Author: Tim Burmeier
A recently demolished house, located at 130 Depew Avenue, was an ordinary, unremarkable house. A few hundred feet away are lovely stone and brick houses. I have been in this house several times. It was a solid house that needed renovation. Perhaps an owner with vision and adequate funds could have made this house into something special.
The house sold for $365,000 in August 2018. The new owners applied for a demolition permit that was denied after a visit by the Buffalo Preservation Board in November 2018. However, “The Common Council has no jurisdiction on demolitions,” said Common Councilperson Joel Feroleto. “If someone applies to demolish a building, it never goes before the Common Council. Unless a house is a local landmark, or in a local historic district, the Preservation Board has no authority.”
The previous owner of 130 Depew said, ‘they paid a lot of money for a building site’.
The new owners are committed city dwellers. Otherwise, they could have bought a new build in say, Spaulding Green. They could have had a large kitchen and fancy bathroom that are de rigueur without resorting to a demo.
In more affluent parts of the U.S., the wasteful practice of demolishing houses to erect grander structures is more prevalent than in Buffalo. There is opposition to this practice for environmental and aesthetic considerations.
The entire 130 Depew building did not need to be landfilled. The aluminum siding was recycled.
Will 130 Depew be reborn in an innovative, pleasing architectural style? Or will it be a traditional, side-entrance colonial?