Introducing Buffalo’s Young Preservationists

Buffalo’s Young Preservationists (BYP) is an energized group of dedicated historic preservationists actively sharing our knowledge and passion for our region’s historic built environment. We are young professionals and university students in preservation and other related fields, such as architecture, planning, history, and the arts. Don’t be dissuaded by the “young” aspect of the group, there no age restrictions for the BYP and we encourage people of all ages to participate.

The mission of the BYP is to engage, educate, and mobilize young preservationists of Western New York in the identification, stewardship, and advocacy of the region’s rich built history. The main objectives of the group are to mobilize and mentor young and emerging preservationists, promote preservation, and community/cultural events for young professionals and students and create opportunities for hands-on preservation and professional development.

The first event which the BYP will take part in is the annual Buffalo Central Terminal Clean-Up on May 14th. Please meet at the Buffalo Central Terminal at 495 Paderewski Drive, Buffalo, NY 14212 at 10:30am for their Spring Clean-Up and an update of the Terminal’s major restoration work and recently released Master Plan from BYP member Paul Lang.

Volunteers with BYP will engage in specific hands-on preservation work at the Terminal and reach out to the surrounding East Side neighbors during the clean-up.  Participants are asked to dress accordingly for dirty work. Additional tools and supplies are welcome. Food will follow the event and allow the volunteers to meet, network, and further develop ideas for fulfilling BYP’s mission to engage young preservationists in Buffalo and throughout the region.

The BYP is also taking part in the National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference in October. The group will host an Affinity Session in order to further promote group and engage interested people. Save the date, October 19, 2011, location TBA.

Currently the founding core members include Meagan Baco, Elizabeth Gerber, Paul Lang, Jill Nowicki, Michael Puma, Fred Schrock, Jennifer Walkowski, and Jason Wilson.

Local designer Mickey Harmon was extremely gracious in designing the BYP logo. For more of his work please visit his site.

Get Connected: bypteam@gmail.com and on Facebook

 

About the author  ⁄ queenseyes

Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Catalyst behind the Pierce-Arrow Film Arts Center. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette. Themed New Years mayhem at various locations. Next up: Porchfest... Also offers package tours of the city for groups or individuals. Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

55 comments
GinghamQuaker
GinghamQuaker

Thanks MEG, I appreciate the clarification. Unfortunately I won't be in town, but moving forward I would be interested.

MEG
MEG

How are you going to get young professionals to ever live and work in Buffalo if you're saying everyone has to be old to be good at something!? Were you 50 when you got you first professional gig? Young preservationists who choose to work in preservation in Buffalo have world-class educations and many are true historians. When needed, which is often, we collaborate with people of all ages, skills and expertise; that just makes sense. Are you an old person that would like to join? Please contact us anytime.

MEG
MEG

We are a group of young people that are active in many aspects of Buffalo's revitalization, we just happen to be more focused on historic preservation...that is where our professional talents and our personal passions lie. But to clarify EVERYONE is welcome to contact, join, and collaborate with Buffalo's Young Preservationists. You sound vaguely interested? Meet us at Central Terminal next Saturday.

Mr. Underhill
Mr. Underhill

What's hard to understand? Some buildings get taken down and better things are built. Some delapitated buildings are taken down to make room for a better building in the future. Some buildings are taken down just to piss you off. Nothing too complicated there Chiboi.

skybox
skybox

Why can't you understand what others are saying? Your one of the most opinonated short sighted posters here.

STEEL
STEEL

It is amazing that some find this so hard to understand

Crisa
Crisa

...goheregotheregothiswaygothatwaydotcom...

KangDangaLang
KangDangaLang

......and downside up is inside out backwards revolved.

Crisa
Crisa

Its difficult to decipher whom you are calling a "Koo-Koo". Or was the catchyouword "slumlords"?

Crisa
Crisa

Going back further means being able to see further ahead. ty

GinghamQuaker
GinghamQuaker

Why go out of your way to note that age is not a restriction, immediately after restricting the group to those in preservation and related fields? I realize this may not be intentional, but it is a huge turnoff to someone like say, me, who is 23 and works for an electricity company. Why can't it just be a group for (young) people who love Buffalo and want to see intelligent decisions being made regarding our historic properties?

I realize I have taken this much more literally than you probably intended, but many ideas like this receive negative attention because they are perceived to be unbending and exclusionary.

Now after getting that off my chest, I'd like to say that I am happy to see another forum for passionate people to make a difference.

KangDangaLang
KangDangaLang

I'm not sure where you were really going with this comment.........?

DeanerPPX
DeanerPPX

Can we make a distinction here? Yes, some of our finest (and not so finest, yet still successful or necessary) buildings were built upon the footprint of previous structures. In many cases, what came later was vastly superior to what it replaced.

But in the past few decades, buildings (both stunning and quite ordinary) have been demolished simply to make way for an empty field or parking lot.

It's one thing to make a site better by demolishing what exists there (Lafayette Hotel). It's another thing to demo a building out of unfortunate necessity (Convention Center) because location options are limited. But it's simply unforgivable to tear down a viable building because of greed, lack of imagination or interest, or lack of care or finances to maintain the current structure.

The Lafayette, City Hall, and even the Convention Center were built during periods when space was limited and sacrifices had to be made to accommodate new needs. Today, there are few needs that cannot be fulfilled by simply choosing a different site on the same or nearby block that is already begging for redevelopment instead of demolition.

At one time, even parking lots WERE a necessity. Some structures were removed to make way for inefficient and visually unappealing surface lots, while others had the foresight to include underground or multi-story parking ramps which better utilized the space available. Big difference.

Crisa
Crisa

B Young Ps? How would any of the young Ps succeed without involving the old, as in young preservationists needing to confer with historians? True historians need to be old!!!

Truth be told, no one is succeeding now. This article's readers need to look back far enough to the true beginning of Buffalo's "slumlords" and "empty fields" AND failed or about- to-fail other nearby school systems, to see why the future of this particular City can't move forward anytime soon!!!

Readers might also wonder why, as this City and its suburbs continue to deteriorate, the offspring of those who long ago vacated are so interested now... The moneyed are standing by pressing for an upward progression that is still very many too-old houses--not "buildings", and too many years away.

KangDangaLang
KangDangaLang

To build the Lafayette Hotel they had to demo a whole city block. I would say what is standing now, is better than what was there before.

brownteeth
brownteeth

I agree, you do not have to belong to any organization to actively make a difference. I do not belong to any organization and have restored and renovated multiple properties and contributed to others just because I wanted to and yes, there was personal gain involved for every one of them. So what?

I feel that any one can do this too if you have the drive and desire. Get creative and make solutions. When I bought my first home to renovate it costs $15k and I had the owner hold the mortgage so I could afford to buy it. You have to start somewhere and joining a group is great but it won't do anything if you're not willing to stick your own neck out and take the risk yourself. Going to meetings won't save anything but getting your hands dirty and maxing out credit cards will.

mickeyh25
mickeyh25

I don't belong to any actually. I created this logo for the BYP pro-bono. Giving them an identity that is modern and worthwhile is the least I could do for a good cause. Most organization don't think that your identity (logo) is important and in the end makes everyone not take them seriously. Sure, I could have slapped a silhouette of a buffalo encompassed by a downtown skyline and called it a day, but I worked with them to give them an identity they and the public could take seriously.

Just because I don't belong to 100 organizations so I CAN GO ON BUFFALO RISING AND GLOAT about it doesn't mean I don't do what I can with my skills for the sake of this city.

I am not playing into this hate campaign. All I know is this website is called BuffaloRising.. not BuffaloLet'sBitchAboutEverything&DoNothingAtAllWhileWeSitInOurSuburban3BedroomRanch.

STEEL
STEEL

What right is being denied? The onwer is asking to demolish the building because it is in poor condition a condition which is alegedly due to lack of maintenance and investment. You make it sound like the condition of the building was beyond his control?

And where is this absolute property write granted that you guys keep talking about? The irony in this whole property right goofiness is that the most conservative communities are the places that have the most restrictive rules regarding property rights.

pampiniform
pampiniform

>Why do you guys come out of the woodwork in defense of slumlords?

Where does it say he was defending slumlords? It looks like he was arguing about property rights. Regardless of how you feel about it, it is a valid issue that needs to be discussed in these cases.

Mike Duff
Mike Duff

To be fair you should also list the buildings that are successful and nice even though they are built on top of old building foundations. If we didn't tear down then we wouldn't have the HSBC Center, HSBC Arena, HSBC Atrium, Avant, Coca-cola field, Donovan Building, Main Place Mall (it was happening at one time), Roswell Park, Fountain Plaza, Central Library, and many other successful and occupied buildings.

To say that Preservationists are up 24 to nothing is flawed because you fail to recognize that successful builds over the top of what used to stand in that spot. I am sure one could make an argument that what was there was more aesthetically pleasing or architecturally significant, but may not have been as useful or marketable to the city when it was demolished.

grad94
grad94

just curious. what organizations do you belong to?

STEEL
STEEL

No they were lost because there was no one trying to stop the demolition and advocate for reuse. The reasons used to demolish these buildings are exactly the same as the reasons used to try and demolish the Guaranty Building and the others I listed.

In a twisted alternate universe demo crowd claims that the long list of restored buildings full of high end uses are obstruction and and the empty fields and parking lots where buildings once stood is progress.

mickeyh25
mickeyh25

Does anyone here actually care about these building more than they do about hearing themselves argue about things that have happened rather than do something about it? How about you join the BYP or some other organization and make a change instead of sitting at your Dell desktop stroking your own egos...

johnnywalker
johnnywalker

No steel, the buildings were not demolished because preservationist lost,but there was no one with a financial package to save them. AFA St. Josephs was demolised because it was built with materials not appropriate for a northern climate. The cathedral became structurally unsound. Note how ST. Josephs Old Cathedral has survived and is about a hundred years older than the new cathedral was.

KangDangaLang
KangDangaLang

So these were "concerned citizens" and not necesarrily an organized Preservationist movement? Plus on top of that, for every concerned citizen who has accomplished preventing demo, we can probably create a list of concerned citizens (aka Tim Tielman) who have stopped or impeeded progress on development.

STEEL
STEEL

Now lets look at some places where preservation/obstructionists lost out to demo gang:

Media Study Building - Parking Lot

Ford Hotel - Parking Lot

Vernor Building - empty Field

Teck Theater - empty field

Century Theater - empty field

Lafayette Theater - Parking Lot

Larkin Building - empty field

Satlers Store - parking lot fronting an empty Kmart

Old Erie County Savings Bank - Half empty tower and dead mall

Humboldt Parkway - eliminated for a highway

Delaware Park - split in two by a highway

Old Central Library - replaced by a bland 60's building

Old Erie Canal neighborhood - replaced by parking and empty fields

St Josephs New Cathedral - Demolished for a bland apartment building surrounded by grass

Delwood Dance Building - Demolished for now empty concrete block commercial building.

These are just the few examples of "progress" that I can think of that the "obstructionists" could not stop. There are thousands more examples of anonymous historic buildings lost to so called progress. Yea lets cheer!

johnnywalker
johnnywalker

Give me 6million and I'll find a church to save.

Daniel Sack
Daniel Sack

I am an active preservationist. I spoke at community meetings and Common Council hearings in favor of the Savarino hotel and Forest and Elmwood. I did not see any preservationists I knew speaking against it. Asides from the deed restrictions (which is still a problem) I'm still baffled by the opposition to the project.

I'll comment on a few of the buildings saved by preservationists.

Buffalo State Hospital - then Preservation Coalition Executive Director Tim Tielman brought a lawsuit against NY State.

Commercial Slip - ditto.

Granite Works - ditto, but against the City of Buffalo.

Squire Mansion - Tim Tielman again.

The Church - Preservationists Scot Fisher and Ani DiFranco

Just a few examples. The history of these saves is well documented - look it up.

Welcome to you young preservationists. Remember - there is a verb in "preservation". Action must sometimes be taken. Cleaning, educating, touring is all good. But often action must be taken to "preserve" a threatened building. Be bold.

STEEL
STEEL

Just as you would do if the neighbor on each side of your house refused to maintain their propwrty. Why do you guys come out of the woodwork in defense of slumlords?

STEEL
STEEL

All of the buildings I listed where very close to being torn down and were only saved by dedicated citizens who started campaigns to save them. They used the courts, their own money and time and the media to stop -OBSTRUCT-the stupidity. Sheas would be gone if not for a law suite as would ECC. The Guaranty would be gone if John Randal did not move from Chicago to Buffalo to save it. He pleaded with the owner to sell it to another party and enlisted the interest of Senator Moynahan in saving it. It was at one time weeks from demolition. The Squire Mansion was actually already being torn Down when Tim Tileman had it stopped. He then convinced Cash Cunningham to rennovate the building. 4 of Buffalo's grnadest Mansions were in grave dangers of being demolished and replaced with a bland office building for IBM. Citizens rose up to stop it. They propoese several alternative ways develop the site without removing the houses. IBM eventually went into the HSBC building. Citizens rose up to stop a highway form obilterating the south edge of Allentown. Shall I go on?

KangDangaLang
KangDangaLang

I hate to see a historic building go to shits just as much as the next man, but as in most case's of demo, the demo'er is rarely the owner who let the building go to crapper.

KangDangaLang
KangDangaLang

So come on guys, let's pony up. Give me specific examples of how the "Preservationist" community stepped in to save these structures. And by "Preservationists", I mean true preservationists, one's who's goals are preserving historic structures. And not just an individual who comes along and says "hey that's cool, lets look for alternatives", and then fades into obscurity. These people are not "Preservationists", they are simply concerned citizens. Saying each one is a "Preservationist" is like saying anyone who ever hit a home run out of a baseball park, did it for a professional team. I would still like a history lesson on how the "Preservationist" community reached up to save each one of the structures STEEL listed....................waiting.

grad94
grad94

also for your list, steel:

all of our historic districts, from allentown to hamlin park

our olmsted parks

st. mary's/mlk urban life center

cobblestone streets in the cobblestone district

coit house

larkin warehouse buildings

jesse nash house

michigan street baptist church

the last two haven't faced the threat of imminent demolition but required massive restoration work nonetheless

grad94
grad94

that is correct. granger place neighbors got all lawyered up and found a restrictive covenant which halted the hotel. i don't recall any preservation organizations or individual preservationists taking a stand in that particular fight.

EllicottNick
EllicottNick

Right, I forgot -- because its preservationists job to tell a person who owns something, what they should do with it.

grad94
grad94

here's a big welcome to you young preservationists, and may you wear the obstructionist label with pride. one pbn, affable though passive in the face of today's preservation threats, is all we can afford. go forth, pick a fight, and save something!

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

You make a good point, in 30+ years of associating with the "preservationists" I have yet to meet one trying to exploit the situation for personal gain. In fact most recognize the value in preservation and community by investing not just their dollars, but their time and energy to improve their community. They make good neighbors, especially in a city with so many properties owned by absentee landlords. Don't see why they are vilified, we got way bigger problems here in Buffalo and so far preservation has proved to be one of our strongest assets.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Preservationists recognized the potential and publicized the plight of many of these at a time when older buildings were less appreciated. They reached out to politicians and private interests to develop a plan to preserve these important pieces of the fabric of our city. Many, as individuals took on stewardship or advocated for a particular building to ensure its future. Finally, many simply worked quietly behind the scenes volunteering their time, energy, and sometimes even dollars.

Travelrrr
Travelrrr

Burch: they were all slated to be torn down. If preservationists didn't step in, they would have been...and there would have been no opportunity for restoration.

KangDangaLang
KangDangaLang

Somebody needs to explain to you the difference between Preservation and restoration. Please tell my how Preservationists have actively saved the following buildings....

The Old Post Office/ ECC City Campus

Saved Millionaire Row on Delaware Ave

Shea's Theater

Theater Place

Market Arcade

The rest of the Theater District

The Butler Mansion

The Williams Mansion

about 5 other Mansions On Delaware.

The Squire Mansion

The Guaranty Building

St Mary's Hospital Condos

The Ansonia Building

Canal Side

Web Building

AM&A Lofts

Several historic houses in the Kleinhans Community

The Buffalo State Hospital Buildings

The Statler (for now)

The Church (Asbury Delaware)

Central Terminal

Granite Works

Genesee Gateway

Zepto Metrix House

....if you hadn't noticed by now, I copied your entire list.

Travelrrr
Travelrrr

C'mon now B'rock, you know that preservationists only do what they do because they benefit personally from said obstruction. I mean, look how we personally gain from preserving Steele's list (and others) above-I can certainly see why people would be against our efforts. And, to your point, look how much better we are as a city for having lost the Larkin Admin (parking lot), Vernor (empty lot), etc. etc. etc. Yes, we are much better off as a city for having lost those buildings-heaven forbid, First Niagara might even be looking at the Admin Bldg for its headquarters if it were still around. GASP!

Captain Picard
Captain Picard

I don't think Burch said anything about hating anybody. He just pointed out a bunch of buildings that have been blocked by preservationists. And yes, they did have a hand in the hotel, but it was ultimately the residents of Granger Place that complained the loudest from what I recall.

Black Rock Lifer
Black Rock Lifer

Looks like preservationists win 24 to nothing. But the list is much longer, there are many smaller saves by preservationists all over this city that do not always get recognized. Now lets hear from the anti preservation crowd, please tell us how demolition and the almighty "private property rights" mantra has improved our city.

STEEL
STEEL

Elmwood Hotel was not opposed by preservationists - you need to get your facts straight.

Panos did expand after allowing a neighborhood building to rot for several years.

What is being obstructed at the grain elevator?

Anything that has to do with Canal Side is a broad brush statement - Canal side would not even exist if it were not for preservationists. The Canal Side plan is moving forward is a greatly improved plan because of preservationists as well.

Peace Bridge truck plaza is being blocked by neighbors who do not want their neighborhood turned into a giant truck parking lot. Are you saying that you would not do the same?

Now lets look at what the preservationists have accomplished Which you are not willing to provide credit for.

They saved:

The Old Post Office/ ECC City Campus

Saved Millionaire Row on Delaware Ave

Shea's Theater

Theater Place

Market Arcade

The rest of the Theater District

The Butler Mansion

The Williams Mansion

about 5 other Mansions On Delaware.

The Squire Mansion

The Guaranty Building

St Mary's Hospital Condos

The Ansonia Building

Canal Side

Web Building

AM&A Lofts

Several historic houses in the Kleinhans Community

The Buffalo State Hospital Buildings

The Statler (for now)

The Church (Asbury Delaware)

Central Terminal

Granite Works

Genesee Gateway

Zepto Metrix House

You see the fact is that most of the positive news in Buffalo has been due to the activities of preservation in Buffalo. All of the above projects would now be parking lots if not for the efforts of the obstructionists you hate so much. next time you take in a show at shea's ask your self if you would rather have convenient parking on that site because that would be what you would have had if not for the obstructionists.

Captain Picard
Captain Picard

And the worst part is, most of those were opposed/obstructed due to special interest or personal interest. There was almost no reasonable preservation argument that could be made.

KangDangaLang
KangDangaLang

Elmwood Hotel

Pano's

OSC Grain Silo Demo

anything that has to do with Canalside

Casino (?)

Peace bridge truck plaza

.......just naming a few off the top of my head.

STEEL
STEEL

What exactly have your preservationist/obstructionists obstructed?

STEEL
STEEL

The only group living and dwelling in the past are owners of buildings who refuse to invest in in basic maintenance in hopes of a future payoff and those who are their apologists.

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