There is No Plan

On Saturday afternoon I drove right by and didn't notice - 2 Girard is gone. Today I returned for photos. I last mentioned this amazing Queen Anne single family home in September 2007 - here - when I learned that a neighborhood organization was going to purchase and renovate it.

May 2007

Last July, as the Mayor's bulldozers were ramping up for his '5x5' demolition plan, the Mayor was quoted in a Buffalo News article - here:
We’re targeting the worst. We’re convinced those structures must go. There’s really no choice. - Mayor Byron Brown
2 Girard - Buffalo, NY
January 2009

No choice? 2 Girard was a viable structure - a rehab opportunity in waiting.

I remember commenting to my friend as we entered the '33' at Best Street on Saturday afternoon. "Every time i drive along this stretch i feel as though i add insult to injury." It was demolished the day after Christmas.
2 Girard - Buffalo, NY
March 2005

The Mayor reportedly was considering a press event at 2 Girard prior to the demolition and was advised not to. He moved to a fire damaged house on Jefferson Avenue at the last minute.

To see the full impact of what we have lost, visit Historic Aerials - here, for a look at what the neighborhood was like in 1958. Take a moment to compare the 1958 map with the 2006 image, using the convenient slider tool. Staggering.


Here's the link to eleven 2 Girard posts - going back to March 2005 - including some interior pics.
ArtspaceBAVPAWoodlawn Row HousesfixBuffalo flickr
Creative ClassShrinking CitiesSaturdays in the neighborhood


Anonymous said...

I too was under the impression 2 Girard was going to be rehabbed.
I was shocked to hear it is gone..I could of given 5k+ addresses that warrant demolition..This one would not of made that list..Michele J

houses rehabbed said...

What happened to the neighborhood group's plan to purchase and renovate 2 Girard? And why was Brown advised not to hold his demo press conference there? Did he and his administration ignore the neighborhood group's rehabilitation plan?

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see one of those new plastic houses go up on this prominent site

Anonymous said...

How many more years does Buffalo have to endure this Mayor Brown. He has no vision for the city. Wouldn't it have been better to just put up a big FOR SALE sign on this old beauty that could've been seen from the highway rather than tear it down? Sad.

Anonymous said...

Mistakes like this cause a loss of faith in this administration unless you make money off it.

Pity the fools that shoot themselves in the foot rather than pocket the loot!

Anonymous said...

This is not a Senatorial move !!

Anonymous said...


Does anyone live in the hosue next door, and does anyone know if its owner or occupant asked the city to demo 2 Girard?

If #2 was standing vacant for many years, then no matter what the hypothetical potential I can understand why someone could prefer a vacant lot next door instead of living a few feet from a fire trap.

fixBuffalo said...

The house at #4 - directly next door - has been vacant for years. #'s 6 and 10 are owned by the City and have been empty for years.

Understand your point - I think. Yet here your hypothetical doesn't hold up.

We've seen some similar comments in regards to the City owned house at 1572 Jefferson - another missed opportunity - yet the neighbors in this case were patient and upset to see it go.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Well, in all cases - neighbors or no neighbors, it seems obvious the city should have proactive information sharing with the public via the web to show which buildings are planned for demo and roughly what time frame is planned. They should also have some feedback mechanisms - phone or email, so people can communicate directly with decision makers to object and/or bring up other houses not on the list that should be.

If they don't want to post info on the web for some reason, they could hold public meetings once a month or something like that to summarize what's planned for the coming month and allow some public input.

Has anyone suggested to Reilly or Comerford that they make public interaction less random about all this?

Anonymous said...

As to knowing what demos are in the pipeline, normally all demos in the city need to go before the preservation board, which meets twice per month.

Preservation Buffalo Niagara (www.PreservationBuffaloNiagara.org) has been working to get the board agendas and minutes, and posting links to them on their home page.

As I type this, they currently have a link to the minutes from the January 8 meeting.

Clark said...

I have watched this house decay for years and even made an inquiry about buying it from the city at one time. The problem here is that the city wanted far too much money for this stripped and heavily vandalized property. They also do not make it easy for the average resident to buy vacant properties, it is almost as if they want them to decay to the point where demolition is necessary.

I am sad to see this one go.

fixBuffalo said...


I understand. The process needs to be streamlined.

I've recently been involved in one transaction helping some folks by a city owned house - actually for $1, involving a property that is being 'homesteaded' - and the entire transaction from application to deed-in-hand, took just 60 days!

I'll be covering this story very soon.

Anonymous said...

I wish that all such wonderful homes could be saved or moved to a failsafe area.

I remember when that area was a thriving neighborhood with actual families occupying those houses as their homes; their roots.

But now, today, with all the real- estate 'investors' and their transient tenants ovetaking neighorhoods, just refurbishing the turret/tower alone on that gone house would have cost a r.-e.'I' thousands.

R.-e. 'investors' are definately not noted for anything but bare-bones, couldntcareless, takethemoneyandrun nonimprovements.

Therefore, there (has to go) the neighborhood as whole sections of this City and the attached suburbs head into prairieland (where many deer are already known to play--in traffic, that is.)

Therefore, tearing them down is the non-option--unless B.Reuse can use them, that is...

PrairiesEast at
PrairiesEast Estates at prairieseastestates.blogspot.c

ALSO: Who remembers the houses on Kensington Avenue across from Sisters Hospital being moved there so that the Kensington Expressway (route 33)could be built? I wonder what condition that area is in today...

Anonymous said...

In response to Crisa: I live local and have rental properties in the east side and am starting to manage other out-of-town investors' properties.
Rest assured, I am not 'one of those investors'. I take pride in and well-maintain my properties, carefully screen my tenants,and follow through on my strict rental agreement.

I grew up in the Bailey/Delevan area and I want the city neighborhoods to revitalize. I am trying to do that, one property at a time. I wish all investors felt the same way.

Anonymous said...

Sort of in response to Anonymous, 4:39 PM, January 11, 2009:

My thought #1: It's pretty much too late to rest assured.

Real-estate 'investors', who are 'investing' in Buffalo, NY are coming from all over the world now, and they simply do not spend their money on what live-in homeowners do. Does anyone ever wonder why that was allowed to happen?.. Just a fluke of lack of planning, is it? And it is happening to land along 2 great lakes?..

In what is this City now, it's all about using up then tearing down and its all for the future--making way for the open land that, in 50 years, will be the best and newest part of what is now Buffalo!

It is my idea to pre-own the names PrairiesEast and/or PrairiesEast Estates for what is surely coming. I like the sounds of those namings.

Thought #2: The term "flipping", when done by legitimate investors, hasn't the same meaning or purpose as what that term has become in this area. My gosh, why is that?..

(In Buffalo,NY even the meaning of the term flipping has been flipped out of proportion and morphed into preparations for the future!)

Heck! Maybe a good idea like B Reuse will expand to dismanteling and storing magnificent structures like that gone house on Girard so that in-future, they can be re-built in PrairiesEast by PrairiesEast Estates!

Hey! You never know...

(Who dreams up the "word verification" letters? Often they are almost words? Neat!)

Clark said...

David, I am very eager to read your article on streamlining the process for purchasing houses from the City.

Anonymous said...

You all talk aboout saving these homes, when white flight took place in the 60's and 70's, where were all of these comments. Name me one community group who would have fought to save these communities. You all left the city to die, and now you see the mess that was left. Now you understand that the draw back is not to those communities alone, it is to the city and WNY as a whole. Mayor Brown did not make this mess, he is just the one who has the task of trying to clean it all up!! "Talking proud" miss these communities and was focus in S. Buffalo!! Now you see the great homes and buildings of the east side. You all are a little to late!!

Anonymous said...

Rachahcha, That link to the Pres Board meeting agenda does not list any properties considered for demo.

So unless there happened not to be any demos planned in the coming month (very doubtful that's the case), it seems their written agendas are not a way for the public to find out what properties are being considered for demo.

Some city agency must keep that kind of list obviously, but they should make it public in time for citizen feedback before the final order is given.

Anonymous said...

That was 40-50 years ago. We need to stop pointing fingers at this stag in the game and simply get over it. While finding the causes to problems is a start it doesn't help produce the end result of a solution.

What happened during white flight may have been a mistake to the health of our region in general but it was their choice to make. They only thought they were doing the best with what they had for their children. We today, only after seeing know better.

Still to this day there are many advocates of Buffalo but live in the burbs because of their children.


Anonymous said...

So, what you are telling me is that the economics that were pulled away from the inner-city was good for your children. Why? Because, they were place in the burbs?

Your children would have a better view of diversity and cultural, had they stayed where these entities were. They would have learn the lesson of not running from your problems. A greater lesson would have been, to look the problem in the face. Thus coming together as a whole for solutions to these problems.

And the children who grew up in the burbs, miss out on the excitement of living in a thriving city.

Advocate for the city or not, running did not make the problems go away!!

FYI, I had families on the block that I grew up on, who were German and Polish. That was in the 70's not 50 years ago.


Anonymous said...

The topic of city vs suburbs vs city + suburbs vs absenteeism vs live-in (there is no plus as far as absentee-owners and live in owners goes; especially not as the absentees are growing in the burbs pretty much unbeknownst to the live-ins in the burbs) and which has become a hot topic at several blogs and sites within Buffalo, NY. IN THE PAST WEEK ALONE!

But a lot of it what is now being commented on dwells on the past.

No way can the past of any subject matter be changed...

It's time to be moving on while observing: eastern Buffalo and the connected suburbs are becoming
'PrairiesEast', real-estate 'investors' and their transient tenants needing to be much more closely monitored and, most of all, understand what the 'transient' part of tenant transiency means for both this City and all the suburbs, and...

Anonymous said...


Maybe one reason some people moved from Buffalo to its suburbs is that violent crime is so much lower. For example in the first half of 2008, 1725 violent crimes in Buffalo and 72 in Amherst. Buffalo has about double Amherst's population. So at the same rate per capita it would have 144 violent crimes, but it had well over ten times that many. Over 12x as many actually.

"...The number of violent crimes in Amherst over the first six months of the year rose 10.8 percent, from 65 in 2007 to 72 in 2008. ...In Buffalo, over the same six-month period, violent crime rose 5.8 percent, from 1,630 in 2007 to 1,725 last year. ...


stephenjames716 said...

the demolition of this building is so sad. I have always admired it and was shocked to see that it was gone. I am fascinated with the humboldt parkway area, what it was, and what it is now. thanks for posting about this.

Anonymous said...

Another house in my old neighborhood is now gone.I remember me and my old freind Freddie making money by killing rats.50 cents a rat was good money back in the 60's.We use to play some pretty good touch football games in the street.I lived at 74 Girard.MEMORIES...GREG K Warren Mi

Jibreel Riley said...

blame it all on the low income housing racket. The East Side gets rebuilt but its those awful tofu homes that are sold for cheap. The problem with all of us is we have sat on our hands for far too long.

Question the answers.