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Preservation Board: Keep Allen Street building facade intact

The Buffalo Preservation Board has given its approval for demolishing a deteriorating Allentown building as long as its façade is kept intact.

Owner May Wong had sought to demolish the two-story, red-brick building at 15 Allen St., but the board's approval last week hinged on leaving the front wall standing to remain part of a streetscape that preservationists are vigilantly trying to keep intact.

"What everyone was concerned about was the neighborhood," said Board Chairman Paul McDonnell. "If it fully came down, it would be a vacant lot."

And if that happened, the streetscape would be negatively impacted, he said, and the lot could end up a parking lot.

"This is a local landmark district and that (structure) is a contributing building in the Allentown Historic District," McDonnell said.

[Related: Preservation Board delays request to demolish Allentown building]

The owner at the meeting reiterated her previous investments on the property. A previous plan for the building that would have relied on tax credits to complete the restoration did not pan out.

McDonnell said the board wants the architect to come back "with the means and methods of demolition of the building so we can be assured during demolition that the façade doesn’t accidentally come down."

Details of the demolition plan must come back to the Preservation Board before any of the structure can be razed, he said.

Wong's architect, Adam Sokol, has previously said it is no longer feasible to do the initial renovation plans, given the unsuccessful attempts at securing tax credits. Neither Wong nor Sokol could be reached to comment Monday.

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