National register Tonawanda Armory sells for $71,000
Central Park (the Buffalo neighborhood, not the NYC park!) tour

Part of what makes a city a city is building mass, and Buffalo is losing it

ama_main.jpgAdam Gropnik, reviewing two books on the recent history of Times Square in the March 22 New Yorker, makes the comment, "One of the things that make for vitality in any the trinity of big buildings, bright lights, and weird stores." (He also notes that "Dick Clark is a simulacrum, but he was born that way.") One thinks immediately of the AM&A's (upper left) building and the Erlanger Theater (lower left) as current, entirely gratuitous, demolition targets in downtown Buffalo. Losing these buildings will be bad for many reasons, among them that the proposed or speculative replacements will be smaller and urbanistically much worse. The Campaign for Greater Buffalo opposes both demolitions. (contact us if you agree and would like to help save them)

erlanger.jpgIn just the last few years downtown Buffalo has lost many large buildings, leaving yawning open spaces in the city fabric. Two 10-story-plus hotels on Delaware Avenue were demolished for parking lots across the street from each other, the Ford/Richmond Hotel at Cary Street and the Mars Hotel (a.k.a. Media Study Building) between Chippewa and Huron. Both sites are parking lots. The massive Victorian Pollack Printing/Niagara Marble complex on the east side of Main at Virginia was emregency-demo'd after an arson fire about 10 years ago. No apparent damage was visible at the time of demolition except for a small section on Washington Street constituting perhaps 1% of the structure, and that damage was due to the demolition machinery on-site. This raised suspicions of a "planned fire and demo" by the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency, which conmtrolled the site. Today it is occupied by a corner parking lot and a one-story rough-faced cinder block structure with a few dark glass windows and long stretches of blank wall along Main Street. Such a building is actually suitable for nowhere, let alone across from the Allentown Preservation District. These buildings are most often found in low-level suburban industrial parks.


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