Working Together to Develop Preservation Reforms

Assemblymember Sean Ryan and Common Council members Mitch Nowakowski and David Rivera stand where 184 Utica once stood.

BUFFALO – Friday, October 2, 2020, New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan joined Jessie Fisher, Executive Director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara, Buffalo Common Council Members David Rivera and Mitch Nowakowski as well as members of a newly established Blue Ribbon Commission on Historic Preservation that has been put together by state and city leaders to discuss preservation regulations in the City of Buffalo.

Read the press release here.

PBN Executive Director Jessie Fisher’s Remarks

In the City of Buffalo, 85% of our buildings were built before WW2, which means that virtually everyone here lives their lives in and around historic places. So in this sense, preservation is about the value that we assign to the places that people live, work, play, shop, educate themselves and their children, worship, and vote. And so, how we make decisions about our built environment, and whose voices we value in that decision-making, says everything about who we are as a community.

The process by which we make decision about what to erase and what to keep is especially important considering that only 4% of the buildings in our City are currently protected under the local landmark ordinance. In some neighborhoods, that figure is even lower – South Buffalo for instance has only 12 buildings currently protected under the ordinance, leaving thousands of homes, churches, and neighborhood shopping districts vulnerable to demolition and destruction.

While PBN and community groups work diligently to pro-actively identify and protect important historic resources, the work is detailed, time-consuming, expensive, and most often carried out by volunteers due to inadequate funding.

And so, ensuring that we have regulations in place that help protect one of our City’s most important assets, our architectural treasures, is central to the future success of our community. Preservation Buffalo Niagara is honored to stand here today with these forward-thinking elected officials, and with these community representatives, developers, and other experts, to ensure that Buffalo will come in line with Statewide and National Best Practices in historic preservation.


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