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E.B. Green house on Medical Campus spared demolition – for now

An early 20th-century home believed to be designed by Buffalo architect E.B. Green has been spared the wrecking ball for now.

The home at 980 Ellicott St. is included in a demolition plan by a limited liability company connected to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc., which oversees the campus and bought the former industrial complex last fall.

The former Osmose Holdings property has been eyed for a potential second innovation center to provide a growing demand for more incubator space, but about one-quarter of the complex is proposed for demolition, including the home.

State Supreme Court Justice Diane Y. Devlin on Thursday left a temporary restraining order preventing the demolition in place at least until a court date June 5.

The Campaign for Buffalo, History, Architecture & Culture last week sued the City of Buffalo and the limited liability company owning the property in an attempt to halt the planned demolition of the brick house on the northern edge of the Medical Campus.

"There's agreement that there will be no demolition of the house," said attorney Richard G. Berger, representing Campaign for Buffalo, History, Architecture & Culture. "The house is protected until further order of the court."

Meanwhile, the Buffalo Preservation Board is in the process of trying to secure local landmark status for the historic house – which would ultimately require Common Council approval.

The Preservation Board last month agreed to the demolition request for the remaining section of the property that BNMC Inc. wants to tear down. The approval excluded the house. Despite that decision, the city issued a full demolition permit for the property, triggering the lawsuit by the preservation group.

Berger said representatives for the Medical Campus said in court that they intend to apply for a brownfield cleanup program to address the removal of any hazardous material on the site and said they were in no hurry to begin the demolition.

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