Fugitive & Notorious Slumlord...Busted!
In this morning's Buffalo News we learned that the fugitve and notorious slumlord Venere Hutchinson and his wife, Dana Upcher, were apprended by a former classmate on I-75 in Cleveland, TN. Here's that story... True, the fugitive's former classmate, Officer Andy Ratcliff, picked him up and sent him back to Housing Court Judge Nowak.
"Fugitive & Notorious"
Venere Hutchinson
Venere Hutchinson
Checking out the story further... seems like our own venerable Dick Kern was writing about the "fugitive & notorious" long before his actions were taken seriously by our local elected and anointed. Dick Kern was writing about Hutchinson & Upcher four years ago in April of 2001 and again a few months later in July 2001. NYS Attorney General Elliot Spitzer has some not so kind words about Hutchinson & Upcher, too a full year after Dick Kern placed these two on the radar screen. No one was listening as their rampage continued on at 490 Linwood Avenue. Make sure to check out the possible motives for keeping this on the back-burner! See the May 16, 2002 Buffalo News article, too about their fugitive status...
This afternoon I went out to take a few pics of the Hutchinson & Upcher property here on the city's east-side.

This property located at 630 High Street was mortgaged by Hutchinson for $120,000. Here's the city's official property description. The building has significant architectural detail to warrant a preservation study...This property should not be demolished. A settlement to resolve the criminal case against "Hutchinson & Upcher" should consider alternatives to the demolition of this property.
630 High Street - Hutchinson & Upcher Property
click to enlarge & detail
*** See the slide show about 630 High Street***
More pictures and details about other "Hutchinson & Upcher" property to follow...
I had the opportunity Saturday afternoon to take pictures of the 5 "Hutchinson & Upcher" properties that were mentioned in the recent Buffalo News article.
  • 630 High Street - I first started taking pictures of this building a few weeks ago for someone who used to live in the neighborhood. The building appears to be in very stable condition. It is rich in architectural detail and sits in a very prominent part of this neighborhood that has seen more than its share of demolitions in recent years. I noticed a number of transom windows filled with "Luxfer" prism squares including the much sought after "rain-drop" pattern. Frank Lloyd Write designed many of these. A settlement involving "Hutchinson & Upcher" should include alternatives to the demolition of this building. Two short blocks away at 669 Genesee Street, a city owned and neglected building - waiting for a law suit to happen - will most probably be demolished, too. Get this, it's not even on the list of city owned property for sale. Here's a quick slide show of properties in the vicinity of 630 High Street. Make sure to orient yourself to this neighborhood, if you don't know it, by using this cool google satellite map. This image will also clearly show the ever increasingly larger "urban prairie" here in what some observers call the future agricultural district of Buffalo.
  • 11 Holland Place - Again this two family house appears to be in very sound condition. On this short one block street here in Masten, one block from Main Street and just behind the Squier Mansion, there are 32 parcels. 13 of these parcels, 40% of the street, are owned by the city. Not one of those properties is offered for sale in the current catalog that John Hannon provided me a few weeks ago. Many of the houses on the street like 30 Holland Place are still in remarkable condition, despite years of neglect at many different levels. When I walked around the property at 11 Holland, Saturday afternoon, I noticed a new electrical service. People were living there. When I knocked, they saw me, no one came to the door. Again as part of a settlement in the larger case against "Hutchinson & Upcher" alternatives to the demolition of this house should really be considered. This beautiful victorian, just around the corner at 94 Northampton is marked for demolition, too.
  • 152 Sumner Place - This building was marked with red spray paint, indicating a future demolition. I'm sure Tracy Krug, city of Buffalo Builidng Inspector has a good reason to want to see this place torn down.
  • 92 Mohr & 367 Normal Avenue - These properties are vacant lots. I spoke with neighbors and in both cases I was told that the houses were demolished years, perhaps 2 years, ago.
More as the story develops...
Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006faqmy flickr

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