Author: Dr. Rehab

Dr. Rehab

John Straubinger has been an occasional Buffalo Rising contributor since 2007. Born and raised in the city, John lived and worked in Boston, MA in the Research field for over 47 years. Since the early 1990's, he started following what was happening in his home town with a developing interest. Liking more and more of what he was seeing in Buffalo for the last ten years, John decided to return to Buffalo permanently in the fall of 2014. John has an interesting facebook page called Buffalo rehab and Reuse, https://www.facebook.com/groups/929189663802358/. He occasionally contributes articles to BRO as Dr. Rehab.

This is Part 2 in a series that explores the recent building and house rehabs in the city of Buffalo. This is a pictorial journey, with images taken throughout various neighborhoods. I spend a lot of my free time documenting rehabs all over the city. In the process of doing that, I’ve befriended a number of DIY rehabbers, small business contractors, real estate agents, preservation activists, and a few people who I’d call my liaison connections to what the big contractors are up to. I don’t know anyone personally at Ellicott Development, Uniland, Sinatra, etc. However, I do know how…

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I spend a lot of my free time documenting rehabs all over the city. In the process of doing that, I’ve befriended a number of DIY rehabbers, small business contractors, real estate agents, preservation activists, and a few people who I’d call my liaison connections to what the big contractors are up to. I don’t know anyone personally at Ellicott Development, Uniland, Sinatra, etc. However, I do know how to get information and I report it without opinion. That annoys some people, but as a preservationist, I’m interested in being a positive force in a city bathed in cynicism. Every…

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There were a number of new houses finished over the course of the year, or started in 2017, in the city of Buffalo. Two prominent new homes are proceeding in construction – one at 657 Lafayette Ave (lead image – designed by architect John Wingfelder), and a handicapped accessible designed home at 101 Depew Ave. Both had controversial beginnings as preservationists and neighborhood activists challenged the property owners’ plans to tear down existing 100+ year old structures and replace them with what they deemed as, “incompatible or inappropriate” houses that are ill-fitting in historical neighborhoods like the Elmwood Village or…

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When I was a kid, I grew up on Linwood Ave across from the intersection of Linwood and Balcom. My house and the house next to it were demolished in the early 1990’s after the Unity Church on Delaware Ave purchased them and turned the property into its Meditation Park. While I certainly miss that house and will never forget it, I have always remembered and cherished the immediate neighborhood nearby and for that matter, the greater neighborhood nearby. That closest neighborhood is known as the Oxford Triangle which comprises Linwood Ave, Oxford Ave, Horton Place and Harvard Place, or…

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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…

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Ellicott Development’s transformation of the former Niagara Lithograph Company’s facility at 1050 Niagara Street has reached an exterior milestone. The building is completely windowed and doored and has plantings surrounding it. The building looks beautiful. When all construction is finished, the first and second floors will be office space, with medical related tenants in mind. Due to the slope of the building, the basement portion of the building facing the Niagara River will be above ground at that point, and contain eight market-rate apartments. In keeping with the federal and state historic preservation tax credits that the project is receiving,…

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Authors: Dr. Rehab and Queenseyes Self professed rookie developer Bill Breeser’s project at 1225 Niagara Street continues to progress. The white paint came off the building this spring, exposing some very nice traditional brick. Now there are new windows throughout the entire building. Buffalo Rising reported on this project in early May.  According to Breeser, there are three apartments underway at 1225 Niagara Street – two one-bedrooms on the second floor, and a two bedroom with two bath on the third floor. It was a total gut job, but the building was structurally sound, with good bones. In order to accommodate a…

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As I’ve developed the Facebook page Buffalo Rehab and Reuse, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on how much people like seeing “before” and “after” pictures of the rehab process. People have also told me about houses that they knew were rehabbed in the last few years that I did not know about. Using Google Maps, I started to put together additional resources to complement the FB page posts. Altogether, I have a multitude of examples, and I thought that I would share ten of them from the West Side. In coming weeks, I’ll share more rehabs from the West…

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Construction on several city houses has finished or is nearing completion this year. Several new builds have recently started and several more are in the planning stages. Many city residents have noticed the new house at the corner of Chapin Parkway and Potomac Avenue (lead image). Designed by Buffalo architect John Wingfelder, its finished appearance is also pleasing. It is not a McMansion as some initially feared. Mr. Wingfelder is also the architect of the new house that will be built at 647 Lafayette Avenue in the coming months. While I opposed the demolition of the previous house at that…

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17th Street is a two block venue that runs at an angle between Vermont St and Richmond Avenue. To be honest, I never noticed it until this year’s GardenWalk. What I noticed was a street of well-kept and/or rehabbed houses. Most are the houses are 2-family but I like the way most of them look. I like discovering pleasant surprises in Buffalo so I thought I’d share some of these 17th Street houses with you. It wasn’t too long ago that many of these houses were fixed up and painted. 17th Street looks a whole lot different today, and continues…

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