Buffalo just can’t seem to get out of its own way. On a week in which preliminary work appears to have begun around the Webster Block and actual testing of lit grain elevators moved forward, another project was announced that would inject private funding and add people to a growing part of the city. It took less than 24 hours for the preservation crowd to condemn the thought of this project.
The background here dates to early 2012 when Sam Savarino purchased the decaying Erie Frieght House on Ohio Street from Great Lakes Paper Fibers. Savarino’s purchase came shortly after a large portion of the building collapsed and was subsequently condemned by the city. The Freight House received local landmark status just prior to Savarino’s purchase.
Savarino now has plans to demolish the 150+ year old structure to replace it with a 48-unit apartment building that would front the river. Of course, there are some out there who bemoan the $15 million project and contend that the Freight House survive.
The Buffalo Rising story shows Savarino’s has done his due diligence and that the building is beyond the point of stabilization for reuse. Naturally, Preservation Buffalo Niagara says the building could indeed be stabilized and rehabbed. Continue reading