2/20/2007

Hamilton Ward House - One Year Later...

Last year - Spring and Summer 2006 - Friends of Coe Place, a loose knit group that coalesced around saving the Hamilton Ward House from the wrecking ball. Belmont Shelter purchased the property at the City tax auction in October of 2005. Took Belmont along time - lots of nudging and some public shamming - to finally board and secure the place. Read about it here - Still Saving Coe Place.

click image to enlarge
While attending a party on Coe Place the other night, heard from a few concerned neighbors that the Hamilton Ward House is once again wide open. Just had to take a closer look. These pix are from Saturday's Artspace Backyard Tour. By the looks of the snow against the board and knowing what the weather has been like for the past few weeks...let's just say it's been like this for awhile.

Seems rather odd that the City's premier low-income housing agency - they also build most of the vinyl crap in the City - allows this to happen. I mean the parking lot buts up to to back of the Ward House.

Belmont Shelter is also the property manager for the new Artspace complex, right next door. Let's hope that their stewardship of the historically significant Hamilton Ward House is not a harbinger of things to come. I mean we don't want to start re-posting the home addresses and phone numbers of Belmont's board members. Or, should we? I'll give it a week and see if things get boarded.

Meanwhile you can leave a message with Belmont Shelter - 884-7791 and ask them to properly secure the Hamilton Ward House.

And no, I did not go inside...
  • update 1:15am...just heard from a fixBuffalo reader that part of Saturday's Artspace Backyard Tour should include some activism. If the boards are still off, we'll nail the place shut...join me at the Sonic Café at 11am - details here.
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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a shame that Bethel owns the place and allows it to slip into more rotted condition each year.The building is a true gem.Why be owner and do nothing? Sell it for a dollar and let someone step in and bring it back to it's past glorey! At some point the decay will make it unsalvageable and bulldozer will be only answer. Do something Bozo.

Mark Williams said...

This is, without a doubt, my favorite blog simply because David Torke does not just recite rhetoric from afar but is actually living in the trenches that he advocates and I applaud his Herculean efforts…

And, with all due respect to Anonymous, the constant utterance of “someone needs to do something” is nothing short of maddening since you are “someone” so why don’t you et. al. stand-up to the proverbial plate and do “something.”

Coe Place is manageable as far as single family homes go and available for purchase with a certain amount of red tape. I am sure that the Hamilton Ward House would be made available if the right individual pursued the Belmont Shelter.

Practice what I preach? Well, I was forced to leave WNY due to a total lack of viable employment opportunities and, even if I were able to return, I would not be eligible to purchase the Hamilton Ward House because I do not fit their parameters as a possible occupant for any of their homes!

If the City of Buffalo wants to revitalize these blighted areas I am afraid that a certain amount of gentrification will need to be implemented. Whenever I am in Buffalo I literally gawk at the homes, such as 194 Utica, and cannot even begin to calculate the cost of renovating such a huge building back into a livable home compounded by the fact that once you have dropped $100,000 in renovation/restoration you will still own a home that is worth a fraction of what you placed into it because of the location.

There is no one single answer and I am afraid that many more, once beautiful homes, are going to be burned, vandalized and eventually razed until employment opportunities return to western New York.

Though, I fear, not in my lifetime.

fix buffalo said...

Anon...

It's Belmont, not Bethel in this case. Though the two organizations collaborate and "photo-shop" the vinyl-victorians into the neighborhood on a regular basis.

Mark...

Thanks for the kind words. This house - 1042 Ellicott - is just around the corner, City owned and I'll be posting about it very soon. Interior photos probably sometime tomorrow.

Just a reminder about "gentrification"...only happens in areas where there is a housing shortage. Here, in this particular neighborhood - and all across Buffalo - there is a surplus of housing. By definition, gentrification is a long, long way off...

You are spot on regarding density and economic factors as essential parts of the puzzle.