Two Views from the News

Seems like we're still slogging towards fully understanding the problems involved in dealing with Buffalo's heritage buildings. Last week the Buffalo News ran an editorial regarding various problems associated with demolition by neglect.
Three grain elevators have been lost in little more than four months, the latest on the East Side on Oct. 1. Suspected arson was the cause of a fire then that cost Buffalo its last wooden elevator, but critics rightly say it really was yet another case of demolition by neglect.

Just 40 months ago, state Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Bernadette Castro celebrated the listing of the Wollenberg Grain and Seed Elevator in the national and New York State registers of historic places. "These are unusual structures, and whenever you (find them) there is sometimes automatic controversy until you start looking at their significance," Castro told members of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission. read the rest
In Tuesday's Buffalo News, Robert Preskop offers a different opinion.
The bizarre idiocy of our local historic preservationists never ceases to amaze me. After reading the Oct. 4 Buffalo News article titled "Fire loss of historic grain elevator is called another case of city neglect," I could not believe that some of these preservationists are infuriated over the loss of the decrepit, abandoned eyesore on Goodyear Avenue known as the Wollenberg Grain and Seed Elevator.

These preservationists need to wake up and realize that the city has more important responsibilities and pressing issues than some dilapidated, hideous, wood-and-sheet-metal pile of junk that dates from 1912. read the rest
While I certainly would agree with Robert regarding his point about not being able to save everything. A serious effort at strategizing and constructing a City wide preservation plan has not been placed on the table, that I've seen or heard about in the past. Triage is important. We will diverge in what metric and how to apply various catagories - really subjective - to the program. The central complaint that many community and preservation minded people are making with regard to Wollenberg was the moth-balling. It was never done. I'll leave the significance of this building to others for comments. Yet properly securing the building would have taken a couple grand, tops. Instead we fork over $68,000 for an un-necessary demolition. Robert, an ounce of prevention...remember?
Regarding Transfiguration Church on Sycamore that Robert also mentions. I'm so passed being upset regarding how a local attorney - William Trezevant, read lovely e-mail exchange between Trezevant and moi - has conveniently avoided Judge Nowak's wrath in Buffalo City Housing Court. Saving this place would require a major Sysiphean effort that no one is prepared to undertake. There's still an outstanding Housing Court warrant out for Trezevant's mother, the presumptive head of the non-profit corporation that owns Transfiguration. My wager is that this will be another tax payer demoltion, estimated to exceed 500K. Transfiguration has from the beginning - especially during the 1993-1995 period as the Diocese was abandoning and systematically looting the property - an enforcement issue. Period.

I'm still convinced if heritage property is marketed - agressively and creatively on a regional, national and international level (Toronto) - very good things are in store, especially for portions of forgotten Buffalo, the City's east side.
Robert, two words - Granite Works.
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WestCoastPerspective said...

Anyone know if Preskop owns a demolition firm? Yikes. Unfortunately there are of many like minds locally. Probably an advocate of urban renewal too.

At least he lists a few buildings he'd like to see saved- maybe there is hope afterall.

Abe Solutely said...

His name seems familiar, and not in a pleasant way; maybe it's just his porky attitude that reminds me of someone. Wait - he's prolly posted on Rising with "Preskop". No Preskops on the City's list of property owners, I notice.

I wonder why he likes a brick Hotel Lafayette but hates a brick Richardson wing. Works for Buffalo State, maybe? Wants those wings down for more parking, perhaps?

MJ said...

I think Robert may have some fond memories of the Urban renual of the 50's and 60's. He obviously is one of the few enlightened ones that can see the boon leveling entire neighborhoods and blocks were to the area ;)

fix buffalo said...


Come on...nothing about the BN - trying to close the barn door - and arriving on the scene after the horse ran away...

STEEL said...

The can't save everything crowd might have a case if we were not trying to demolish E V E R Y T H I N G