Susan McCartney Receives 'Preservationist of Century Award.' Esmonde, Franczyk, Healy, Zemsky, Wendt Foundation also honored
The Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture, whose members have been at the forefront of historic preservation in Buffalo for 25 years, honored Susan McCartney as the Buffalo “Preservationist of the Century” at the Buffalo Preservation Awards on October 18, 2011.
McCartney was recognized as the founder of the popular preservation movement in Buffalo. She played the leading role in saving the Connecticut St. Armory, the New York Telephone Building, the Genessee Building, St. Mary of Sorrows Church, the Allendale Theater, the Great Northern grain elevator, the Plymouth Methodist Church, and more. In addition, she led the efforts to designate numerous structures and historic districts as local landmarks. These include the Joseph Ellicott and Hamlin Park historic districts, St. Vincent’s Orphan Asylum, and the Buffalo Savings Bank building.
Left to right, Buffalo Preservation Award honorees for Lifetime Achievement Howard Zemsky, Donn Esmonde, Susan McCartney, Ed Healy, and David Franczyk. The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation also received an award at The Campaign for Greater Buffalo ceremony.
Also recognized at the event for impact on historic preservation in Buffalo were columnist Donn Esmonde of the Buffalo News (Lifetime Award for Public Commentary); Fillmore District Council member and Buffalo Common Council President David Franczyk (Grover Cleveland Award for Lifetime Public Service); Edward Healy of Visit Buffalo Niagara (Lifetime Award for National Civic Promotion); the Margaret Wendt Foundation (Lifetime Award for Philanthropy); and Howard Zemsky, president of the Richard-Olmsted Corporation, past president of the Martin House Restoration Corporation, and developer of the Larkin District (William Dorsheimer Award for Civic Leadership).
The honorees received framed Maxwell Tielman photographs of the landmarks they helped save save or promote. McCartney received an image of the Connecticut Armory, Esmonde a picture of the Commercial Slip in the Canal District, Healy a print of the Great Northern Grain Elevator, Zemsky a picture of H.H. Richardson's Buffalo State Hospital, Franczyk a photograph of the concourse of the Central Terminal, and the Wendt Foundation a detail of St. Mary of Sorrows church, now the King Urban Life Center.
The event was held on the eve of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual meeting in Buffalo. The headquarters hotel of the National Trust, the Hyatt, was saved from demolition by McCartney and company. Developer Paul Snyder had originally wanted to demolish the Genesee Building for a new hotel, but, after a landmarking- and community-organizing campaign led by McCartney, was persuaded to do the largest adaptive reuse project effort yet undertaken in Buffalo. He even named the hotel's steakhouse after the building's architect, E. B. Green.
The awards were presented before a packed house at the Western New York Book Arts Center at Washington and Mohawk streets.