What Remains - One year later

One year ago today the Woodlawn Row Houses were razed in an emergency demolition following a late-night fire. The row, designated a City landmark in 1982, was owned by the City of Buffalo. Here's the archive of pics and posts.
What remains
What remains - charred shingle
The year that followed the fire has seen two development projects initiated in the neighborhood. Both bring some hope. The faith-based housing projects, developed by Reverends Pridgen and Stenhouse, respectively, form book-ends on opposite ends of Woodlawn Avenue. A number of single family homes have been developed - here and here.
The vacant City-owned lot, where the Woodlawn Row Houses once stood
Alternatively, a number of architecturally significant and urbanistically unique City-owned residential properties in Midtown continue to languish. The fate of 94 Northampton, 393 Masten and 11 Holland Place remains uncertain. Two of these properties - 393 Masten and 11 Holland Place - are part of a two-year old City sponsored subsidized rehab program, yet no progress has been made. 94 Northampton was nearly demolished earlier this year, but was given a stay of execution by Jim Comerford, Commissioner of Permits & Inspection.
A year later, one landmark burned, have we made progress? Are we learning?
building indexfixBuffalo flickrcreative classshrinking citiesamericansuburbX
spacing torontoinfrastructuristinhabitat


Anonymous said...

This is a tough area with little appreciation for the architectural gems sprinkled throughout. I would like to see more farms and community gardens in these areas; maybe not to the extent that Cleveland and Youngstown are going to but aggressively tearing down the old stock housing in blocks. It's sad but may be the only way to save the city. Between the money spent on tearing down hazardous buildings and the cost of fighting fires it's just not worth it. Some areas need full block condemnation to pare down the problems into a manageable group of properties with fixable code problems.

Anonymous said...

This is off - topic, but being an ex Buffalonian, (I talk to my Mom everyday ) I live not far from Seattle though I have never been there - I live in the rural Rockie moutains. But recently in Seattle it was announced that Target would open a downtown store.

2 years ago, Walmarts was looking for alternative type outlets, I suggested to Mayor Griffin that he look at a Walmarts for Main-place Mall, he said that he was in a dialogue with the company.

it's was once rumored that the light rail transit was a by-product of a corrupt Sedita city administration, I happen to like it

what needs to be done is to complete the project and if need be sue Cheektowaga into the land rights.

The train station unless an adventurous project is mounted for the entire neighborhood, it's lost.

The tax base needs to expand that would mean the amalgamation of Erie into Buffalo, Buffalo can save itself. I lived in a lot of different places, and every place I've been has some development problems, not every place is going to make it, but Buffalo deserves to.

olcott_beach said...

Since these areas are predominately African American, I would like to ask the community what type of housing they would like to see in their neighborhood.

Is there an actual desire to see the existing housing stock renovated or is there a preference to new builds that reflect suburban neighborhoods?

As you already know, I would prefer to renovate and restore especially since we have lumber from old world growth that will continue to last several more lifetimes and, in some cases, craftsmanship that cannot be equaled or replicated.

94 Northampton is an amazing house, which was clearly built with much pride and was an expensive construction in its day. However, does this house serve a purpose in today‘s housing needs?

I think it may be wise, if not prudent, to determine what the community wants and/or needs as the topic of urban decay and preservation is a never ending cycle in the city of Buffalo.

Jaclyn said...

Dear David. I was wondering if you perhaps had, or knew of anyone who has interior pictures of 428 Porter before it was rehabbed. And do you have any estimates on how much it costs to rehab a building like that. I am a local who for one is interested in doing her own rehab, and two is trying to help my friends save the Dewey Mansion in Potsdam NY where we went to college which has been vacant for about 15 years. Potsdam wants to tear down the building, about 7,000 people have made noise that they want it saved. Any help you could give me would be great.

Jaclyn said...

I wrote something incorrect in my last post. It was abandoned in 2006 and then bought by some people who stripped it of it's stainglass windows, most of it's woodwork and copper piping.

Max said...

As a post-postmortems go, you csn tske comfort in your tireless effort on behalf of the WRHs' retention.
Have we learned anything? I'm afraid not - as witnessed by the continuing tide of demolition orders - some necessary, some not - and in particular the recent affair in the Cobblestone District.
The City - and when I say "City," I'm referring the elected and administrative functions of the City of Buffalo - has done an inept and shabby job of protecting our architectural heritage.

Cash For Houses said...

By definition, anything anyone does in a situation where there is a choice between more than one alternative is the "best available alternative."

Library Diva said...

Jaclyn, if you are still here, I suggest visiting phelpsmansion.org. They accomplished something that sounds very similar to what your friends in Potsdam are trying to do. It was an all-volunteer affair, and I believe it still is. They're nice folks and I'm sure they can help give you good advice.