885 Niagara Street was designed by Sidney Woodruff in 1903 for the Buffalo Milk Company. It was constructed in 1905-1906 and incorporated Medina sandstone and Roman brick as part of its building materials. It was designed in the Neo-classical style and incorporated arched windows.
According to what I’ve read, its interior was very elegant. Unfortunately, that interior was destroyed with time for the most part. Several people who have been in the building over the last 10 years, prior to its reconstruction, have told me that the floors were crumbling and that it was unsafe to walk in parts of the building. The second and third floors that connected the front and back buildings collapsed while it was vacant.
The complex has large buildings on Niagara Street and Prospect Street. The remaining one story building connecting the two ran along Massachusetts Avenue.
As part of the building’s rehabilitation the second and third floors of the connecting building have been restored. This restoration used matching yellow brick on the building’s right side as part of the complex’s future as affordable housing.
Red brick was used on the restoration of the left side of the connecting building. Beautiful windows that appropriately conform to the Preservation Tax Credit guidelines were recently installed. I don’t know if the Medina sandstone will be cleaned before this rehab is finished.
Regan Development Corporation, an affordable housing developer from Ardsley, NY, is responsible for this redevelopment. Their previous work in Buffalo includes the redevelopment of the former Packard Motors Showroom Complex on Main Street in Midtown into an affordable housing complex.