Advocacy Alert: Johnnie Ryan Bottling Plant


On March 5, 2019, the Niagara Falls Historic Preservation Commission held a public hearing for the landmarking of 822 Niagara Street. The Commission will be accepting written statements until April 2nd. At that time they will vote whether or not to recommend the application to the NF City Council. The landmark application will then be on the agenda at the April 3rd City Council meeting, where the Council Members will vote whether or not to locally landmark the building.

To submit your written statement to the Preservation Commission you can:

  • Mail it to: NF Historic Preservation Commission
                        745 Main Street
                        PO BOX 69
                        Niagara Falls, New York 14302
  • Drop it off at City Hall in the City of Niagara Falls Planning Office

But don’t stop there! Let NF City Council know that you support the landmarking of 822 Niagara Street. Visit to use PBN’s advocacy platform to send an email to the NF City Council asking them to vote YES to landmarking the former Johnnie Ryan Co. Bottling Plant.

If you’ve gone this far, why not take it to the next level? Call 716-286-4301 and tell them:

I support the landmarking of 822 Niagara Street, the former Johnnie Ryan Co. Bottling Plant, and urge the City Council to vote YES to landmarking it at their April 3rd meeting. 


Wondering how you can stay up-to-date on this and other preservation advocacy issues? Then make sure to:

Sycamore-Michigan Historic District

As part of our on-going efforts to identify and protect our historic fabric, PBN has submitted landmark applications for 82 Sycamore Street and 608 Michigan Avenue.  We are very pleased to have the support of Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen, and we look forward to a successful listing.  As this process moves forward, we will keep our members informed!  Read our press release below.


Local Landmark nomination submitted for Ford Motor Company Fuhrmann Plant as a Local Landmark.Building

PBN joined Our Outer Harbor Coalition today at a press conference announcing the submission of a Local Landmark nomination for the Ford Motor Company Plant, also known as Terminal A, at 901 Fuhrmann Boulevard. Read the nomination below!


The Fight to Save Willert Park












Preservation Buffalo Niagara has been working hard with our community partners, including the Michigan Street Preservation Corporation, for nearly a decade to preserve this important part of Buffalo’s past. Located on Spring Street, just off William Street in the Ellicott District of Buffalo, the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority would like to tear down this complex and allow a private, Canadian-based developer to replace it with a new subsidized housing project.
These buildings, completed in 1939 and designed by Frederick Backus, have been determined to be Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places by the State Historic Preservation Office for their significance in the categories of architecture, art, community planning and development, ethnic heritage, and landscape architecture. This project was one of the first built under the United State Housing Agency, created by Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of the New Deal. It was specifically planned for African American residents, and was heavily advocated for by the Buffalo Urban League at the time.
In addition to the architectural and social significance of the complex, these buildings are also notable for the ornamental series of cast relief sculptures based on the themes of labor and family life. Designed and crafted by Robert Crombach and Herbert Ambellan, these sculptures garnered national attention, when the Museum of Modern Art singled out Willert Park as one of eight significant Modern architecture buildings in Buffalo, putting this development in the company of the Darwin Martin House, the Guaranty Building, and Kleinhan’s Musical Hall.
Despite their architectural and artistic pedigree, these buildings are not without their controversy. They contribute to the narrative of housing and social segregation in the City of Buffalo. In so doing, they also contribute significantly to our understanding of how our City has developed, and how we are continuing to think about housing, neighborhood, and community. To lose these buildings would not only continue the destruction of Modern Architecture in Buffalo, it would also hamper our ability to tell our story as a community – a story that we are still in the midst of understanding. As Buffalo begins to stabilize, as population is added, especially to our downtown and adjacent East Side neighborhoods, how will we understand and honor those who have lived and created community here?
To delve deeper into these issues as well as to bring attention to these imperiled buildings, PBN hosted a panel discussion on May 25th with Professor Henry Taylor, Professor Francis Kowsky, and George K. Arthur, Buffalo political legend and former President of the Common Council, who grew up in the complex. The meeting was well attended by Buffalo preservationists, community activists, and former residents of Willert Park, who shared their love of living in this location, and their thoughts on why it should be preserved.
PBN will continue to work with our community partners to ensure that this important place is preserved for future generations.