Preservation Buffalo Niagara had drafted preliminary plans for restoration of 72 Sycamore Street along with an addition to be built on a vacant parcel to the west. PBN is hosting a community meeting on December 17 to learn about the plan and share your ideas. The online Zoom event will run from 6 to 7 pm.
Last year, PBN acquired 68 and 72 Sycamore Street from Rocco Termini. The previous owner of 72 Sycamore proposed demolition of the former boarding house in 2017. In addition to opposing the demolition, PBN worked to acquire landmark status for the building and local developer Rocco Termini stepped in, agreed to purchase it and hold the property for PBN until initial funding could be acquired by the local non-profit. In January 2018, a two-story building at 68 Sycamore went up in flames and had to be demolished.
The Eliza Quirk Boarding House at 72 Sycamore is a pre-Civil War boarding house designed and constructed circa 1848 for its original owner, Eliza Quirk, a well-known courtesan, who occupied the building until her death in 1868. When the building was acquired by PBN, their plans included rehabilitating the building into six units of affordable housing, office space for local non-profit affordable housing specialist Heart of the City Neighborhoods, and a Preservation Resource Center space for PBN where they can hold preservation workshops and provide educational experiences. PBN will talk about its revised plan at the online event.
The properties are within the Michigan Sycamore Historic District. In late November, the Common Council approved expansion of the district to include all of the properties above.