Despite development in efforts slowing down, preservation efforts are still ramping up. Preservation Buffalo Niagara (PBN) has embarked upon a new initiative that follows in the footsteps of 1996 Common Council President George K. Arthur. At the time, Arthur, aided by preservation stalwarts John Conlin, Edward J. Patton, and Paul Redding, set about to identify structures in the City of Buffalo built prior to 1860. The strategy was implemented to help safeguard these historic structures from demolition (including demolition by neglect). Altogether, 215 buildings were identified. Unfortunately, since that time 30% of those precious structures have been lost, which is what prompted PBN to pick up where prior preservationists left off.
The resulting list from the 25 year old survey included approximately 215 buildings, with the oldest from 1818.
According to PBN, 80% of the remaining structures have no formal historic designation or protection. That is why The 1850 Project has been established; the plan involves training volunteers to research the buildings, in order to “put proper preservation protections in place.”
“We are so excited to pick up this project and finally give these structures the preservation protections and designations they deserve.” said Jessie Fisher, Executive Director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara.
Due to the COVID-19 virus, all of the volunteers will be trained virtually, to get them up to speed with the undertaking. From there, PBN staff will help the volunteers to take further steps, including preparing structures for landmark nomination and eligibility review for the National Register of Historic Places.