East Side Beauty - Archive

I'll be keeping track of some of the beautiful homes and places here on the City's East side. While most of these places are in Artspace's backyard, I'll be including numerous locations through out the East side that capture the beauty that is frequently overlooked. No vinyl here. But if that's what you like you can find it in - My Vinyl Collection. Instead, I'll be focusing on homes that resonate with craftsmanship and charm.
Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
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My Vinyl Collection

Welcome to the best collection of "Vinyl Victorians" in Buffalo, NY. If you're an urban hipster looking for a few laughs, or an architect looking to spot your colleagues mistakes, look no further. Or, if you live in the 'burbs and don't know better, get a life. If you're the builder or developer of these mistakes, simple - "Stop building crap!"
Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. Mcguire: Plastics.
I'll be adding to my vinyl collection and critique of "Vinyl Victorians" on a weekly basis. I hope to have an expanded critique of these homes and the culture that creates them, soon. Yes, that means a Wikipedia entry for "Vinyl Victorians." If the houses are vacant and owned by some agency, I'll provide the address and name of the builder. If these homes are privately owned, I'll show some restraint and post the picture along with a very general location, no specifics.

This will be a weekly event. Comments already are hot. If you have some favorites, send them in.

There is an antidote to this vinyl madness, see Small Red House.



Today's Buffalo News - see story - brings more bad news for the City of Buffalo. I've been following the story over the past year in the Annals of Neglect.

Pictured below is the Bishop's residence at 79 Oakland Place and the former Transfiguration Church, that's literally falling down. It's owned by a local attorney, William Trezavant and his mother Pauline Nowak. It has become the symbol for neighborhood activists and preservationists as they seek attention and awareness regarding the pending closing of additional diocesan builings mentioned in today's Buffalo News.
79 Oakland Place Transfiguration Church - Interior
click to enlarge
Seems clear to me. If Bishop Kmiec was seriously interested in Buffalo and the long term viability of the Buffalo Diocese, he would vacate his Oakland Place residence (highest assessed single family home in Buffalo - $960,000) and immediately move into an abandoned rectory on the City's East side. The power of example. Simple.

Meanwhile as the Diocese continues to turn it's back on the City of Buffalo and the magnificant architectural legacy...it offers newly constructed McChurches to non-European members of the Diocese.
Note...if you are interested in seeing first hand wake of destruction left behind on the City's East side last time in the mid 90's when the Buffalo Diocese shut down operations...check out my Tour de Neglect...we'll be visiting three decaying Catholic complexes this summer!
Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006faq


LISC Archive

News from LISC...

Michael Clarke from LISC sent me this today...lots of news about what's happening around town. East Side, too!

Buffalo LISCAn eNewsletter from
Local Initiatives
Support Corporation

May 2006

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Welcome to the first edition of the Buffalo Local Initiative Support Corporation's (LISC) eNewsletter.

Recognizing that so many people are receiving their news and information online made this format and distribution method an easydecision. We hope you agree and that you will forward this on to colleagues and others who may be interested in what we do and the many community-based projects that we support.

An expanded version of articles with photos may be found on our website at www.lisc.org/buffalo. Bookmark it for easy access! We value your comments and suggestions, so feel free to pass them along via our website.

There have been many activities and community leaders we have been privileged to support in 2005, and in this initial newsletter, we will hit on some of the highlights.

Best wishes for a happy and productive spring.
Michael K. Clarke, Program Director

Asbury Church - New Markets Project
Photo: Asbury Church

Adaptive Reuse on a Grand Scale: The Asbury Delaware Church

The restoration of the historic Asbury Delaware Church byRighteous Babe Records and its principals, recording artist Ani DiFranco and Scot Fisher, was headline news. LISC, HSBC Bank, and other partners worked together providing a complex financial package to help ensure that this endeavor would become a reality. This project turned a house of worship into a house of music and artistic expression to been joyed for years to come, with the main hall of the church providing aconcert venue unique to Buffalo. The restored church is also to Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, bringing the center back downtown,and enhancing Buffalo's strong visual and performing arts community.The organization has already seen an increase in attendance and membership in its new, accessible and highly visible location.

HSBCThough LISC provided New Market Tax Creditsfor the Asbury Delaware Church restoration, the project could not have happened without an investor to pay for the credits. HSBC Bank USA was that crucial backer, providing the equity investment for the New Market and Historic tax credits of $4.55 million. HSBC also provided $2.9million in loans to the project. The bank's total investment of $7.45million is ultimately what brought the project across the finish line.HSBC Bank USA's dedication and support made them our Community Development Investor of 2005 and we are deeply grateful for theirefforts. Read more >>>

Partnerships at Work: Belmont Shelter Corporation & Bethel Community Development Corporation

The Bethel Community Development Corporation (CDC) and theBelmont Shelter Corporation broke ground on 30 single family homes nearMichigan Avenue, Dodge and Southampton Streets. The properties are being built on approximately 60 vacant lots under a tax creditrent-to-own program. Modeled on successful efforts in Cleveland, theprogram brings long-term stability to neighborhoods under going revitalization efforts and provides home ownership opportunities for families of limited means.

BuffaloLISC is happy to have played a role in providing project and staff funding. Our subsidiary, National Equity Fund, provided the tax credit equity investment of $4.2 million. Read more >>>

The National Vacant Properties Campaign Comes to Buffalo

National Vacant Properties CampaignA team of experts from the National Vacant Properties Campaign(NVPC) focused their sights on Buffalo in the fall to begin theirassessment of the area's initiatives to redevelop unoccupied and abandoned properties. The Buffalo region is one of seven urban area sacross the United States to be selected for this project based on local efforts to reclaim and restore neighborhoods. Working with the AmherstIndustrial Development Agency and the University at Buffalo Institute of Local Governance and Regional Growth, LISC was instrumental in making sure Buffalo was on their radar.

Their final report is expected shortly for this unique effort that brings together Buffalo inner-ring suburbs to address a common problem. Armed with the recommendations of experts in the field and "bestpractices" from other communities, we look forward to collectively tackling our vacancy and abandonment problems head-on. Read more >>>

The NFL Comes to All-High Stadium

The revitalization of All-High Stadium is being aided by a$200,000 grant through LISC's partnership with the Buffalo Bills, theNational Football League (NFL) and the NFL Players Association through the NFL Youth Football Fund. The renovation will include grandstand reconstruction; new field lighting; improved mechanical, electrical andplumbing systems; and a new all-weather eight-lane running track. The grant will pay for a new synthetic football field, similar to those used for NFL playing surfaces.

The LISC/NFL partnership has provided nearly $10 million for projects like this. All-High is the fourth recipient of an award for the program. Read more >>>

Court Judge Henry J. Nowak
Photo: Judge Henry J. Nowak

Public Servant of the Year:City Housing Court Judge Henry J. Nowak

Over the past three years Judge Henry Nowak has energized and connected the functions of City Housing Court with neighborhood preservation in a new and very meaningful way. Through the court --supported by two aids with resources coming through LISC from the JohnR. Oishei Foundation -- the judge has created a system of outreach and education that has been effective in identifying and adjudicating long-standing problem cases. Thanks to Judge Nowak's determination to improve Buffalo neighborhoods, properties of negligent and destructive property owners have been brought into compliance with local codes, a new system of community-based receiverships for improved management of derelict properties is in place, and citizen participation in the ongoing work of the court and the city inspections process has been encouraged. Leadership for neighborhood change and improvement is always welcome and Judge Henry Nowak has provided dedication, innovation, and inspiration to the work of the Housing Court for the betterment of Buffalo and its neighborhoods. Read more >>>

Hillary Clinton
Photo: Presenting an award to Sen. Hillary Clinton duringLISC's 25th Anniversary session in Washington D.C. Bill Donohue,Jeremiah CDC; Don Ingalls, HealthNow; Joe Eicheldinger, Citibank; Sen.Clinton; Mike Clarke, LISC; Cathy Braniecki; Key Bank; Brad Dossinger,M&T Bank

LISC Marked Its 25th Anniversary in 2005

In 2005 LISC celebrated its 25th year assisting community-baseddevelopment organizations transform distressed community into healthy ones. Our Leadership Conference and 25th Anniversary Gala took place in Washington, D.C. in September 2005.

The meetings and visits with members of theHouse of Representatives and the Senate provided unique opportunitiesto share the work of our community development partners with keyfederal elected officials.

Buffalo LISC representatives presented an award to Senator Hillary Clinton for her support of our work.

Donor Spotlight: The John R. Oishei Foundation

The John R. Oishei FoundationThe John R. Oishei Foundation'smission is to enhance the quality of life for Buffalo area residents by supporting education, healthcare, scientific research and the cultural, social, civic and charitable needs of the community. The Foundation wasestablished in 1940 by John R. Oishei, founder of Trico ProductsCorporation, one of the world's leading manufacturers of windshieldwiper systems. Oishei's appreciation of Buffalo was the basis of hisstrong desire that the work of the Foundation be directed to theBuffalo community.

The Foundation has been an important partner for LISC's community development work. And in 2005, the Foundation's support helped LISCbecome one of only seven sites around the country to be selected for an assessment from the National Vacant Properties Campaign. They also assisted the redevelopment efforts of a faith-based collaborative on Buffalo's near East Side, and provided vital financial support for theunique and valuable work being done by Housing Court Judge Henry Nowakand a very involved group of Buffalo neighborhood advocates.

We thank the John R. Oishei Foundation for its support of ourefforts and for their consistent investments in the betterment ofWestern New York. Read more >>>

You received thisannouncement because you have previously provided LISC staff with youre-mail address. If you do not wish to receive future e-mails, pleasenotify msullivan@lisc.org.

Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006faq

Burned in Buffalo

I know. Caveat emptor.
Despite warnings and all sorts of red flags dealing with "due dilegence," Michele Johnson and Co. have unearthed the "American Nightmare." Here's the film's trailer...

Come and see it. Yeah, I know you thought you knew all there was to know about Buffalo, NY. Remember what Upton Sinclair did to the meat packing industry in The Jungle? This all is happening on David Franczyk's watch, our very own Common Council President and (presumptive) Broadway Fillmore resident. Shame... Systematic disinvestment. If the abandoned, boarded, derelict and vacant house isn't being 'flipped on Ebay' it's probably not really boarded and may even be owned by the City!

Here's the current listing of Buffalo, NY on Ebay and two additional Ebay listings you may be interested in, if you are from Buffalo, NY!
Don't forget 28 Eaton Street here in Buffalo, NY...it's being sold right now on Ebay by La Jolla Jewelry in West Hollywood California...!!

Read the comments in the local blogosphere. Here and here via BuffaloPundit and over at BuffaloRising, right here.

Please note...

Michele Johnson will be on Koons Avenue Sunday June 4th...and will lead the discussion about the impactthe Wollenberg Grain Elevator has on the surrounding neighborhood,during the fourth stop on the Tour de Neglect Bicycle Tour...

She led the fight against a 'flipped' house at 242 Koons that was finally demolished last February. The owner's Hamilton and Lydia Woods still have not paid one penny of the $9000.00 demolitionbill that City incurred! What makes matters worse is that the City of Buffalo hasn't even filed a judgement against this couple from RedwoodCity, CA...(btw...they are community activists in Redwood City!...)
Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006faq


Tour history

Coe Place - Archive

Here's you'll find a list of my posts dealing with various aspects of Coe Place - Buffalo, NY. Issues and developments impacting Coe Place are also found in my Artspace Archive. To understand the larger context please check out Chris Hawley's Midtown: Poised for Renaissance. I believe he captures the character of Coe Place perfectly:
Coe Place is the most historically and urbanistically significant street in the Midtown neighborhood. At one time a brick pedestrian pathway, converted to a residential street by a quixotic nineteenth-century skating rink operator, Coe Place is a charming, very narrow street, originally no more than fifteen feet wide, lined with a collection of close-knit Queen Anne-style houses whose singular attributes are unmatched anywhere else in Buffalo ...read the rest...

Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006faq


Surprised? Don't be...It's the 'Other Buffalo'

Five days after Shawn Luchey's partially decomposed body was found in the rear abandoned, partially-boarded cottage at 51 Eaton Street, it's still wide open.

Here the pics from this afternoon...
DSCN3361 DSCN3360
If anyone reading this would like to join me, I'll be re-boarding this house Saturday morning, rain or shine. Please e-mail me. We can meet at the Dunkin Donuts in the Delta Sonic Plaza on Main Street, 2 blocks away at 9 am. Let me know...

30 day follow-up 6/15/06 - boards are off again, nailed things shut.
60 day follow-up 7/15/06 - boards off again...I give up...

Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006


28 Eaton Street on Ebay...

Just got an e-mail from Michele Johnson about 28 Eaton Street. It's on Ebay! Auction # 4463522952. This is right across the street from the cottage that Shawn Luchey's partially decomposed body was found in recently. Here's the city's official property description: 28 Eaton Street. It's owned by Robert Ibarra and it appears as though he purchased the property from a bank foreclosure about two years ago for $7K.

Correction: Bank sells it to Iverson Investments for 7K on 4/3/04
and next day Robert Ibarra buys it for 20K...

Here's yesterday's picture. It's the one in the middle.
Eaton Street - May 2006
I'll take another tomorrow. The phone number in the Ebay auction reaches La Jolla Jewelry in West Hollywood, CA. tel. # 323-654-0404. I just left a message. I'll call City Hall tomorrow and find out 28 Eaton's Housing Court history.
Update....5/17/06 10pm
I investigated the actual condition of 28 Eaton Street this afternoon. Here the new pics...It's wide open and directly across the street from the scene of the grizzly murder...Imagine, another abandoned house, wide open...only in the 'hood! No, I did not go inside...

DSCN3355 DSCN3356 DSCN3357 DSCN3358
click to enlarge
Still no news from Rober Ibarra or La Jolla Jewelry.

Do everyone a favor. If you plan to buy this house, live there. Simple. Why? I'm your neighbor.
Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006faq


Summer Tours...

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The Landmark Society and the Preservation Coalition of Erie County have teamed up and formed Buffalo Tours. There's a complete series of tours to help you get to know parts of Buffalo that you may not have known about. Here's the list...

The Tour de Neglect, hosted by yours truely, and co-sponsored by these organizations, is scheduled for three times this summer. First date, Sunday June 4th...

Death in the 'Hood...

I read about the grizzly discovery of a partially decomposed body in my neighborhood on Sunday in the Buffalo News. I never met Shawn Luchey but she lived close by on Eaton Street, down Michigan Avenue a ways. Eaton is a two block street running east/west between Michigan and Jefferson Avenue. It's part of the urban prairie. There are no "vinyl victorians" on the street, just a bunch of raggedy ass houses and totally over grown City lots that provide meaning to about anybody's definition of blight and neglect.
Eaton Street - May 2006 Eaton Street - May 2006
click to enlarge
Eaton Street has 85 parcels. 23 are owned by the City of Buffalo. It doesn't mean much for Shawn Luchey or her three children that the rear house at 51 Eaton was privatley owned. You can catch a glimpse of it in the picture. When I called the City's third floor today and spoke with a representative of the Inspections Dept, I was told that the house hadn't been in Housing Court for more than five years. Boarded and vacant and Shawn's chamber of horrors and a closet there, her first coffin. Five years is a long time. Problem is, it's only 2 blocks away from the Artspace neighborhood. Click for map.
55 (red) & 51 (blue) Eaton -- Cottage in the Rear (green)

Eaton Street - May 2006 Eaton Street - May 2006
click to enlarge
The boarded house next door (green, rear cottage), would top the list of places to look for a body, I know. I'm not going to second guess the Buffalo Police Dept and the job they do...they are our gang, love 'em...and the inspectors on the third floor have thousands of buildings to inspect. Last time I heard Judge Nowak's docket grows longer every month. But, next door?

Most readers here don't have a boarded house on the block, I know. And most people who have boarded houses next door, don't participate in the local blogosphere, yet I'm left wondering what's behind the boards on the house four houses down the street.

I don't know Shawn's three surviving children. Someone reading this probably teaches one of them. What do we tell them about life in the 'hood that they don't already know? Suggestions?

Monday's Buffalo News, confirmed the story.

RIP - Shawn

five day follow-up, right here!
Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006