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Letter: Buffalo landscape is losing too many vintage buildings

I am very concerned with the current number of houses threatened by demolition in the Elmwood Village community.

Currently 1020, 1024 and 1028 Elmwood Ave. (Whites and Family LLC) and 184 and 188 West Utica, as well as the home and carriage house at 187 Bryant St. (Paladino/Sinatra) are all being proposed for demolition by developers.

In the past couple of years, the area of Elmwood Avenue between Forest Avenue and Bryant Street has already lost a total of 15 houses.

Now we are facing the loss of yet another six houses. That will make a total of 21 buildings just in this neighborhood alone.

Maybe these are not all historic/landmark houses, but they are all examples of classic/vintage Buffalo homes with architecture that defines the unique character and fabric of our community.

They were all built in the 1800s – over 130 years ago. Maybe we should properly call them “antique houses?”

The specialness of the buildings is what attracts families, homeowners, small businesses, student dollars – and major tourist dollars to this area.

But to the disadvantage of citizens – it also attracts big developers too – who buy up many buildings and then neglect them to justify demolition. This is irresponsible behavior and bad business by developers, as well as City Hall for allowing it.

People don’t come to Buffalo to see more high–rise condo buildings. They can see that type of mediocrity anywhere.

We have to stop demolishing our architectural history, because we are quickly losing our special neighborhood identities.

Preserve Buffalo’s unique village neighborhoods. Stop knocking down Buffalo’s vintage buildings. Do not allow big developers to dictate city planning. Enforce the Green Code and limit variances.

Bill Wisniewski


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