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National register Tonawanda Armory sells for $71,000

pictures/tona_armoryThe Tonawanda 25th Seperate Company Armory, a magnificent battlemented Romanesque pile designed by Isaac Perry and completed in 1896 has been sold at auction to Amherst resident Mostafa Tanbakuchi. The closing is expected to occur this Friday, March 19, 2004. The city of Tonawanda had been offered the building by the state, which had rendered it surplus, for $1. The city turned it down, on the belief it could not afford the estimated $75,000 in annual utilities to run the building.

The building is a regional asset, and it is unfortunate few people outside the Tonawandas knew of the state offer to the city. A logical use would have been as a city hall and auditorium. The current city hall, an undistinguished 1950s building blocking views of the Niagara River along River Road, and its site could have been added to the regional parks inventory following removal of the building (perjhaps to atone for the sin of allowing an unmitigated Tops Market to be built on waterfront land nearby.

Mr. Tanbakuchi is asking for suggestions for the building at The city has no money to assist on the project. The building has a new roof and was assessed at $830,000. We'll post photos and other info as they become available.


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