Recently, a number of discussions on BRO have revolved around building better housing on the East Side, not the same old cookie cutter homes. As we attempt to get better housing standards in historic neighborhoods that deserve something decent, we must also look at some of the existing housing that can be saved and restored. After all, we will never be able able to build these houses to the same quality threshold – 100 years ago the craftsmanship was at a completely different standard. These days, we’re lucky if we don’t get the ubiquitous Home Depot front door… the standard one with the little glass oval window in the center.
The other day I found myself standing in front of 84 Florida Street, staring at a set of rowhouses. The structures were purchased by Canisius College in 2002. At first I was struck with the overarching beauty of the rowhouses. At the same time, the buildings appear to be a mess. Considering that they are located so close to Main Street and Canisius College, one would figure that these would be prime fixer-uppers. After talking to a couple of folks in the neighborhood, the consensus was that it would be great to see Canisius sell the townhouses to a party that has the means to fix them up. They could still be used for student housing, just with a different owner. That would be a win-win for the neighborhood.
They are fewer and fewer examples of architecturally significant rowhouses in the city. These types of housing units can be incredible anchors for neighborhoods. On the flip side, in the condition that these are in right now, they detract from the block. If Canisius was to sell these to the right property owner, it would be a real victory for the East Side.
From what I understand, the units are currently vacant.