Finding the sweet spot between innovation and preservation can be challenging. But the reality is that a city cannot grow to accommodate new residents (and their cultural interests) without finding ways to make room. New living spaces, new businesses and, yes, new parking structures need to be introduced in order to keep the momentum going. As one reader pointed out this week, “planning for cars” seems counterintuitive to environmental concerns. But as another responded, not planning for them isn’t grounded in reality. It’s healthy to dream about positive, environmentally-minded changes to urban landscapes – and Buffalo is working on becoming a greener place. We’re quite literally leaps and bounds from where we were just a few years ago. But certain factions of modern living aren’t going anywhere, and being stubborn about them is only going to leave us with a buckling infrastructure that’s unable to withstand the burden of influx. So, we much find space. Space for a new children’s museum, a new hospitality college, new residences and, yup, new places to park, top last week’s stories, along with an innovative idea to help you track your furry best friend and some good news for wing lovers near Elmwood Village. And don’t forget to check out our new ’24 Hours’ calendar for May with suggestions of what to do all month long.
Pavement Watch: Hutch Tech Seeks Expanded Parking
Hutch Tech’s south lawn might not be paradise, per se, but they’ve applied to pave it and put up a parking lot. Specifically, Buffalo City School District is seeking Preservation Board approval to significantly expand off-street parking for the school, located at 256 S. Elmwood. The lawn space will divide up into an additional 30 parking spaces, which — optimally — would free up on-street parking for area residents. Comments offered up a variety of interesting positions on this one!
Buffalo’s Disposable Architecture vs Uninspired New Builds… Need a Tissue?
“Tito, grab me a tissue.” Buffalo artist Kent Treeby’s series of architecturally-inspired tissue boxes speaks to the ongoing clash between developers and preservationists – an inevitable source of tension in burgeoning cities rife with history. Sometimes it’s about something larger than pretty façades and intricate molding. Sometimes it’s about preserving something with a beauty that’s more elusive or valued for the way in which it speaks to a specific time period, like Paul Rudolph’s brutalist designs. Tune in for the latest on Rudolph’s Shoreline Apartments along Niagara Street – and a contentious debate among readers.
Signs of Things to Come: The Excitement Builds @ Explore & More // Inside Look: Emerson Culinary School
One educational endeavor is getting some finishing touches while another is just getting started… With a bright red tricycle just recently placed on the roof, (see the gallery here) you can tell something playful is afoot at Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum, which finally opens at Canalside this spring. The all-new 43,000 square foot children’s museum takes play pretty seriously, spreading the fun throughout four floors of hands-on, interactive goodies aimed at kids 12 and under. Meanwhile, a 100,000 sq.ft. hospitality school with a culinary focus is going up right in the heart of our rapidly developing ‘hospitality district’ at 73 W. Huron St (the site of the C.W. Miller Livery Stable). As an extension of the Emerson School on W. Chippewa, the new facility will substantially expand programming to include marketing, hospitality, culinary arts and sports management . Obstacles in the process have included the removal of 3 abandoned cars on the top floor and the fitting of 20 different window sizes – but you can already tell the end result is going to be amazing.
24 Hours in Buffalo: May
There’s no shortage of things to do in Buffalo… enough so, in fact, that navigating all your choices can prove overwhelming. Let us help you narrow it down a bit with this curated list of standouts for the month of May. Yes, the first weekend has passed — but we’ve got 3 left!
Latest Outer Harbor Vision Unveiled // Imagine LaSalle partners unveil Initial Design Vision for future Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park
Revitalizing our waterfront remains a huge part of Buffalo’s ongoing renaissance, and while it might not be happening quite fast enough for some folks, it’s definitely moving along. Part of what keeps the process slow is responding to the concerns of Buffalonians who have their own designs on how the waterfront would best be utilized (and there’s nothing wrong with that). Last week the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation revealed a revised “preferred vision” for the Outer Harbor with an emphasis on passive recreation in three specific areas. Additionally, an all-encompassing vision for LaSalle Park has been conceived by something called The Imagine LaSalle Initiative, which is intended to provide direction and guidance spread over 14 key design points that we’ve broken down for you. Mayor Brown voiced his approval by stating, ““This model reflects and embraces the thousands of ideas voiced during last summer’s Imagine LaSalle community outreach initiative, as well as this winter’s public design workshops, and is a giant step toward the realization of what Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park will be.” In truth,the plan is quite stunning.
Work to Begin on Hetel Development
1585 Hertel (and the southeast corner of Hertel and Parkside) was scheduled to break ground on Friday, May 3, after some environmental remediation work was completed. Retail space, apartments and underground parking, Oh My! Weight in.
Construction Watch: 1159 Main Street
Plans for 1159 Main Street, north of the Medical Campus, have been many. Once a rundown motel property that was purchased five years ago, it was originally going to be a hotel, then was re-imagined as an office building. The latest treatment, which is now officially underway, is a mixed-use project with over 200 residential units included.
Buffalo pet tech startup Peeva to scale quickly
Putting microchips in our beloved furry friends seemed like a great idea when the technology first began taking hold. Not only do our in-house animals become family to us, but they also become major investments worthy of additional protection. Having a way to track your pet should a door get accidentally left open or a burglary take place seems like a no-brainer. But proprietary software has gotten in the way: too many chefs in the kitchen means too many different chips, scanners and companies competing for your dollar, leaving you and your pets on the bad end of what initially seemed like a great deal. Dog-impassioned entrepreneur Michael Hamilton, founder of Peeva, is implementing a new system that transcends all of those problems by standardizing the chip and chip-reading data. Hamilton talked to us about his new partnership agreement with Covetrus, a global animal-health technology and services company, which makes his innovative idea possible.
Duff’s Puts Elmwood on its Menu
Buh-bye Casa-di-Pizza, Hello Duffs! The famed wing aficionados are bringing their finger-licking goodies to the corner of Elmwood and Hodge. But folks that depend on getting their ‘za on that corner will be excited to know they still can since Duffs will be adding brick oven pizza to their menu of napkin-necessary treats. See the floor plan here, which accommodates seating for 120 patrons and a small outdoor patio space.
New-Build, Emission-Free Maid of the Mist Vessels to be Launched During 2019 Season
Now, even Maid of the Mist is emission compliant. Governor Cuomo announced last week that two all-electric, catamaran-style Maid of the Mist passenger vessels will be unveiled at the Falls this year. Less noise, no fumes and an electric charging station instead of a fuel barge… sounds like a dream, but if things move according to schedule, the new ships will be on the water in September. Read the full story.