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DON'T DEMOLISH ARCHITECTURAL GEMS

I attended the Architectural Revival of Buffalo meeting on Labor Day weekend. Many noted national and international experts gave knowledgeable reasons for urban decay and many insightful ideas about how to halt decay and make cities livable.

As we all know, destruction of neighborhoods, houses, commercial buildings and infrastructure are some of the reasons for population and economic losses. Of course there are others, such as bad tax and social policies and industrial and economic changes.

I left Buffalo in 1966 and retired here in 1994. On my visits back, I saw the terrible decline of Buffalo. But in the middle '90s, I saw a glimmer of some neighborhoods' renaissance. One of these areas is the Linwood-Barker area.

On Barker and Main streets, there is an architectural gem of a building that could be developed into one of the many infrastructures needed to support the new upwardly mobile residents of this area.

This building would be ideal for an upscale superette, deli or dry cleaners. It could be part of a bridge to connect with the revival going on in the nearby North Ellicott Street area.

I have learned that this building is planned for demolition and is to become part of the adjacent car wash and self-serve gas station. I was informed that tax money is being used, because this project will promote urban renewal and job creation.

I do not see how this project, which will hire only a few employees at minimum wage, will help revive the economy. Upwardly mobile residents with discretionary income would make a much better impact on the Buffalo economy.

JAMES YANATSIS

Buffalo

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