Fix It Friday: DIY and COVID-19 Considerations

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We’re all itching to start our springtime home renovation projects, even more so than usual since we’re spending more time than ever in our homes. However, we should think very carefully and meaningfully before proceeding with any DIY projects at this time. All non-essential commercial construction, (i.e. any project other than those necessary to protect health and safety of building occupants) is halted until the NYS PAUSE order is lifted. This includes any home contractor work that will require more than one person on site.

For DIY-ers, folks are strongly discouraged against browsing hardware store shelves and asked instead to put orders in for pick-up by ordering online or calling ahead. DIY-ers are also asked to avoid taking any unnecessary risks with safety- a preventable accident that requires an emergency room visit is the last thing anyone needs when health providers are strained by the COVID health emergency. We also must consider the fact that personal protective equipment like n95 masks are badly needed right now by frontline healthcare providers.

The COVID-19 crisis does not mean fully putting off all home renovation projects- making small little fixes isn’t just a good way to pass the time, it’s also good for mental health, as it is a way to address little stressors in our lives. It instead means thinking carefully about what projects to take on at this time instead of jumping into DIY work on a spur, and proceeding with the level of caution and attentiveness towards safety that we should always be using. For example, consider putting off that bathroom remodel that will require a contractor and lead safety practices, but feel free to patch those holes in the drywall. This is also a great time to plan projects- make sketches, talk with members of your household, brainstorm, budget and research ideas.

Current Status of the buildings inventoried in 1996

The 1850 Project


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


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!


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


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.



A Note About Upcoming Tours and Events

Out of abundance of caution, we have decided to heed the advice of public health professionals, and suspend our tour program until further notice. We will continue to re-evaluate resuming our tour program as guidelines and precautions change in New York State.

However, PBN is working diligently to adapt in this moment and has created a plethora of virtual programming. Below you can see some of our upcoming events but consider subscribing to our newsletter, becoming a member, or following us on Facebook or Instagram to stay in the loop.

*Please note that the Observation Deck at Buffalo City Hall is also currently closed.

Current Programming

PBN’s Virtual Tours
PBN presents ModernWNY