6/14/2005

Post Office 14209..Re-locating
Last week Thursday I had the opportunity to sit down with Allita Steward, city planner who reports directly to Tim Wannamaker. We met at Quaker Bonnet on Allen and during the course of 90 minutes I had the opportunity to pick her brain about plans for this side of Main Street. I'll save the major announcement regarding the branding of an arts and educational district on this side of Main Street for another post. She really helped me understand the difference between lofts and apartments..."cool" and just another wtf happened sort of project. Super creative and innovative and exactly what's needed to keep this ship from sinking any further.

We spent a good part of our conversation talking about what has and hasn't worked over here. Very cool conversation about race and how may have played in the decision to hire the most prominent African-american architect in Buffalo to design the prison-style or "six-pack" library on Jefferson & Utica. Yes, I've completly changed my position on this library. She informed me that NYC has a couple of all black architectural firms that design urban libraries all over the country. We both agreed that we should have out-sourced on that project. The urgency to build just anything, like Circus Maximus, is compelling yet should be resisted. We end up with total suburban bull-shit like this...and a library with out windows.
Jefferson Avenue & Riley DSCN0323
Allita clued me in on the post office re-location over here in 14209. The (only one?) public hearing is:
Wednesday June 15th
6pm at Belmont Shelter
1195 Main Street
I strongly urge as many people as possible to attend this meeting. I've set up a forum thread on Cyburbia to help keep track of issues and developments. I also contacted the three Common Council members who may end up playing a large role in this rapidly developing planning project. See, this section of Main Street is actually shared by Delaware, Ellicott and Masten. Let me tell you, they really didn't know anything about this hearing.
  • Delaware district includes the west side of Main from Ferry to Harvard
  • Ellicott is where 14209 is currently located
  • Masten includes east-side of Main Street from Utica north towards Canisius
Map of Possible New Locations
I was on the phone today with Congressman Blumenauer, 3rd district Oregon. He has sponsored legislation recently called the Post Office Accountability Act. From my discussion with his staff members in Portland and DC, the post office simply ran a pretty rough show in Portland recently and "photo-shopped" a new PO complete and with out sidewalks!

Seems pretty clear to me that if we want a suburban style PO on Main Street, just stay home on Wednesday evening. If you want something that looks more like the new Lexington Co-op, pedestrian friendly and in-keeping with the urban fabric, jump on your bike or walk over to Belmont Shelter on Wednesday evening. It's right across the street from Delta Sonic...

More about my meeting with Allita...later.
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1 comment:

fix buffalo said...

I apologize for mixing the new library up with the PO re-location meeting. In my "late nite mind" the two had more in common in urban-planning-land.

Anyway, I received a few e-mails already...this from the current owner of 1219-1245 Main Street (PO and new Artspace)...
__________________________________

It seems so sad to hear such idle gossip about a "Suburban
Style" Post office transformation. Perhap's the member's of
this group should do more research before comment. The entire
1219-1245 Main Street, building, consisting of the one story,
housing the Post Office & the five story, to be renovated by
ARTSPACE, has been placed on the "State and National Register
of Historic Places". Does anyone one in this group read the
Newspaper ? A suburban style renovation will be impossible in
the future, given this designation ! Not to mention the post
office has been at that site since approx. 1945 & HAS NO PLANS
TO RELOCATE !

Please Pass this along.

Mark Pagano
Owner of both building's
___________________________________

And this too...

___________________________________

If the Post Office has no plans to relocate, it would be odd that they
would schedule a meeting to discuss that possibility. It's probably
more likely that they wouldn't inform their current landlord if they
wanted to move.

The PO has a pretty bad record for relocating from existing buildings
and then building (or working with developers to build) ugly suburban-
esque post offices. See for example the Niarage Square post office,
which used to be in the Federal Court House, and is now in an ugly
building next to the gasworks (though at least the huge parking lot is
next to the building not in front of it. Or see the post office on
Washington Street next to St. Michaels, where the parking is in front.

Mr. Pagano's buildings may have the minimal protection offered by
National Register designation, but the whole point of people's
concerns, if one took the time to read the thread, is that the PO will
relocated to another site.

____________________________________

Seems like we are in the middle of something...