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December 2005
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February 2006

Richardson going Nowhere Fast.

By Tim Tielman
Eighteen months ago there was so much hope for the Richardson Complex. After two tries, Governor Pataki submitted, and the Legislature approved, an $80 million plan to save the largest building H.H. Richardson ever designed, plus grounds by Frederick Law Olmsted and outbuildings by E.B. Green. This was only accomplished after community pressure and a law suit against the state.
Now it appears that the complex will go through yet another winter of crumbling without so much as a dime spent on stabilizing and repairing the collapsing walls and roofs. Passing a budget item and actually spending the the money are two different things, and it looks increasingly like neither the Governor or the Legislature has any intention of spending money on anything but the central Administration buildings and the stone pavilions. The brick pavilions and outbuildings can continue to rot and fall down. Or burn down, as E. B. Green’s beautiful Men’s Home of 1895, did on June 10. Next? Green’s last standing building on the site, the Community Store. Is the old policy of benign neglect still in force? Assemblyman Sam Hoyt perhaps said as much, when he stated that “you can’t save everything.”

The Campaign files Lawsuit to Protect Elk Market area of Old First Ward from Seneca Casino Complex. 2nd H-O- Mill Building Demo began on Christmas Eve.

By Tim Tielman
The Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture is joining the Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County in its lawsuit against the U.S. Secretary of the Interior and others to prevent the construction of a Seneca Nation casino complex in the Old First Ward neighborhood of Buffalo. Other plaintiffs include residents and business people from the Old First Ward and the Cobblestone Historic District. Campaign President Richard Berger crafted two of the five complaints, those dealing with historic preservation and environmental protection.The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, January 3. The Campaign seeks to halt further demolition at the Seneca’s chosen site, nine acres of land east of the Cobblestone District in what was Buffalo’s first wholesale meat and produce market, the Elk Street Market, dating to the 1850’s. The Senecas began demolition of a brick and steel mill of the historic H-O Oats complex on Dec. 8. Despite the best efforts of The Campaign, the filing comes too late to stop the demolition of the second mill on the site, a reinforced concrete building from 1928 that The Campaign regarded as particularly important to save. Demolition of that building began on Saturday, December 24, Christmas Eve. Courts were closed that day, Christmas, and Monday, Dec. 26. By Tuesday the demolition was well advanced and irreversible.

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