Joe Violanti is the owner of Buffalo’s newest designated landmark: the Dellenbaugh Block, three buildings which occupy a block of downtown Broadway between Michigan Avenue and Nash Street.
Violanti called The Campaign for Greater Buffalo after the City of Buffalo designated his neighborhood (it includes the Michigan Street Baptist Church and the Rev. J. Edward Nash House) an Urban Renewal area. Violanti wanted his block landmarked, because of his concern that the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency might forcibly gain control of his property and perhaps demolish all or parts of it. That concern was not misplaced: soon after designation, BURA “harvested” the famous Club Moonglo at Michigan and William.(there is a reason some preservationists call it the Urban Removal Agency)
Campaign member Mike Rizzo (author of the just-released Through the Mayors’ Eyes, a history of Buffalo mayors) handled the research and documentation. The block is named for Frederick Dellenbaugh, an early German immigrant and physician who had his home and office built at 173 Broadway circa 1842 and lived there until just before his death in 1891. The original house with its hip roof is visible on Nash Street, behind the storefront added in the late 19th century. A Deco restaurant occupied the storefront in the 1930’s. The most conspicuous part of the block is 163 Broadway, built in 1884 (pictured). It once contained Buffalo’s first 24-hour pharmacy, and the offices of prominent African-American physicians.
Blue Cross: Unhealthy in More Ways than One—Isolated site, poor design, and stealthy land acquisition