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.

I was in the Harvard Co-op (Harvard Cooperative Society) in Cambridge, MA one day in the mid 1990’s when I first encountered “Buffalo Architecture: A Guide” by Reyner Banham. I was very surprised and gratified to see this book published by the MIT Press. In it, I discovered a Buffalo neighborhood I had never heard of, the West Village. Gathering from commenters on BRO over the years, not that many lifelong Buffalonians have necessarily heard of this neighborhood either. One of the rehabs I have been following in the West Village is on Johnson Park, and is being rehabbed by…

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There are more than a few rehabs on the Lower West Side. Seeing so many makes me wish that all or part of this area of the city was a historic preservation district so that the tax credits would encourage more developments of this nature. Each time I drive around this part of town, I discover additional projects, as I check on the progress of the ones I am aware of. The overwhelming majority of these rehabs are DIY initiatives, but there is a contractor or two in the mix. Almost all are in progress. Nick Giambra is doing a gut rehab…

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In early June, I drove through the streets of the Cold Springs and Fruit Belt sections of the city and discovered 11 rehabs spread across Riley, Dodge, Northampton, Laurel, Glenwood, Woodlawn, Orange and Peach. Most were recent starts. By late July, as you can see, many had progressed. Various contractors took part in this work. The house on Riley and one of three rehabs on Laurel were sponsored by the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency (BURA). On the Facebook page Buffalo Rehab and Reuse, a number of commenters pointed out the use of vinyl siding and vinyl windows on these rehabs. While…

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I remember coming back to Buffalo in early 1990’s to find five to six houses on each block of Ashland, Norwood and Richmond for sale. This depressing reality was characteristic of both sides of the street. I looked around, not only on these streets but on other streets of the city and could not find a single rehab. Since I changed my status as ex-pat to re-pat in the fall of 2014, I have found numerous rehabs of houses and buildings all over Buffalo. In the coming weeks, I will contribute articles displaying rehabs from all sections of the city. This…

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A couple of months ago, I took two pictures of the building that was being rehabbed at 220 Franklin Street for the Facebook page, Buffalo Rehab and Reuse. BRO reported on the sale of this building, the former Club 220, and plans for its conversion into a new facility for Capello Salon & Day Spa last October. The rehab has produced a beautiful dark blue building with the salon on the ground floor and apartments on the second floor. Gradually, in an L-shape, the block bounded by West Huron and Franklin is becoming a rehab nexus. Besides the Curtis Hotel…

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Pastries & Preservation-Ready Sites returns to Sweetness 7 on Grant on Thursday, September 25. The event, which kicked-off in early 2012, is sponsored by the Facebook Group, Preservation-Ready Sites, and is an extension of the group’s online activities. Pastries & PRS is a casual, fun way to meet fellow citizens, architects, planners, historians and preservationists who care about the built environment in Western New York. The format of the bi-monthly meet-up is to begin with a featured speaker. This month’s speaker is Jill Nowicki of the Clinton Brown Company She will speak about Historic Preservation Tax Credits. This is an…

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Pastries & Preservation-Ready Sites will be holding a special breakfast gathering this month on the topic of Buffalo area land banking at the Sweetness 7 Café at 220 Grant St and Lafayette on Thursday, April 24 at 8:15 AM. These breakfast events, which kicked-off in early 2012, are sponsored by the Facebook Group, Preservation-Ready Sites, and are extensions of the group’s online activities.  Pastries & PRS is a casual, fun way to meet fellow citizens, architects, planners, historians and preservationists who care about the built environment in Western New York. The format of this special meet-up begins with our featured…

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Pastries & Preservation-Ready Sites returns to Sweetness 7 on Grant Street on Thursday, November 21. The event, which kicked-off in early 2012, is sponsored by the Facebook Group, Preservation-Ready Sites (FB), and is an extension of the group’s online activities. Pastries & PRS is a casual, fun way to meet fellow citizens, architects, planners, historians and preservationists who care about the built environment in Western New York. The format of the bi-monthly meet-up is to begin with a featured speaker. This month’s speaker is Patty MacDonald of the Kleinhans Community Association. She will discuss housing and landlord issues on the…

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Pastries & Preservation-Ready Sites returns to Sweetness 7 on Grant on Thursday, July 25. The event, which kicked-off in early 2012, is sponsored by the Facebook Group, Preservation-Ready Sites,  and is an extension of the group’s online activities.  Pastries & PRS is a casual, fun way to meet fellow citizens, architects, planners, historians and preservationists who care about the built environment in Western New York. The format of the bi-monthly meet-up is to begin with a featured speaker. This month’s speakers are Thomas Herrera-Mishler of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy (BOPC) and Anthony James, the Parks Architect. They will speak…

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Many articles in Buffalo Rising’s City section discuss rehabs of existing Buffalo buildings for new reuse purposes or new buildings that will join our city’s landscape. Many commenters focus on these projects as signs of progress in Buffalo. And, indeed, they are the most visible examples of new activity and a new direction. However, confidence and stability in the city of Buffalo can also be measured in less publicized activities and actions such as major home remodeling, streetscape changes and in the return of families with children to some of our neighborhoods. I’m going to write about some examples of…

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