A state preservation organization supports Ellicott Development's plan to demolish two of three dilapidated buildings at the former E. & B. Holmes Machine Co. Building, also known as the Cooperage, near Ohio Street.
The Preservation League of NYS concluded two of the buildings at 55-59 Chicago St. – the Mill Building, circa 1870, and the Forge Building, 1912, were not salvageable. The Albany-based organization reached its conclusion after assessments by Jensen Engineering and Bero Architecture found the buildings were too severely deteriorated and unsafe to work in.
"Unfortunately, it took so long that these buildings continued to deteriorate," said Jay DiLorenzo, the Preservation League's president. "Two of them that were in bad shape then and are in pretty awful shape now. The good news is one major building can be saved."
Ellicott Development, in buying the lien from the Preservation League, plans to incorporate a rehabilitated Pattern Building, built in 1913, into plans for new apartments and a ground-floor restaurant.
The developer will seek permission from the Buffalo Preservation Board to demolish the Mill Building. Its eastern exterior wall is collapsed, and the fourth floor and roof are close to collapsing, according to the consultants. It will also seek to tear down what remains of the Forge Building, which is structurally unsound.
The Preservation League provided a $200,000 bridge loan to former owner Clinton Brown, who bought the property in 2008, to support stabilization work under its Endangered Properties Intervention Program.