October 09, 2014
Breaking ground ceremony of the Richardson Center Corporation Core Project
The "groundbreaking" ceremony for a hotel at the Richardson Olmsted Complex will take place on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. The Campaign's board and staff were instrumental in saving the former asylum, filing a lawsuit which led directly to $100,000,000 in state funding for preservation projects, including $75,000,000 for the Richardson, which had been deteriorating unchecked for decades ($25,000,000 went to the Martin House).
An 88-room hotel and 300-seat event center are planned. Hotel rooms will be in the two pavilions flanking the Administration Building, which will house hotel reception and an "architecture center."
Construction on the $69 million project will also include landscaping and roadways. Controversially, the main hotel entry will be automobile-centric, and approached from the rear, or north, side of Richardson's iconic Administration Building. Northside landscaping is to be rectilinear, taking its cue from parking lots serving the hotel (the Campaign fought against this anti-Olmstedian plan, to no avail)
Landscaping and circulation issues notwithstanding, the occupancy of part of the Richardson Complex marks a victory in the 30-year struggle to re-occupy the National Historic Landmark.
Posted on October 9, 2014 at 12:19 PM | Permalink
September 25, 2014
Posted on September 25, 2014 at 11:58 AM | Permalink
September 16, 2014
This Old Mansion: lifestyles of the rich and infamous!
Sunday, Sept 7 & Saturday Sept 20. Departing at 10:00am from the Hotel Lafayette @ 391 Washington St.@ Lafayette Square.
The lifestyles of the rich and infamous unfold on this fascinating tour of the mansions of Buffalo's titans. Learn of their feats and foibles and evolving taste in conspicuous architectural consumption. Massive Italianate, Second Empire, Victorian Gothic, Queen Anne, and Shingle-Style houses were a kind of urban Downton Abbey. All was not decourous, however: Mabel Dodge Luhan, who, after trailblazing and swath-cutting life on two continents, wrote a famous memoir that dished the dirt on her youthful Buffalo neighbors.
90 minute tour for $25! Call 716-854-3749 to reserve a seat or pay by Paypal below. *Please be sure to indicate tour and tour and tour date when purchasing.
Posted on September 16, 2014 at 11:35 AM | Permalink
Industrial Strength Architecture: Adventure on the Belt Line
10:00 am Sunday Sept 21. Departs at Hotel Lafayette, 391 Washingotn St. @ Lafayette Square. 90 minutes for $25
Buffalo's Hide-in-Plain-Sight secret: The Central Belt Line of the 1880'a, the city's most consequential transportation project since the Erie Canal. See huge industrial plants like Pierce-Arrow, Ford Motor, Larkin Soap, and, of course, the titanic NY Central Terminal itself-powerful and innovative architecture that effects how we live today.
Posted on September 16, 2014 at 11:12 AM | Permalink
July 01, 2014
Larkin, Hydraulics and Valley Tour in August and September!
Experience this great Open-Air Autobus tour with C4GB member and urban planner Chris Hawley on Larkinviile's Market Day!
Tour dates are are Thursdays, Aug. 7 through Sept 18.
We depart at Larkin Square, Seneca & Emslie at 5:30pm for the approx. 1 hr. tour.
Tours cost $10 for all ages and are sponsored by Larkin Development. Cash or credit card accepted upon boarding.
You may also reserve seats by calling (716)854-3749 or via Paypal button below.
Posted on July 1, 2014 at 01:49 PM | Permalink
June 03, 2014
City of Tomorrow Event at Silo City
Head out to Silo City for this amazing event. Thursday, June 5 from 6-10pm!
Posted on June 3, 2014 at 01:11 PM | Permalink
May 01, 2014
Campaign Stops Demo Work at Larkin Powerhouse, Owners Confirm Bids Sought for Demo; Campaign seeks "Larkin Historic District;" Public Hearing May 15
The Campaign for Greater Buffalo has successfully stopped demolition work on the Larkin powerhouse at 645 Seneca Street and submitted an application for local landmark status for the entire Larkin District. The Buffalo Preservation Board adopted the application and voted unanimously to recommend that the Larkin Historic District be created. A public hearing is scheduled for Thursday May 15 at 3:00pm in room 901 of City Hall.
Campaign Executive Director Tim Tielman called City of Buffalo Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services James Comerford on Wednesday afternoon, May 23, to report that, two different people, on two separate occasions, had said to inquiring passersby that “14,000” bricks were being salvaged on behalf of the building’s owners prior to the demolition of the building “in a month.” One man was quoted as saying the building would be imploded. Tielman photographed palletized bricks and a large section of wall from which two myths (layers) of brick had been removed in haphazard fashion—a typical salvage job one sees on demolition sites. No demolition permits had been issued.
The Campaign posted its findings on its website, The Greater Buffalo Blog, and sent out a news release later on Wednesday. The news was posted on various websites and resulted in an article by reporter Mark Sommer in the next morning’s Buffalo News.
On Thursday April 24, City of Buffalo building inspector Kevin Coyne posted a stop-work order on the building.
In the meantime, Tielman and colleague Eric Pochylski were working quicky to deliver an application for landmark designation to the Preservation Board at its meeting Thursday afternoon.
On Friday, Sommer had published a follow-up story in the News, in which principal Peter Krog dissembled on the issue. Tielman connected by phone with Krog in the early afternoon. Krog admitted that he had spoken about demolishing the building and claimed it was in bad condition. Indeed, said Krog, he had had Commissioner Comerford over to the site previously, and showed him the conditions in what Krog called the “crawlspace.” Krog reported that Comerford was so impressed that he offered to issue a demolition permit. Krog further stated that he had “had the asbestos removed.” No survey has been done or permit issued for that work, as far as can be determined.
On Tuesday, April 29, Tielman met with Comerford. When told of Krog’s comments, Comerford reacted angrily and denied to have ever visited the site and said Krog could not be “trusted anymore.” Further, an architectural firm retained by Krog filed for a permit to remove more brick from the building, and Krog partner Jim Cornell let it be known that demolition bids had been solicited.
Posted on May 1, 2014 at 05:23 PM | Permalink
April 23, 2014
Illegal demolition activity at Larkin Powerhouse; Contractors say plan is to "implode" building within month. Campaign moves to stop work, designate entire area "Larkin Historic District
Members of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture have witnessed and documented illegal demolition activity at a significant Buffalo landmark: the R.J. Reidpath-designed powerhouse. A section of brick wall is being removed by contractors working on behalf of the building's owner, developer Peter Krog. Contractors said the building would be demolished "in a month." Piles of bricks and a wrapped pallet of bricks were photographed by The Campaign. A query at the Department of Inspections revealed no permit for the demolition work, nor applications filed for the building as a whole. The Buffalo Preservation Board, which must review all demolition applications, has also not received any notice of such an application.
Campaign Executive Director Tim Tielman expects to give the City of Buffalo Preservation Board a nomination form to designate the powerhouse and all the Larkin Company buildings as a local historic district. Once accepted, the Board could vote as early as tomorrow (April 24) to schedule a public hearing.
"It is unfortunate and outrageous that a building owner seeking to exploit the historic cachet of the Larkin Company (Krog and partners also own the adjacent 701 Seneca Street, which they call the "Larkin Center of Commerce") would destroy part of the nation's legacy for a parking lot," Tielman said. A Larkin Historic District would give long overdue formal recognition and protection to one of America's most importa"nt industrial complexes. It would also offer the maximum protection for the endangered powerhouse."
Krog's company is enjoying the fruits of other public and private investments in "Larkinville." M&T Bank recently leased a large block of space, and Krog has been building and repaving parking lots in the area.
"There is always a creative solution to parking issues that is short of demolition, and if Krog can't develop the building, I am sure there are other developers out there who would be happy to do so," says Tielman. We are determined to fight very hard to save the powerhouse, and I am sure the public will agree we cannot lose this building."
Frank Lloyd Wright's Larkin Administration Building, across the street from the powerhouse, was demolished in 1950. Krog currently owns the site and operates it as a parking lot.
Buffalo Department of Permits and Inspection Services Commissioner James Comerford, reached by The Campaign on Wednesday afternoon, vowed to send an inspector to the site as soon as possible.
Posted on April 23, 2014 at 04:37 PM | Permalink
April 04, 2014
FRUIT BELT PRESERVING
Posted on April 4, 2014 at 02:47 PM | Permalink
April 01, 2014
Campaign for Greater Buffalo moves to designate endangered Fruit Belt buildings
City’s oldest continuously operating market and post-Civil War Meidenbauer-Morgan House threatened by proposed grocery store.
The Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture, working with the city’s Preservation Board, is advocating to designate as historic landmarks two buildings at Maple and High streets in the Fruit Belt neighborhood that are threatened by a proposed grocery store. The Campaign is proposing that the two buildings, the Meidenbauer-Morgan House (1871, above) and the Schirmer Meat Market (1876) be joined with the already-designated Promiseland Baptist Church at High and Mulberry to form a High Street Historic District. The Preservation Board is to hold a public hearing on the proposal at its next meeting, Thursday April 10, pending proper public notice. Should the Board recommend designation, the matter would be go to the Common Council's Legislation Committee, which would schedule a public hearing and send it to the full council for a vote.
"These are very handsome brick buildings that are survivors of a proud neighborhood, and are emblematic of the houses, churches, and markets of the Fruit Belt and a model for future development,” says Campaign for Greater Buffalo Executive Director Tim Tielman. “The grocery store, on the other hand, can go anywhere. The answer to saving the Fruit Belt is not to continue the 50-year war of demolition against it and its people, but to reinforce the qualities that make it special.” The buildings mark the current western edge of the Fruit Belt. Every remnant of the former residential neighborhood on High Street from Maple to Main Street has been demolished as a consequence of the North Oak Urban Renewal Project and hospital expansion.
Research by The Campaign has found that 195 High Street (above), currently operating as the High Street Deli, is the oldest documented, continuously operating market in the city. It was built for butcher Henry Schirmer, and opened in 1876 as Schirmer’s Meat Market. It is a structure the likes of which is no longer built. In addition to the market, Schirmer lived upstairs, and a smokehouse, sausage factory, and ice house were attached to the rear. The brick walls of the structure are a foot thick. All of this continues to stand, but is threatened by the proposed subsidized market across the street.
The Meidenbauer-Morgan House (variously described in city records over time as 204 High and 291 Maple, often simultaneously) is rare: It consists of two conjoined houses built at once. The larger block faces Maple Street. The smaller block faces High Street. Together they enclose expansive grounds on the corner of Maple and High. The compound has been owned by only two families since constructed, and is now owned by the City of Buffalo, which is working to consolidate the entire north side of High Street between Maple and Mulberry for the parking lot and store proposal. Several parties have approach the city over the years to buy the unique property and restore it, only to be rebuffed. Consequently, the structure is suffering “demolition by neglect.”
The compound is most closely identified with two doctors of longstanding, John G. Meidenbauer, who lived there since his parents built the house in 1871, until his death in 1941. Thereafter, it was owned and lived in for 46 years by Dr. Lyle Morgan, who made house calls for decades throughout the neighborhood, and delivered the pioneering funk musician Rick James, who remained a patient through adulthood.
The Campaign for Greater Buffalo is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) corporation. Its mission is to protect greater Buffalo’s historic, aesthetic, and cultural heritage; help to protect and improve property values in historic districts; encourage civic pride in the beauty and accomplishments of the past; protect and enhance greater Buffalo’s attractions for tourists, thereby benefiting business and industry; strengthen the area's economy; and to promote the use of characteristic and exceptional architecture for the education, pleasure, and welfare of the people of Erie and Niagara counties.
Posted on April 1, 2014 at 01:16 PM | Permalink