Shoreline Apartments. They were designed by the worst urban renewal architect, they are hideous and uninviting and they should be demolished. Protecting these ugly urban renewal legacies is foolhardy, they only deserve demolition and clearance. Probably we could put a new NFL stadium for the Bills on this site.

  • RPreskop

    There is absolutely nothing historic about the Shoreline Apartments. They were designed by the worst urban renewal architect, they are hideous and uninviting and they should be demolished. Protecting these ugly urban renewal legacies is foolhardy, they only deserve demolition and clearance. Probably we could put a new NFL stadium for the Bills on this site.

  • RPreskop

    I have to disagree with you about several of those other cities being in poor economic shape. Not necessarily true there are many sunbelt cities that are doing very well and have strong economies that Buffalo and other older northern cities envy. Cities like Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Phoenix, Tucson, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego are all doing very well and continue to attract new residents and business. The problem with these cities is that they are very expensive to live in, just about everything costs an arm and a leg.

  • RPreskop

    I have to disagree with you about several of those other cities being in poor economic shape. Not necessarily true there are many sunbelt cities that are doing very well and have strong economies that Buffalo and other older northern cities envy. Cities like Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Phoenix, Tucson, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego are all doing very well and continue to attract new residents and business. The problem with these cities is that they are very expensive to live in, just about everything costs an arm and a leg.

  • aojwny

    BeardedBuffalonian JSmith11 WiseDesign It could indeed be incorporated, but not as facadism.  BearededBuffalonian is exactly right there. Plus one of the really wonderful features of the Bachelor is it’s skylit central court, which is a key feature that should be kept and celebrated. But I do feel compelled to mention, again, that the Bachelor is not a “nondescript and insignificant” building.  It just has an ugly paint job and some inappropriate replacement windows.  Given a proper paint job and new reproduction windows this building could once again greatly enhance the streetscape.

  • Fallbackcrutch

    i lo

  • Fallbackcrutch ?