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Letter: Let’s repair, not demolish, McCarley Gardens homes

Let’s repair, not demolish, McCarley Gardens homes

As the great-niece of the Rev. Burnie C. McCarley, founder and namesake of the McCarley Gardens housing development, I oppose the plan to tear down and rebuild the development. Being intimately familiar with the housing development building history, purpose and mission, I affirm that McCarley Gardens was built to last.

Architect Wallace V. Moll (1920-2012) designed and built the McCarley housing development. He was selected because his faith and professionalism fit with the mission of St. John Baptist Church to build high-quality housing for God’s children. Shoddy work was not part of Moll’s plan for McCarley Gardens.

A demolition and rebuild proposal disgraces the good work and vision of McCarley, Moll and the early members of the church who carried out my great-uncle’s vision. Do not tear down McCarley Gardens to reimagine what is already paradise for current residents.

Consult the book, “Buffalo Architecture: A Guide,” and learn that destroying McCarley Gardens adds to Buffalo’s list of notable architecture needlessly demolished. Environmentally and economically, careful rehabilitation has greater benefits than demolishing and rebuilding. Rehabilitation is greener, cost-effective, smarter and provides for workforce development.

The plan to displace residence for 30 months will disrupt families and disturb the peace and security that the good people in McCarley Gardens experience as balm in a harsh world. Preservation, maintenance and loving repair will respect the spirit of how and why McCarley Gardens was built. If McCarley Gardens is in need of repair, repair it, but do not tear down to rebuild anew.

Linda R. Parker


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