9/12/2006

Inside St. Vincent's

We went in. Pyramid Broker Bob Biniszkiewicz, Marty Knauss from Lehigh Construction and representatives from an evangelical Christian organization seeking to establish their third location for an "urban studies" program all checked out St. Vincent's Monday afternoon. ECC was the last tenant and according to Bob they moved out 25 years ago. And despite recent developments with portions of the building's exterior falling down, Marty's initital impression is that the project is "do-able."
The thought is to stabilize the building - roof, mortar, windows etc...and bring in services, gas, electric and water. As imagined, the urban studies participants would "finish" the building in phases while establishing a residential and learning community. Time to crunch some numbers...
DSCN4506 St. Vincent's - Interior 9/11/06
I've posted about St. Vincent's recently here with some links to David Steele's posts on BR and a shorter exterior slideshow, too. In a few of the slideshow pics you can see the soffit pieces dangling. The views were amazing from the fourth floor windows - City Honors and Masten Armory. Two views with irregular roof lines full of slate, copper, steel and brick caught my attention as I saw some of Delaware Avenue's more familiar spots.
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Here's the link describing the late 19th century Green & Wicks design and the social history of the complex. Make sure to check out additional interior photos from back in the day.
While it may be easy to villify, I'd rather credit Cash. He moved his former suburban based business into Buffalo - corner of Riley and Main Street, restored the Squier Mansion right next door and just recently sought the approval of the Preservation Board for emergency repairs to stabilize St. Vincent's. Just down the street from me he also purchased a building and found an excellent tenant, right here on Main.
The last few pics in the slide show are cool. We walked behind and underneath the second floor Chapel. It's where the priests lived. The spiraling stairway from the first floor through the residence to the chapel evoked, for me at least, images from Oz. All sort of maze like, too.

While the math is getting done, collective fingers - please and toes - crossed for a match.
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4 comments:

Mike Miller said...

Thanks for the great pics, David! It's actually in MUCH better shape than I thought. It certainly seems doable to me!

fix buffalo said...

Mike,

What's cool here is that St. V's is smack in the middle of emerging arts and ed. on the City's near East side...cool that it's flanked by Artspace and new Canisius development projects. If not this group, another one...

I share your views about the condition. I was bracing for something out of Transfiguration Land...

WestCoastPerspective said...

Great space- and lots of potential! Is the Packard Bldg. renovation on 'hold'? I heard they didn't get the tax credits they were seeking and now they need to wait for another round? The stars are lining up to create a strong nucleus of investment and activity that can start this neighborhood rolling.

biniszkiewicz said...

Packard Building is on hold. They did not get funded this round. They will be resubmitting the proposal, with changes, for next year. Whether or not it is approved may be impacted in part by the lease rate for Artspace by next summer. Hopefully a lot of the lofts will be pre-leased.