In praise of small streets and small houses! Coe, Harwood and now - Ada Place! Here's the map and proximity to Mayor Byron Brown's residence. Just like Coe, Ada Place is one block long, urbanistically unique and worth every effort to help preserve its charm and character. Most of the parcels are only 21' wide! And where Coe has its little dip down towards Ellicot, Ada has a cool little crook to the left. These houses are very typical of what you will see on Ada Place when you come over to take a look.
Looking closer at the house on the far left, you'll see this one at 29 Ada. Quick check of City records indicate that it's owned by the City of Buffalo. Not good. According to neighbors that I spoke with recently, no one has lived here for more than 15 years. It's been in the City's hands since October 2002. It appears structurally sound, ok roof, foundational lines are all straight. Of course it's missing services, windows and at least one door.
29 Ada Place
Sense a pattern? It's familiar. Step #1 - and just like at 669 Genesee - the City takes possession and fails to either sell or maintain. Step #2 - (un)necessary taxpayer funded demolition. The condition of this City owned house is in sharp contrast to all the other houses on Ada. While Coe Place is once again on the radar screen next to Artspace, recently and just like on Coe, I observed all sorts of signs that home owners were taking care of their property on Ada. New roofs, siding and eve repair were clearly evident. Some seemed to be struggling others really succeeding in maintaining the unique character of their homes. Cynthia, was telling me all about her new roof, the white house here on the left at 39 Ada Place.
The two houses that were clearly causing the most problems - according to residents that I spoke to - were the City of Buffalo owned 29 Ada, and this one located across the street at 38 Ada Place. Owner: Bethel Community Development Corporation, run by Rev. Richard Stenhouse. He's also the secretary and treasurer of the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority, aka our Control Board. So, so not good.
38 Ada Place
I walked over and spoke with several long term residents of Ada Wednesday afternoon. One guy was intrigued with the idea of urban homesteading and getting 29 Ada back in shape. He was visiting his grandmother and had no idea that the City of Buffalo was the culprit. No kidding, really, he thought it was a much better idea than picking up a "Vinyl Victorian" for 100K. If he knows why and how this makes total intuitive sense, why doesn't City Hall or Rev. Stenhouse know?
Here's a break down of who owns what on Ada Place. You'll be surprised. Stay tuned. Part II is just around the corner...including interior shots of 29 Ada Place.__________________________________________________________________________