Former North Park Library should get landmark status
North Buffalo residents and anyone concerned with architectural preservation should be aware of a public hearing scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday in the Common Council Chambers in City Hall. The Council’s Committee on Legislation will consider whether to approve the City Preservation Board’s recommendation to grant landmark status to the former North Park library.
Landmark status for this building and the park surrounding it will prevent the implementation of the city administration’s plan to sell the property to a local developer who plans to demolish the building and construct a suburban-style structure of shops and offices.
Our community no longer values destroying architecturally significant buildings and replacing them with structures without character or purpose. In his State of the City address, Mayor Byron Brown made reference to such buildings as “heartbeats of the community.” So why destroy this “gateway to North Buffalo”? North Buffalo is already saturated with chronically vacant suburban-type buildings. In fact, there is a large, long-vacant store in a strip mall directly across the street.
Since September 2009, the city has spent over a quarter-million dollars to rent space for the North Park Library in a dismal strip mall. Any problems associated with the historic library could have been ameliorated if these funds, over a quarter-million dollars, had been used for that purpose.
Will future generations lament a decision to destroy this architecturally significant building and park, or applaud us for our foresight in saving it? The decision is in the hands of the Common Council. We urge you to attend the meeting and make your voice heard.