Historic Home Loan Fund

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The Historic Home Loan Fund (HHLF) was established in 2019 to enhance PBN’s mission of historic preservation by providing financing for the preservation, improvement, restoration, and/or rehabilitation of locally designated homes in the City of Buffalo to low income homeowners. In addition to providing needed capital, the HHLF provides technical assistance to low income property owners in local historic districts.

This program has been made possible with the support of the 1772 Foundation, the Estate of Paul Maine, and an anonymous donor. If you would like to help support this program through a gift, please contact PBN.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and initial applicants will be contacted by starting June 1, 2020 with funding decisions after review by PBN staff and the HHLF Committee. Applicants are strongly urged to review the program guidelines and to consult with PBN staff before submitting an application form. Income Guidelines

1 Person Family 2 Person Family 3 Person Family 4 Person Family 5 Person Family 6 Person Family 7 Person Family 8 Person Family
$48,294 $55,194 $62,093 $68,902 $74,458 $80,013 $85,478 $91,034

To receive an application to the HHLF, please fill out the request form below. Once received, PBN staff will review and contact you with the next steps in the application process.

Application Requests will be available in Spring 2020.

Please fill out the below form for more information.

 

 

Expand the Michigan Sycamore Historic District

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Preservation Buffalo Niagara (PBN) submitted an application to the City of Buffalo Preservation Board to expand the Local Historic District centered around Michigan and Sycamore Streets downtown.

The current district includes properties at 68, 72, and 82 Sycamore Street as well as at 608 Michigan Avenue. The proposed expansion will include properties at 63, 67, & 77 Sycamore Street and 578, 582, & 588 Michigan Avenue.

These properties were built in a time period spanning from 1847 – 1929 and as a collection show the evolution of Buffalo from a raucous canal town to an industrial city, especially depicting the role of immigrants (both from abroad as well as from the American South) in building Buffalo.   

During the most recent virtual common council hearing on the proposed Michigan Sycamore Historic District, Common Council President Darius G. Pridgen and PBN’s Christiana Limniatis discussed how landmarking status will and will not affect properties and renovations. Additionally, President Pridgen pledged his support for the nomination and the preservation of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor.

The application was tabled due to issues with notices sent to involved property owners. However, PBN expects the application to be approved at the Legislation Committee’s next meeting on November 4 and then forwarded to the Common Council for a full vote.

You can read Director of Preservation Services Christiana Limniatis’ comments here.

 

Watch highlights from the hearing below.

 

Landmarking Questions

 

President Pridgen Supports the Corridor

 

Preservation Buffalo Niagara Acquires 72 Sycamore

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On Thursday December 19th, 2019, Preservation Buffalo Niagara acquired 72 Sycamore Street from local developer Rocco Termini with plans to protect the landmark and bring new life to this part of Sycamore Street.

The previous owner of 72 Sycamore proposed demolition of the former boarding house in 2017. In addition to opposing the demolition, PBN worked to acquire landmark status for the building and local developer Rocco Termini stepped in, agreed to purchase it and hold the property for PBN until initial funding could be acquired by the local non-profit.

“I am proud to have provided the stepping stone for PBN to acquire 72 Sycamore,” said Rocco Termini. “Their work to protect historic buildings has been important to revitalizing Buffalo and Western New York and it’s exciting to see them take this next step in their own evolution as an organization.”

The intentions for 72 Sycamore Street are to rehabilitate the building into office space for Preservation Buffalo Niagara and local non-profit affordable housing specialist Heart of the City Neighborhoods, as well as a Preservation Resource Center where PBN can hold workshops and provide educational experiences.

“In addition to being an important remaining part of the Sycamore Street landscape,” said Jessie Fisher, Executive Director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara, “This building has a unique and fascinating history and we are looking forward to ensuring that this building remain a part of our city-scape for another 170 years.”

“Heart of the City has been working with historic Buffalo neighborhoods for over twenty years to build and maintain high quality affordable housing options,” said Stephanie Simeon, Executive Director of Heart of the City Neighborhoods. “By partnering with Preservation Buffalo Niagara on this project, we will not only be assisting in the development of more quality affordable housing on Sycamore Street, but we will also finally have a long-term home for our day-to-day operations.”

The Eliza Quirk Boarding House (72 Sycamore Street), located on the East Side of Buffalo at the edge of downtown in Erie County, is a pre-Civil War boarding house designed and constructed circa 1848 for its original owner, Eliza Quirk, a well-known courtesan, who occupied the building until her death in 1868.  The structure is a simple, red brick vernacular townhouse style that represents a typical pre-Civil War design signifying its residential use.”—suggest changing to “The structure is a simple, red brick vernacular double rowhouse, a typical pre-Civil War design for urban residential buildings. While the architect (if any) is unknown, the boarding house appears to have been built as both Ms. Quirk’s primary residence and a boarding house with likely additional use as a brothel throughout this period. It is one of the few remaining intact boarding houses and pre-Civil War buildings in downtown.

It is within the Impact Zone of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor, and its preservation is seen as an important component of continuing revitalization efforts in this area.

PBN will be working on securing additional funds through the winter and spring, and hopes for a summer 2021 occupancy.  Preservation workshops will be held throughout 2020 on the site, to help the community better understand the technical aspects of preservation projects.