See - There is No Plan - Part I
While places like 2 Girard
and 1572 Jefferson
seem to disappear from the streetscape overnight, other houses like this at 235 Woodlawn Avenue are left standing. Why?
Mayor Brown was quoted in a Buffalo News housing series
last summer, "We’re targeting the worst. We’re convinced those structures must go. There’s really no choice." By almost any metric, this burned out two family home should be demolished. It's directly across the street from two recently developed projects - the Cold Spring Church and the new Bethel Headstart building at the corner of Jefferson and Woodlawn. A short three blocks away is the newly renovated Performing Arts High School. Positive investment in a community that's been ravished by decades of neglect helps create a certain level of opportunity - homesteading and urban gardening - yet the lack of effective long term strategic land use planning is revealed when our hollowed out streetscapes become so burned and desperate that houses are left to languish (see Tale of Two Cities - the five year story of another burnout, just around the corner). LISC-Buffalo has helped codify a vision, based on a set of best practices, for managing our City's decline - see Getting Smarter About Decline, October 2006. Triaging the thousands of abandonded, boarded and vacant structures - for mothballing, sale, or demolition - is necessary. It is not being done. Why?As neighborhoods continue to hollow-out, vacancy like a virus spreads and the list of empty places grows longer every day. One begins to wonder if houses such as this, located next to clusters of positive reinvestment, will continue to rot. The fire at 235 Woodlawn Avenue was set by an arsonist ten months ago in April 2008.Over at BuffaloGeek, Chris posted this recently - Buffalo: You're Doing it Wrong! - about what's (not) happening in the city. Good read.
• Woodlawn Row Houses
• fixBuffalo flickrCreative Class
• Shrinking Cities
• Saturdays in the neighborhood