The Buffalo Preservation Board did hold a spring hearing on the fate of the Charlie Baker Block, the group of buildings on Genesee Street between Ellicott and Oak streets. It is named for the men’s clothing store that occupied the central part of the block into the 1970’s. The block is an emblematic 19th century streetwall, a rarity in Buffalo today. It is a scenic terminus to the eastward vista of Chippewa Street. and is the subject of a Charles Burchfield painting. It is also seen by tens of thousands of people entering the city each day via the Kensington Expressway, which touches down on Oak Street just north of Genesee. Bill Genrich, Jr., who has owned most of the block for over two decades, wants to demolish several mid-block buildings for on-site parking for a restaurant in a remaining building.
The Campaign for Greater Buffalo, other organizations and individuals (including Campaign members and neighborhood residents Nancy Siegal and her husband) spoke against the demolition. The Masiello administration also opposed the demolition, with the mayor and Office of Strategic Planning chief Timothy Wanamaker subsequently speaking forcibly against the demo proposal.