December 30, 2013
PRESERVING OUR ROOTS
Saving Wildroot Building could be just the tonic for Buffalo's East Side!
Campaign for Greater Buffalo member Mark Paradowski has his own campaign to save the Wildroot Building on Bailey Ave. between Walden and Broadway. Wildroot was the country's largest manufacturer of men's hair tonic after WWII, made famous by extensive national advertising. The building, with its Carrera glass portal and stainless steel lettering spelling out "Wildroot," is a familiar landmark in the Lovejoy Council District (represented by Richard Fontana). Originally built for Grennan Bakery of Detroit in 1929, the 100,000 square- foot building housed the largest cake bakery in the world.
The Wildroot Company got its start in the barbershop of the grand Iroquois Hotel at Main and Eagle Streets in the early 20th century. The business grew faster than most customers' hair, and around the time of World War II it sought a new location. They found it on Bailey Ave., directly on the major rail lines which converged on the East Side. 200,000 bottles of hair product were produced each day. Nat King Cole sang the company jingle and future President Ronald Reagan modeled for the print ads. Chemist Emanuel Gundlach perfected the formula and his son Robert worked mixing batches of his creation. Robert invented the modern photocopy process for a Rochester company that became known to the world as Xerox.
The Wildroot building has value as an anchor structure to a large Buffalo neighborhood, as well as being the location of a national icon from Buffalo's manufacturing and entrepreneurial peak. The building has survied long after its peak usage due to its strong structure of steel reinforced concrete and brick facade that encompasses the entire site. It provides open floorplates and the dense urban scale sought by today's adaptive use projects.
A building worth saving!
Posted on December 30, 2013 at 04:07 PM | Permalink
December 13, 2013
Be there at Larkin Square!
Posted on December 13, 2013 at 03:17 PM | Permalink
November 19, 2013
TWO BIRDS, ONE STONE CHRISTMAS GIVING!
OPEN-AIR AUTOBUS TOUR GIFT CERTIFICATES ARE A GREAT IDEA FOR RELATIVES, FRIENDS, BUSINESS ASSOCIATES AND CO-WORKERS!
Give your favorite urban explorer, Buffalo lover, history buff, or achitecture fan a two-hour treat with memories that will last a lifetime: An almost reach-out-and-touch ride through the streets of our city and surrounding areas aboard the Open-Air Autobus. Your recipient will gain enlightenment along with entertainment through the narration of Campaign for Greater Buffalo's expert guides. Tours run from late spring to late summer(up to ten different ones to choose from).
Your good deed counts twice- gift certificates will also support the Campaign, enabling us to continue our preservation mission.
Purchase certificates by Paypal below, or call (716)854-3749. We accept checks and major credit cards. We will mail the gift certificates promptly to you, or with given information by phone or email(firstname.lastname@example.org) to your fortunate recipient.
*Certificates redeemable for 2014 season.
Posted on November 19, 2013 at 12:05 PM | Permalink
November 15, 2013
NEW ON CITY'S LANDMARK LIST: ST. ANN'S CHURCH!
St. Ann's Church has been designated a City of Buffalo landmark . This was achieved by the Campaign's support and our continuing work with St. Ann's parishioner's. Campaign Chair Paul McDonnell led the designation effort. Dissaproval came solely from the Catholic Diocese with objections that landmark status will interfere with reuse plans and possible "necessary" demolition.
There are over forty Catholic Churches listed individually as local historic landmarks or are within a local historic district. The Campaign will continue to preserve St. Ann's and revitilize the neighborhood.
Corpu Christi was saved by landmark designation, allowing $2,000.00 and counting, of state funding and repairs. The anti-preservation stance of the diocese, in light of the benefits, is confounding and counter- productive. Citizens and parishioners wanted this landmark status and now have new hope for the future of their beloved church and its surrounding neighborhood.
Posted on November 15, 2013 at 04:26 PM | Permalink
November 06, 2013
WHITE BROTHER'S STABLE, SAVED BY FAST ACTION OF CAMPAIGN, REBORN AS HOUSING!
New life of the human kind, will soon enjoy fancy digs as did horses of yesteryear on Buffalo's West Side.Tenants and their visitors will walk up to quite an impressive facade. Arched windows and carriage entrance, with bas relief horse heads flanking the lettering carved in Medina sandstone of the White Bros. business, established in 1892 at 432 Jersey Street. Read Buffalo News article dated November 6th by Mark Sommers.
Posted on November 6, 2013 at 04:38 PM | Permalink
October 17, 2013
St. Ann's mission becomes Campaign's mission
At 501 Emslie St. and Broadway, on Buffalo's East Side, stands a masterpiece of neo-gothic architecture with an equally impressive interior: St. Ann's RC Church. View stunning video footage narrated by writer Christina Abt and hear facts and opinion by local parishioners and Campaign President Paul McDonnell.
Posted on October 17, 2013 at 12:18 PM | Permalink
October 07, 2013
Work of Campaign Making Mark on City
Buffalo News Article, Sunday, October 6.
Tim Tielman, Executive Director, Campaign for Greater Buffalo, History, Architecture and Culture
The work and contributions of hundreds of Campaign for Greater Buffalo members and supporters over the years continues to be felt. Just in the past two weeks, Campaign board member John Paget debuted his short film, "Buffalo, The Best-
Designed City" before hundreds of people at Larkin Square. Campaign Board members Chris Hawley and Tim Tielman figured prominently in the film, which got over 35,000 hits in its day on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBsi5FGbY2Y
Earlier that week, Tielman and Board President Paul McDonnell, with over 30 citizens from St. Ann's parish, testified at a Common Council public hearing on designating the endangered church an official city landmark. Public declarations of support at the hearing by Ellicott District Councilmember Darius Pridgen, Fillmore District Council member David Franczyk, and Niagara District Council member David Rivera seem to assure its eventual designation.
Then, on Saturday, September 28, Tielman, McDonnell, and a host of Campaign members joined hundreds of others at the formal ribbon-cutting for the South Lawn at the Richardson, a dream 20 years in the making. Campaign members Tielman, Susan McCartney, and Richard Lippes led the lawsuit which led to $75,000,000 of state money being directed to the Richardson, with millions more to the Martin House Complex.
Finally, on Sunday, October 6, Buffalo News columnist Donn Esmonde devoted his column to recognizing Tielman's—and, by extension— the Campaign's role in turning the city around.
Here is what Esmonde had to say:
The “transformation” of Tim Tielman is complete.
From “obstructionist” to project-shaper, from “obstacle” to asset, Buffalo’s foremost preservationist is finally getting the mainstream due he has always deserved.
Tielman, in fact, never changed. Only the public perception – fueled largely back then by vision-challenged power brokers – of who he is and what he does has finally shifted.
The shift came full circle with Tuesday night’s packed-crowd unveiling – at, fittingly, the Larkin Square public space Tielman designed – of “Buffalo: America’s Best-Designed City.” John Paget’s beautifully shot 12-minute promo film is a tribute to the ongoing revival of a city that – after years of lurching like a barroom drunk from one silver-bullet plan to the next – has finally shaken its mega-project addiction.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBsi5FGbY2Y
Tielman is a primary talking head in the rebirth-celebrating flick. Once maligned and marginalized by the powers that be, Tielman now is used as a civic spokesman. Not since Linda Blair’s head swiveled in “The Exorcist” have we seen as dramatic a turnaround.
Although promotional in intent (it was partly funded by the state and Visit Buffalo Niagara), the film reflects reality. Logjams have been broken lately on the downtown waterfront, on the outer harbor, with downtown housing and in the growing realization that preservation is not a roadblock to development, but an economic and aesthetic key to it.
In recent years, we resurrected history and created a waterfront park at Canalside. We broke the transportation authority’s 50-year stranglehold on the waterfront. We are repopulating downtown and transforming such icons of the past as the Lafayette Hotel – saved from the wrecking ball – into foundations of our future. It’s deeply gratifying for all of those who fought over the years for civic sanity.
Tielman was at the center of much of it. Many people missed this, but for every Bass Pro or mega-convention center he opposed, he offered a saner alternative. Every time he prevailed, the community benefitted. From Canalside to Larkin Square to various architectural gems, the sites glorified in the film are to varying degree products of Tielman’s battles and vision.
“Looking at the track record of Tim and the preservation community collectively, from Shea’s to Canalside to the Guaranty Building, there is nothing they fought for that we look back at with regret,” said Ed Healy of Visit Buffalo Niagara. “So many of the stories we now tell about Buffalo and our identity concern sites or buildings that were saved by preservationists.”
Canalside’s Commercial Slip and public space are there largely because of Tielman. His Preservation Coalition led the fight, which included a federal lawsuit, to resurrect history. He understood that a big-box retailer had no business doing business on our downtown waterfront.
Tielman helped to turn aside a mega-convention center that would have obliterated the Ellicott District, since resurrected by Rocco Termini and others. Chunks of Main Street, Ani DiFranco’s Babeville, the H.H. Richardson Towers and the Webb Building are on the Tielman-led “save” list. Larkinville is a product of businessman Howard Zemsky and his partners, who revived the old Graphic Controls plant. But Zemsky hired longtime pal Tielman – the two visited European cities to study urban design – to plan the Larkin Square public space.
“I just think Tim is an asset to the community,” Zemsky told me. “He’s super-smart, creative, and he understood the value of our architecture and history as unique resources long before that view was widely adopted.”
I don’t want to overstate this. Buffalo’s rebirth is not the story of any one person. Tielman (often working with his ex-wife, Sue McCartney) had a larger hand in some things than others, and plenty of help with anything he did. The list of preservationists, activists, public officials and concerned citizens who fought various battles is admirably long. Mark Goldman helped to craft the post-Bass Pro “Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” waterfront philosophy. Termini has been a force in downtown revival. Rep. Brian Higgins has for years whipsawed change on the outer harbor. But Tielman was so marginalized for so long and led so many uphill – but often victorious – battles, that the triumph of his sense and sensibility is worth celebrating. In numerous ways, his efforts contributed to, and dovetail with, Buffalo’s rebirth.
“It’s nice to see that what we’ve been saying all of these years is bearing fruit,” Tielman told me. “We couldn’t have achieved it if there wasn’t a groundswell of popular opinion behind the ideas. People made their voices heard.”
Tielman’s ascent in the mainstream public eye not coincidentally coincided with Zemsky’s rise in the civic ranks. As Andrew Cuomo’s main man in Buffalo, Zemsky (who partly funded the film) brought a sorely needed progressive sensibility to the region’s corporate boardrooms. He carried with it an appreciation of Tielman’s resume and talents.
There still are plenty of battles to fight. But in recent years, big pieces have fallen into place. The film celebrates what we are doing with what we’ve got. In it, Tielman comments on the fruits of his own labor. Nice work, and it’s nice to see him get some credit – and to see the larger community finally “get” him.
Congratulations to all Campaign members!
Posted on October 7, 2013 at 10:21 AM | Permalink
October 02, 2013
OPEN-AIR AUTOBUS RECHARGING BATTERY FOR NEXT SEASON
The Open-Air Autobus is going in for some busscaping after a terrific 2013 season to re-emerge for the 2014 Buffalo Marathon Tour in May.The bus will then also be up and running for charter tours. In the meantime follow us on the Campaign for Greater Buffalo facebook page and the GreaterBuffalo blog.
Thank you to all who enjoyed being with us on the tours and special thanks to our drivers: Tim S., Jay and Ray; and expert interpreters Chris Hawley, Paul McDonnell, and Tim Tielman
Posted on October 2, 2013 at 09:26 AM | Permalink
September 23, 2013
Last Special Open-Air Autobus Tour of the season: INTO THE HEART OF BLACK ROCK : WAR OF 1812 EDITION
This is your chance for a seat on our last specialty tour of 2013! Departing from Elmwood Avenue and Bidwell Pkwy. at 1pm.Click on the handy PayPal button below to make your reservations or call (716) 854-3749 and you'll be ready to step on board Buffalo's one and only Open-air Autobus for this professionally guided tour.
Black Rock was until 1853 an independent village in biter competition with Buffalo for supremacy on the Great Lakes. Buffalo won and eventually absorbed Black Rock, but a distinctive place remained. From LaSalle Park to the renewed Amherst Street, we'll trace the history of the place from 1609 to WWI, with a special emphasis on the War of 1812, which was raging 200 years ago.
Discover an all-but-forgotten border railroad station and customs house and a real rarity, the circa 1830 Howell House. We'll also see some wonderful renovation projects, including a firehouse converted to a house, not to mention a cannonball factory, the Black Rock Lock, and several beautiful churches.
* Member C4GB purchase option for individual up-to-date memberships only.
Posted on September 23, 2013 at 01:33 PM | Permalink
Future of St. Ann's Likely Hinges on Tuesday Council Vote
The Diocese of Buffalo, owner of one of Buffalo’s irreplaceable cultural landmarks, wants to demolish it and opposes what would be the first step in first step in its restoration: designation as a City of Buffalo landmark.
The Buffalo Common Council's Legislation Committee, chaired by Ellicott District Council Member Darius Pridgen is holding a public hearing on the Buffalo Preservation Board's recommendation that the church be designated a city landmark. An abridgedted version of the application, without photographs to reduce file size, can be downloaded here: Download St. Ann Landmark App abridged
Officials of the Diocese of Buffalo plan to speak against the landmarking of St. Ann’s Church at the Common Council Legislation Committee hearing on the issue on Tuesday, Sept 24. This is the only public hearing the Council is required to have on the Preservation Board’s recommendation that the massive 1878 Gothic Revival be declared a landmark. The Campaign for Greater Buffalo has long urged the designation of St. Ann’s, and the Diocese’s announcement in August that it wanted to demolish the structure got the ball rolling. When designated a landmark by local, state, or federal bodies, churches become eligible for public and private preservation funds not otherwise available to religious organizations.
Can’t make it in person? Email support letters to the Buffalo City Clerk, Gerald Chwalinski, who will copy to all council members: email@example.com. Include your name and mailing address. Do it right now!
Posted on September 23, 2013 at 11:04 AM | Permalink