Current Status of the buildings inventoried in 1996

The 1850 Project

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In 1996, titans of Buffalo’s preservation community, including John Conlin, Edward J. Patton, and Paul Redding, were commissioned by then Common Council President George K. Arthur to identify structures in the City of Buffalo built prior to 1860. The resulting list included approximately 215 buildings, with the oldest from 1818. PBN recently acquired this 25-year-old survey and has found that nearly 30% of the structures then identified have been lost in the intervening years. Of the remaining structures, over 80% have no formal historic designation or protection.

Current Status of the buildings inventoried in 1996

CALL TO ACTION

Are you looking for a way to support preservation even while social distancing? Now’s your chance to join The 1850 Project and help us research these buildings and put proper preservation protections in place!

HOW TO VOLUNTEER

Step 1: Fill out the form below.

Step 2: PBN staff will be in contact with all the virtual training you need to conduct and document your research from the comfort of your home.

Step 3: Go forth and research! PBN staff will be in regular contact to see how it’s going and answer any questions you might have.

Step 4: Submit your research to PBN staff for review and instructions on how to help transform your research into a landmark nomination or an eligibility review for the National Register of Historic Places.

Step 5: Revel in the satisfaction of knowing you helped protect and preserve these
irreplaceable resources. And then maybe
get started on a second property!

 

 

 

 

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.”

Preservation Buffalo Niagara intends to rehabilitate the building into six units of affordable housing, office space for local non-profit affordable housing specialist Heart of the City Neighborhoods, and a Preservation Resource Center space for PBN where they 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), located on the edge of downtown and the East Side of Buffalo 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. 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.