City Honors - November 2009

A visit to City Honors this week revealed substantial progress in the $40m renovation of an East Side landmark. Site plans include the demolition of Wooodson Gardens - a 16 multi family building site - on an adjacent parcel that have been owned and managed by the Buffalo Municipal Housing Agency since 1983. These residences were recently vacated and are now boarded and waiting for demolition. The site will eventually become City Honors' new playing field. Here's the rendering from Buffalo's leading architectural firm Hamilton, Houston and Lownie.
The magnificent view of City Honors along Best Street and the great front lawn has been significantly reduced. A sliver of what's left remains visible between the new natatorium and all-high gymnasium.
This is one of the 16 BMHA buildings that will be demolished.
A new main staircase is under construction here on Fosdick Street. According to the rendering from Hamilton, Houston and Lownie this will become the new public entrance, with its front returning to the school's historic roots and visible from Michigan Avenue.
Check out the City Honors archive for additional information and new pics.
ArtspaceBAVPAWoodlawn Row HousesfixBuffalo flickr
Creative ClassShrinking CitiesSaturdays in the neighborhood


dylan said...

I am a student at City Honors, and there are a few questions I have about the plans for the school and its surrounding land.

First off, is the tower that previously stood atop the school being rebuilt? I have heard varying accounts, some saying it would be, and some saying that it's a waste of money. Although I would love to see it rebuilt I agree that it is a waste of money at the time. On some drawing I have seen on this site the tower has been included.

Secondly, are the red subsidized housing units definitely being torn down for a field to be put up? I have heard that this was a strong initiative, but it might be hard to get everyone moved out. On the way past them the other day, there were only a couple that were occupied, the rest were boarded up. What are the plans for the field?

Lastly, is the work on schedule for completion, and when should it be completed?

Thank you very much for your consideration, I have wondered about these questions for quite a while.

bflolover said...

The principal, Dr. Kresse, is the person to talk to about all of these questions and I guarantee he'd be very happy to answer them.

However, I can answer them in brief.

Re: the tower. The hope is that *someday* the tower will be rebuilt. It would not be a functional tower (you wouldn't be able to go up into it), but would be built to look like the original from the outside.

Re: BMHA red housing units. Only two are still occupied. A *lot* of red tape needs to be cut to get them knocked down. The hope is they will be decommissioned.

Re: reconstruction schedule. It is on schedule to finish in Spring of 2010. Students wouldn't start taking classes in the school until September 2010.

dylan said...

Thanks for the info. I really hope to see those red houses come down. I was hoping to interview to Dr. Kresse, and hopefully write an article and publish it in the school paper. Hopefully he'll have an idea about whats going on with these things.

fix buffalo said...

dylan - I can assure you that Dr. Kresse is real close to this project and can answer all your questions.

There a couple additional people that you may want to talk to regarding your forthcoming article - Chuck LaChiusa and Paul McDonnell. Chuck is a retired City Honors English teacher and has written extensively on the history of City Honors. Paul works for the Board of Education - is on the City's Preservation Board and is also a lead architect on this project.

bflolover - thanks!

dylan said...

Thanks! I'll be sure to look check with them and hopefully they can answer any questions I or any other student has. (I'll be sure to ask other student if they have any questions.)

macktt501 said...

I was a student at City Honors when those housing units were built. They were not the best then and have certainly gotten worst over the years. We used to dream about a track and field in that location as there used to be one there long ago. The remnants of the concrete bleachers used to sit alongside the old front stairs. Although I have many memories of the old lawn and will miss it and the old view I am glad for the new additions will help make the facilities first class to match the level of educational excellence.

dylan said...

As you can see from the photo, they replaced the crumbling bleachers with a spacious front stairway. Dr. Kresse, the current principal, said that there is only one occupant left in those houses, and it is just a matter of time before we can reclaim the lands. As for the inside, i recently took a tour of the school and it is coming along amazingly well! I saw the developments and creation of what will be nurturing classrooms and a technologically-advanced school. I am amazed by how different the school looks now, compared to pictures taken only a few weeks ago.