UB architecture students purchased this brick cottage at 139 Howell Street (google map) at the City's tax-sale a few years ago. The redesigned minimalist space is clean and the space, totally liveable. 139 Howell - the "Quad House" - is featured in ExinteriorDesign and there's a slide show with interior images in this recent Wallpaper review.
Here's a before pic and a construction series that I snapped during last Fall's open house.
click image to enlarge
With UB architecture students showing what's possible with a brick cottage in Black Rock, it's even easier to imagine breathing life into a number of other City-owned brick cottages. 41 Milnor in Downtown Buffalo and 16 Harwood Place, right around the corner from Mayor Byron Brown's residence, come to mind. Both are available for $1.