On April 27, 2023, the City of Buffalo’s Preservation Board will hold a public hearing on our application to locally landmark 201 Broadway, known as the Broadway Barns.
As detailed in the full application, the building consists of one remaining wall of a New York State arsenal constructed in 1858; a large armory addition dating to 1884; and front, side, and rear additions made from 1948-1952. The building was converted to an auditorium and convention center in the early 1900s and hosted multiple notable political figures and many local and national sporting events. In the 1940s it was renovated for use as the central garage for the City of Buffalo’s Department of Public Works. This included the front, side, and rear brick additions, the latter of which was built after the 1858 arsenal building was mostly destroyed by fire. Its façade remains visible inside the building.
The building is significant for its role in the history of Buffalo, from being the first building in the city big enough to allow a full regiment to drill, to serving for over 20 years as the city’s primary event space. It is also an excellent example of a building that has been adaptively reused multiple times over its history, with an especially notable feature being the sawtooth dormers containing clerestory windows. Supported by a large steel truss system that was a significant engineering accomplishment at the time, these were added as part of the alterations to convert the building to an auditorium.
This application came about from a studio report written by University at Buffalo students in 2021 that included research on this building. One of the students approached PBN about turning the report into a landmark application for the building, and we worked with them to do exactly that.
The future of the Broadway Barns is unknown, as the City of Buffalo is currently seeking to redevelop the building and has issued an RFP. That makes this the perfect time to protect it via local landmarking.
Get involved! Here’s how you can help!
Attend the public hearing and speak in support of landmarking 201 Broadway, either in-person or virtually.
The public hearing is scheduled for Thursday April 27, at 3pm on the 9th floor of City Hall. You can visit the Buffalo Preservation Board’s website at https://www.buffalony.gov/361/Preservation-Board to access the meeting agenda and instructions for attending the meeting virtually.
Submit written comments supporting the landmarking of 201 Broadway. Written comments need to be submitted to the Preservation Board by 3pm on Wednesday, April 26th to make sure your comments are entered into the record during the public hearing on Thursday April 27th. You can drop off a hard copy of your comments at City Hall (9th floor, Office of Strategic Planning) or send them via email to email@example.com.
Let Ellicott District Councilmember and Council President Pridgen know you support landmarking 201 Broadway and that you hope he will also when the application eventually goes before the Common Council. You can reach Council President Pridgen at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop off a hard copy of your comments at City Hall room 1315.
Share this post! Help us spread the word about the history of 201 Broadway and the importance of landmarking such a unique aspect of Buffalo’s history.