Attached to Dibble True Value Hardware at 268 West Ferry is a wonderful old three-storey building that has seen better days. It’s called The Eleanor, but not many people would know that because the name of the building (etched in stone) has, forever and a day, been hidden by metal siding that extended from the sign of the hardware store. The rest of the building pretty much followed suit in the “what were they thinking” department.
As with many other forsaken buildings in this city, The Eleanor is getting a makeover. And while not the most traditional redo, it’s easy to tell that this building will one day play a significant part in the rebuilding of West Ferry street – a street that still needs some serious help with infill, and reversal of poor building and design efforts. Now that the cladding has been removed, revealing the brickwork, The Eleanor is already adding to the integrity of the street.
Unfortunately, some the newer brickwork carried over from the hardware store as well, leaving the renovation team with a quandary. With newer bricks below and historic bricks above – it meant that they needed to come up with a transition element. That element appears to be some sort of tile flooring, which, some might say, offers up a “unique” solution to the problem.
The first floor (part of Dibble) was defaced many moons ago, along with the rest of the building. Now the work crew is attempting to make lemonade out of lemons. It’s too bad that they couldn’t have just put in a storefront on either side of the entranceway, with transom windows above. The decision not to do so, was most likely made because behind the wall is a work/storage area for the hardware store, which is why there’s no need for a storefront. It will be interesting to see what the final result will look like, once the project has reached completion.
A sign located near the development indicates that funding for the makeover is from the Buffalo Billion – part of the Main Streets Initiative. The project is part of Empire State Development’s Homes and Community Renewal effort. The designated developer team is PUSH Buffalo, a local but nationally recognized community based non-profit, and its housing development entity, Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Company, Inc.