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Council tables Trico landmark measure

City lawmakers Tuesday put off a decision on whether to make the Trico Building a local landmark, which would have given the city's Preservation Board more oversight of what happens to the structure.

The Common Council voted, 7-1, to send the measure back to its Legislation Committee.

Before Tuesday afternoon's Council meeting, Ellicott Council Member Darius G. Pridgen said he wanted to see the results of a planned reuse study of the site before moving forward.

Pridgen, chairman of the Legislation Committee and whose district includes the site, also said he's concerned about potential environmental contamination, raised at last week's committee meeting.

Pridgen said he wants to know whether the assertions about contamination by representatives of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus are true or a "scare tactic."

The lawmaker also said he wants to know if the building is hazardous to nearby residents.

Fillmore Council Member David A. Franczyk was the only lawmaker to oppose the move, saying the designation should have been approved since the city's Preservation Board voted in favor of it March 22.

Last week, medical campus representatives told lawmakers that 17 environmental and engineering studies have been done of the property. They also listed a number of toxic materials that had been found at the former windshield wiper factory.

The idea of protecting the building, which the Medical Campus had been eyeing for demolition, has been supported by many local preservationists.

The structure, bounded by Washington, Goodell, Ellicott and Virginia streets, has been called a "must save" by Tim Tielman, executive director of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo and a member of the city's Preservation Board.

In March, plans came to light that the Medical Campus was looking to demolish the building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Last week, the Medical Campus announced it would conduct an adaptive reuse study, which would be led by Doug Swift, a developer, preservationist and past president of the Roycroft Campus Corp.

The study, which will take about three months, will involve an analysis of the property and data from past studies by a panel of independent professionals, as well as several public meetings.

In another matter, the Council rejected a request from the owners of an Elmwood Avenue bar and restaurant for permission to extend the hours of operation for a rear patio and to play music on the patio after concerns were raised by neighbors.

The owners of Blue Monk, 727 Elmwood, wanted to keep their rear patio open until 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Under the existing permit, the patio can be open until 8:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and until 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, according to the business' permit application.