2 Girard - Last Time...

I started keeping track of 2 Girard Street [google map] in March, May, July and November 2005 and most recently this past February. I still find this house fascinating. The almost magical quality of the turret had to engage children for hours and days, along time ago when places like this were still valued. Sadly, Sunday afternoon was the first time I'd imagined a "vinyl victorian" here on this corner, Humboldt Parkway's first.
2 Girard 2 Girard 6 pictures for you 6 pictures for you
click image to enlarge
I've been to Housing Court a couple times. Owner in Atlanta never showed. And while talking with Judge Nowak last February about the plight of 2 Girard, I sensed his frustration as I showed him the pictures and pleaded for a stay. He denied it. The place is tenacious. I thought it was going down months ago. There was some interest last year, prior to the City taking possession. Solid roof and the place still sits very straight.

Maybe this place is fated. Imagine for a moment what Richmond Avenue would look like if a highway was photo-shopped into the middle. As long as it stands there's some hope. Any takers? Tours on request. Let me know. Like a few others over here, I'll help you build a case to rescue this from the City's hands.

Here's the listing on Craigslist - 2 Girard, Buffalo NY
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denny said...

I remember riding with my dad for the first time on the 33, shortly after it opened. Seeing all the big houses right next to the road-in-the-ground, I asked how anybody could live right there... "Nobody will want those houses", or to that effect, was Dad's answer.

I'm almost surprised that so many of them have survived this long....

fix buffalo said...


I hear various reports that the portion of the 33 right here will be covered or brought back to grade and slowed down?

Thanks for reminding me. Here's a link to some 33 construction photos hanging in a cool coffee shop in Hamlin Park.

Anonymous said...

What's the story with the house next door to it?

jefferosn said...

Shame to lose this former beauty.
Any knowledge of the neighborhood - crime statistics for example.
Will you be around Nov 19/20?

MJ said...

The 33 does it in. Those on the other side can kind of feed off the Masten Park district

I've always enjoyed this building, turrets in general.

If there was a plan to deck over that section of the 33, one could see growth happening there again. The city needs a bold program program to rescue houses like this. I've seen ads in Scranton PA with 10 yr school/city tax abatements etc to get people to invest back in the city (vinyl victorians). Something like that could really get the east side going again while saving old structures if applied to rehabbing.

It was amazing at the time that a father/son could see the folly of the 33, but the gov't couldn't.

thestip said...

Decking over, at-grading the 33 is presently not on any politicians, or for that matter the State DOT's plate at present. It is unfortunate. Hell, downgrading the Scajaquada is not even going to happen for another 4 years. As to an expressway running down the middle of Richmond, well that almost happened. I have seen the original expressway plans for the region from the 50s and 60s, and man, thank god we got away with as little of it that was really built. There would have been north/south expressways in both the Richmond Ave. and Bailey Ave. corridors. And the network of expressways through the countryside, well lets just say it made us look like present day LA. Now, if only we could have built the subway system envisioned in the early-60s... :\

Anonymous said...

So, ramming an expressway through the middle of a neighborhood is bad?

Here in Rochester, the same thing happened on thw west side. I-490 was run through "Dutchtown" (once a mostly German -- "Deutsch" -- neighborhood) in the late sixties. Same idea. Houses overlooking the gaping gash filled with traffic. Residential streets turned into access ramps or dead-ended at a concrete wall. A great thing for property values. Dutchtown, once a fine neighborhood, 35-plus years later, has largely become the turf of gangs and pimps; a regular site of drive-by shootings and other depravities that have become associated with urban life.


MJ said...

I too shudder when I see the 60's/70's proposal drawings for Buffalo's inner loop etc. As many "mistakes" as we do have to try to fix, we could have a lot more.

Rochester is trying to remove a portion of their Inner Loop, which when I was a small kid, was jealous we did not have. I consider myself older and wiser now!

Reclaiming our city and history and growing it in a positive manner is not easy or quick, but every step is overly satisfying...

Anonymous said...

antoine thompson talks about decking the 33 once in a while, but has never taken any real initiative on it.

thestip said...

Anon, I hope with Antoine's new position he can push the DOT to study it. As of now, it's not even on their radar screen. Even if he gets them to consider it, at the speed they work at, construction probably would not be for another 6 - 8 years, so I think what we have right now is in for the long haul. It's a shame too, because if not for that damn highway, this house would probably be snatched up in a minute for a remodel. But we have to plan for the future, so maybe Antoine can get something done about it...

fix buffalo said...

Anon 7:43,

Which house?


Nov. 19/20...why? wanna tour? I can clear the deck with 48 hours notice. Let me know...


yeah...nice about Father/son, too. In the next few months, I'll be looking at various newspaper accounts of critique and acceptance of the "Scar" aka 33 for a short piece in my local history curriculum. Think Dante may have it best..."The road to hell is paved with good intentions..."


Any Rochester pix, sites for this plague? Let me know...


Keep me posted...know that you are especially close to these transportation/planning issues.

Anonymous said...

Approximately a year ago Business First ran an article about Humboldt Parkway, which was the predecessor of Route 33, and I was amazed to learn that it was once a dual carriageway with a grassy center meridian filled with trees; originally designed by Olmstead for horseback riding.

According to the article, there was an outcry by residents at that time but the 1950’s mentality of eminent domain was paramount and the eye sore we see today was established.

Sadly, money was available by the State and the Buffalo-Niagara Airport was in need of a direct thru-fare from the City of Buffalo or so they thought.

This project was also used as an attempt to remove the African American community as well but we all, ultimately, paid the price for this abortion which has done nothing more than divide the city in two.

Unfortunately, the secondary fallout was the demise of these once grand and often opulent Victorian homes; this Queen Anne must have been quite beautiful in its day and it is a sad sight to see this grand lady looking forgotten and forlorn.

I often wonder why there always seems to be money for “emergency demolition” but none for “emergency mothballing?”

Since the roof is intact I would remove the window casings and properly secure the lower levels until monetary funds become available for restoration or a potential buyer approaches the City of Buffalo.

Perhaps HUD money or Habitat for Humanity funds could be channeled into derelict buildings such as this one.

I realize my approach may seem naïve but honestly, considering the money wasted by the City of Buffalo, I just cannot understand why a simple approach, as I have stated, cannot be implemented.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'd like a tour but won't be coming up this weekend. Shooting for early December.
Anon- I agree with you completely but what do you mean by remove the window casings?

Anonymous said...

The 33 was constructed through that community and completed in 1971. It was a beautiful shaded street, and as recently as the late 60's there were horseback riders. The Museum of Science is right down the street and suffered from this slicing of a beautiful area with lovely large homes.
One feature that no one seems to know about are the curved glass windows, virtually impossible to replace, now.
Elmwood Avenue has some sister homes to this one.