Erie Freight House – An Alternative View

By Larry Brooks:
Buffalo Rising’s recent post on the Erie Freight House drew a lot of attention and quite a few comments to a building and neighborhood that receives little attention. It was good to see. Judging by the comments, it begged, in the minds of many who read the article, the question of ‘what’s the alternative?’ and ‘why save the existing structure?’ Read on.
Interest is not new: for several years now, a handful of Buffalo residents have been interested in preserving and restoring this structure. They struggled to get the land from the previous negligent owner who ran it into the ground and then quickly moved out of the City. 
What is the vision of this group?
To those who say “Save it for what?” this group replies: A restaurant, offices, rowing club facilities, retail shops, top-floor lofts, event space, and museum space with historic exhibits among other things. The right mix of uses could make the enterprise profitable. The potential operator sees this project as a regional destination attraction with the goal of attracting customers from the southern Ontario, Central & Western New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.  Both a very experienced local construction company and restaurant operator with the capacity to ensure a successful public-private partnership have expressed real commitment to the project. Boaters would be able to come to this site and dock; walkers could go by and observe activity, or come in and enjoy some commerce. 
The proposed apartment wharf, while public, would not offer any amenities to the public or visiting boaters; they would not want to dock there and they cannot go to the private Rod and Gun Club; walkers would observe a 520 foot long private parking area.  The apartment proposal would likely function more like the housing at the Erie Basin Marina – a $300,000 per unit, high end island, where the rest of the City’s less affluent residents are discouraged.
The public use proposal fits in perfectly with Buffalo’s strategy of building our economy on our rich heritage. An exciting Maritime District along the Buffalo River is already underway–River Fest Park down Ohio Street, Silo City, the Swannie (which has a dock at the water’s edge), and the new Canalside site–and the Erie Freight House would be a perfect fit for that.  Indeed, the work of Peg Overdorf, Laura Kelly, Tim Tielman, Julie O’Neill and Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, Brian Higgins and countless others over the past two decades to keep preservation of the Buffalo River waterfront, greenspace and architecture front and center is what makes the apartment project even a possibility. We have seen isolated projects, such as the Pier, fail because they were not part of a greater movement like the Elmwood, Allentown, Theater or Chippewa districts.
To those who say “Don’t obstruct development” this is development, a construction project that could equal the Savarino/FFZ plan in terms of construction dollars. There is an advantage, over the Savarino/FFZ plan, to this proposal: a mixed use public development would be more accessible to the public and enjoyed by many more people than just the 48 households of the Savarino plan, bringing more dollars from visitors which would be spent in the neighborhood. Furthermore, a mixed-use commercial development will create about 100 jobs long-term, many of the workers from the surrounding neighborhood. That is a lot more jobs than would be employed at an apartment complex. Renovation of the Erie Freight House does not mean that Savarino Companies cannot build their 48 apartments elsewhere: there is an abundance of vacant and available land in the vicinity on which Savarino and FFZ could build. The project team completely approves of developing market rate housing on and around the river, just not at the expense of this historic building.  Right project, wrong site. We can have both–the Erie Freight House and the apartments.

Save-Freight-12-Buffalo-NY-2.jpg

It is not the rickety structure that it looks like from the exterior. To those who think it’s a “rusty tin shack” there is this photo of a solid post-and-beam timber frame. What the public sees from the exterior is a skin of corrugated metal that was meant to protect the structure from the weather. Underneath is wood siding, some of it certainly dating back to the original construction.
Regarding the engineering report commissioned by Savarino:  on October 1st, 2012, Kevin V. Connors, registered architect and professional engineer, the Principal of eco_logic STUDIO, with extensive experience working on historic structures in Buffalo wrote this to Mr. James Comerford, Jr., Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services:
“On September 12, 2012 I participated in a walk-thru tour of the [Erie Freight House] with representatives of Savarino Companies. I have reviewed the Preliminary Structural Observation report by Tredo Engineers, dated July 6, 2012, as well as the Local Landmark Nomination documents prepared by Kerry Traynor, KTA Preservation Specialists. I agree with Tredo Engineers’ general assessment of the structural condition, however I disagree with the recommended demolition. While I recognize the risk and security issues of the current facility condition, it is my professional opinion that the structure can be stabilized and protected by performing selective demolition and salvage operations; structural shoring and bracing of the remaining structure; enclosure of exposed portions of walls and roof; and securing the waterside exposure. The Erie Freight House is the last extant example of an early (c1868) transshipment facility. The significance of the building is well documented. It’s heavy timber and truss structure is mostly intact. The process of repair and renovation can be one that enriches the historical interpretation of the site, while simultaneously building local capacity for specialty restoration construction. This structure has great potential as a community waterside attraction and mixed-use development, providing neighborhood employment opportunities. We are aware of a group looking at a non-profit development model that is interested in acquiring and renovating the building. We hereby recommend against the demolition of this important and salvageable heritage structure.”
Think it can’t be done? Search Google images for “Renovated Freight Houses” and you’ll see “about 978,000″ images of adaptive reuses of freight houses all around the country. It’s done all the time. Consider this recent example:

ABOUT_Building01.jpg

Foss Waterway Seaport: 
Construction is
currently underway for the historic rehabilitation and adaptive re-use of Foss Waterway Seaport, Tacoma’s premier maritime heritage, education and recreation center. The new 40,000 square foot public facility will feature an expanded heritage museum, compelling indoor program spaces, docks and floats for recreational and educational boating, and public open spaces for events, festivals and casual activities. The improvements will make the Seaport the largest maritime heritage and education center on the West Coast, with spaces for families, students and entire communities to discover, explore, work and play with on-the-water activities.
For more information visit this link or this link.
On January 10th, 2012 the Buffalo Common Council approved the nomination of the Erie Freight House as a designated city landmark. Preservation Buffalo Niagara (PBN) would like to reinforce this informed decision that was made by the means of direct public participation. The Local Landmark status provides the highest level of protection for historically significant assets in our community, and ensures meaningful public participation in the future of said resources. The circa 1868 Erie Freight House located at 9 South Street is considered to be the only extant freight warehouse building in the city associated with the Erie Canal and historic railway companies along the Buffalo River. Freight houses are a building type that once dominated the banks of the Buffalo River, and the Erie Freight House is the last surviving example. For more information, visit www.preservationbuffaloniagara.org.
It’s worth saving.
Save-Freight-12-Buffalo-NY-3.jpg

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

116 comments
DOC
DOC

This post has gotten out of hand. Tear the GD thing down.

Malone_C
Malone_C

While I agree with you, your central thesis is incorrect. We live in an increasingly Communist state with an administration whose basic tenant is to get everyone sucking off the government tit so they then own them. Its a form of progressive slavery.

JohnMarko
JohnMarko

Oh good grief. How many "education centers" or "museums" - devoted to what exactly again - paid by whom - does this city need!

A viable, pleasant enought looking project comes along, and all people do is shit on it.

The existing building may be salvagable according to one person's opinion, and it may be valid, but unless the OWNER of the property WANTS to do it, or if some as yet unidentified persons step forward to - what exactly now - FORCE THE OWNER TO SELL/DO AS THEY DEMAND? - this sketchy at best idea is rediculous. Last I heard, we live in a capitalist private ownership country, where a person - within reason - gets to do what they wish once they own a parcel of land.

Even if you all got enough money to pay OVER WHAT THE OWNER PAID FOR HIS PROPERTY, then and only then can you determine the direction of this development.

I'm glad my properties have not made the attention of all these armchair critics all these past years or I'd be out of a job, as would a lot of persons.

Ya know, I hear an old stinking outhouse that fell over is available for redevelopment, but I'm not sayin where it is, because my clients want modern plumbing for once in their lives. This isn't the Prudential Building or DWMartin Houses!

This has sat for - what - over a hundred years as a decrept pile of slivers and rust, an eyesore - and now that someone wants to clean up this mess and do something positive, NOW, SUDDENLY, all you armchair experts (without cash) all howl and cry. Any ONE of you could have done something YOURSELF to "save" this pile of crap - but YOU haven't. Sorry - TOUGH!

Move on to a more valuable battle - like prodding the owners of the Statler to keep that project moving, or getting good old Palladino to START on his Court Street building already.

Pegger
Pegger

I see your argument very clearly as you have laid it out in general terms. However, it seems to me that you have a lot of good company in your camp.

But, IMO, I don't see two opposites (or camps as I called them). I visualize the dynamic as a continuum between two seemingly polar extremes. One one end, you might find those who want to tear everything down to start over completely. On the other extreme, you would find those who would save every structure to the point of rebuilding even fire damaged structures that have no purpose or use.

It is unlikely to find any individual or group toward either extreme. Being a line (the continuum), people fall somewhere on a point between. Most, as expected with population distributions, would fall somewhere in the central area. So, I find it interesting to plot contributors on this line based on their comments and the positions they seem to express. Not scientific by any means, but it entertains me during the vast chunks of time I have in retirement.

It is clear that others do the same in their own ways and end up classifying others in an either or manner. But, in fact, the differences in our opinions are far more nuanced than that. I would be hard pressed to find any one who agreed with me on each specific property that might come under scrutiny. Opinions in the "preservation camp" don't always agree when the subject gets down to brass tasks. Most people would call me a preservationist since I tend to want to take a critical look at each instance thru my own colored glasses. It's so easy! But, what I think has no bearing on outcomes because I am not a professional in this field and, other than commenting in this blog, my decisions will have no impact. I have no influence in the decision making process.

But there are many who participate in this blog that are in positions that do make decisions that all of us collectively will have to live with. Their choices impact everyone. All we have to do is look at photos to see what is no longer there. Many of these structures, neighborhoods, and regions were often demolished for reasons that appeared benificial to the greater good. We now know that this has led to unintended consequences that negatively impacted the whole city.

These people of power and influence fall in different places on this continuum. Some are elected, some are appointed, some work in related fields. Some are paid, some are volunteers. I would hope that those who participate in some official capacity have the interest and expertise to be very knowlegable. To lump them into a group would be doing them a great disservice.They often do not agree amongst themselves.

But I think we can all agree that those who sit on related boards and committees do very important work. We can offer our opinions and perhaps our input in places like BRO and influence them in that way. But it is they that must ultimately determine the future of the built environment that is worth salvaging. That's not easy in a shrinking city with limited resources.

Freddy Olms
Freddy Olms

Preservationist need to pick their battles in order to be taken seriously. I sympathize with preservationists and appreciate the work they do in preserving historically significant architectural gems that enhance our city. But frivolous obstructionism like this only puts their whole cause in jeopardy. If they continue to block progress for the sake of preserving an irrelevant, crumbling freight house no one will listen when they try to defend the truly important buildings.

Preservationists also have to use common sense and realize that Mr. Savarino owns this land, not the open land near it (much of which is owned by Carl Paladino, who is planning similar developments). When they make claims that he should leave this freight house alone to be redeveloped and simply build somewhere else they are putting on full display their ignorance of how the real world works and once again hurting their own credibility.

BornInTheWard
BornInTheWard

Why should the Rod & Gun Club donate land that they recently purchased? As a member of that club, I can tell you that we are heavily invested in our property, and I see us staying put for the foreseeable future.

sonyactivision
sonyactivision

Five years ago it would have been inconceivable to build anything nice on this plot. But the Freight House could have been stabilized and fully restored since it's of such "historic significance".

Pegger
Pegger

What do you think of the views these proposed condos will have considering all the glass and elevation the upper floors will have? I ask as I am rarely down there these days. As someone who traverses the area routinely, you are by far more qualified to offer an opinion.

impressingagent
impressingagent

Too bad they couldn't build these 5 story condos on a downtown lot. All those lots near pierce arrow that look like they are on word muncher.

brownteeth
brownteeth

I have a question, is this really the only remaining freight house of this era/design left on Buffalo's waterfront? What about the very similar brick buildings at the foot of the Black Rock Canal lock where Rich Marine is? What about the collosal brick version of this on the other side of the Buffalo river just south of General Mills?

brownteeth
brownteeth

You're missing the point and off-base, I almost always take the preservation side, except here, hence "picking my battles wisely". It's not a matter of which battle I'm likely to win as much as it is which one is truely worthy of the effort when there are so many battles to fight.

Focus your energy on EB Holmes across the street, or Trico. Let Savarino have this one. Perhaps that will ensure 500 Seneca and the Livery get completed in a timely manner, two other historic projects arguably more significant than this.

brownteeth
brownteeth

I agree with you except in this situation. No one is tearing this down for a shovel ready lot or a parking lot. That's why I was disgusted with the cigar store being torn down on Main street.

However when a local developer with a good track record of saving / reusing historic buildings wants to tear this down specifically to immediately build something that will arguably better serve the community at large and be profitable for him then it's hard to argue for saving this building which has already collapsed.

I will back saving Trico, Fairmont Creamery, EB Holmes building, etc. all day long. The other major issue I have with this situation is that it was apparently locally landmarked AFTER Savarino bought it and after it collapsed. That's as shady as a midnight demo and will burn bridges with the few developers who are willing to save historic buildings. We don't have many of those developers to begin with as you know.

grad94
grad94

except that when a demolition controversy erupts, no one -ever- compliments the preservation side for picking a good battle and no one ever criticizes the tear-down side for picking a bad battle. that is what makes this rhetoric suspect.

BuffaloBlue
BuffaloBlue

Tear it down and bring the mass to that section that is needed.... That area is full of buildings and land that can be reused, but currently that is probably the only plot of land that can be the catalyst for the area. I live in the southtowns and frequently use Ohio to go between rte 5 and downtown. Even on a sunny day that area is gray and gloomy.

The structure in current state is blight, if the warf and siding were intact I'd think differently, but the view from route 5 says it all.

pampiniform
pampiniform

As eloquently stated as that was, I think your argument doesn't quite address the "pick your battles" argument. I don't think it matters if you seek the approval of your opponent before you pick a battle as much as thinking about if you even should make that person your opponent in the first place. I also don't see the problem in criticizing someone for picking a battle that they likely won't win and that will have unintended consequences for their side.

ForestBird
ForestBird

Mr.Savarino says he wants to save the intact timbers for future use; that should be sufficient for the history droolers out there.

biniszkiewicz
biniszkiewicz

or . . .

even if you want to continue to troll 'whatever' and you feel the need to reference his or her identity for the full force of your satire to work, then reference him or her in a way that makes it very obvious to even the most casual reader that you are not yourself 'whatever'.

For example: call yourself "defnotwhatever". You'd still be a troll and you'd still target whatever specifically (he or she can obviously handle the assault). You'd still be attacking the person more than the argument, but hey: it's your pulpit. However at least you wouldn't undermine the credibility of his brand by fooling some people into thinking that you two are the same person. Do something to make very clear to even the laziest reader that you are not 'whatever' and I'll stop objecting. Isn't that fair?

biniszkiewicz
biniszkiewicz

well there, aggrieved one, one significant difference is that it's Mr. Malone, whoever that might be. But I recognize the name and I can see it's not someone posing as someone else. That's where the biggest difference lies with me.

As I said in my earlier post, you should be free to speak solely satirically, if you like. Your choice. I might find it tiring, but as you said, I needn't waste my time reading it if I don't care for your humor.

But at least Mr. Malone isn't posing as someone else. You gloated in an earlier parks post about fooling people that you were whatever, boasting you had his/her style down. It's clear you are targeting him/her, that you disagree with his/her arguments.

What was so hard about keeping your earlier monikers? Why not Kettle (assuming that's you; I haven't heard you object, and your style certainly fits) or Armchair architect (ditto)? What was wrong with speaking behind a single fake entity instead of changing yours to mimic a particularly opposed point of view? Isn't that different than Malone's behavior above?

I'd have never been all over your case if I didn't think you were deliberately trying to dissuade less careful readers from treating whatever's comments seriously. I find his/her arguments generally persuasive. I want people to read his or her stuff. It's good, thoughtful commentary, in my opinion. And I don't want you pretending to be him or her because it will turn more casual readers off from reading his or her stuff. Go back to one of your other names to make an ass of yourself or your foes, depending upon how one sees it. What was so hard about keeping your other fake identities? Did you feel no one listened to you anymore, so you had to mimic a foe to draw attention?

I'd still respond sometimes to holes in your arguments, as I saw them (just like I used to), but I wouldn't respond with anywhere near the vigor I do now.

hamp
hamp

DOC, I know many preservationists. Some of my best friends are preservationists.

DOC, you're no preservationist.

"Realist"
"Realist"

This comment and the lack of a response to it are pretty revealing of this board's self-appointed comment police.

Snark:

Check.

Expression of views through satire:

Check.

Humorous parody of a caricature of other people's differing views:

Check.

Raging fury of policing comments from whatever, bini, etc:

Nowhere to be found?

Although the comment patrol say they don't like my snark, satire, and hyperbole when directed at them and people who think like them, their giving C.Malone a pass with the same thing shows they are okay with it as long as it is not directed at "a few dissenting voices."

Perhaps they should be more forthright and just say they'd rather not read comments that aren't aligned with their views instead of using invented talking points.

nyc
nyc

yeah but the cost of renovating the erie freight house would be enough money to make the DL&W accessible and very much usuable.

nyc
nyc

thanks.

so i really don't get it now.

This structure is just not that attractive or inspiring.

The preservation movement has done some great things in buffalo but i draw the line at when the developer has a project of much higher value, will provide greater density, will provide an additional constituent of people to support the revitalization of the river and surroundings, and is willing to build public access fronting the river.

Any public money spent here should be spent in support of an open space master plan to start tying these river frontages together.

My only gripe with the proposed project is the character of the buildings. Buffalo is so backwards, why not propose a design that looks forward and could become a river landmark, not another pretend it's 1895 building. The river is the perfect place to do it.. in the shadows of the grain elevators which inspired a modern movement in architecture. The only people inspired by the design are cranky old people. believe me, i just met them.

make it beautiful!

Travelrrr
Travelrrr

Not 100% accurate. I've tried, but then there was the issue of safety (trains passing through), the facility not being handicap accessible, etc. So, in essence, the site was not currently usable.

grad94
grad94

just an aside on the meaninglessness of "pick your battles" lectures.

do you know anyone who seeks the approval of their opponents before picking a battle?

like: "dear next door neighbor, i'm thinking of going to small claims court over the damage you did to my tree when you missed your driveway the other night. do you think that is a good idea?"

as if the neighbor will reply, "wow, you've picked a really good battle, i'm impressed by your judgement, it'll be a pleasure to turn the matter over to small claims court."

does anyone facing opposition and organized challenges (which are obviously difficult and unpleasant, no argument there) ever compliment their enemies for picking the right battle? of course not.

whether you think them right or wrong, foresighted or misguided, people who pick battles are doing exactly what you tell them to do: picking their battles.

grad94
grad94

if demolishing it is such good idea, where were these condo plans a year ago? five years ago?

brownteeth
brownteeth

I must say your comment is actually great.

JM
JM

The building wasn't nearly as bad 2 years ago. http://i.imgur.com/7VzzG.jpg This is from May 2010. Notice the lack of a hole in the roof and all the crap isn't shoved into the River like now.

DOC
DOC

By "everything" Steel, I mean everything that comes under the scrutiny of preservation. I'd be more concerned about St. Gerard's Chursh leaving the area than this dump being "saved." This city needs immediate and continued preservation and there is a palpable momentum underway which I among many really do appreciate. However the Freight House is an ugly eye sore standing in the way of a reasonable development designed to contribute to a critical mass in this area. Buffalo needs about 100,000 more people with money. Not another dump waiting to have it's sheet-metal skin removed. I hear the vast majority calling for progress here. What are you so threatened about? Have you lost your objectivity?

townline
townline

That's what I keep thinking!!!!

PBN, Brooks, etc. are making the argument that the steel shell is covering up an incredible structure - yet all we've seen is a closeup of one unspectacular ceiling joist.

I'm all for preserving our industrial built environment along the river, and I also think Savarino's design sucks - yet I'm not even close to convinced that preserving this building is a good idea. The preservation community is doing a terrible job making their argument.

How about you start showing reasons, other than a few individual's opinions, that this should be saved!!

Kyle Broflovski
Kyle Broflovski

I still see litle reason to prevent demolition. It was a freight house, and currently a structurally unstable one. In todays world a cities success is a product of consumption rather than the traditional method of production.

Buffalo was built on production, Boston and many west coast cities were built on consumption. Highly educated individuals locate to an area with attractive amenities, this clustering attracts firms looking for talent, agglomeration economies occur, and we see growth.

I do not believe an expensive restoration of a freight house for public use will provide these amenities. I can see 1) a mixed commercial use creating a diverse and dynamic neighborhood and 2) prime waterfront residential use since so much investment is already occuring around the area, offering high end housing in close proximity to the amenities the area currently and soon will offer. Either option calls for demolition (I am a supporter of adaptive reuse when feasable but were talking about a freight house).

It would suprise me to see highly skilled individuals ever choose to say I would like to locate in close proximity to a restored wooden stroage house. regardless of historical signifigance. As redundant as it sounds the Preservation society must choose their battles more carefully.

nyc
nyc

Can someone please post images of the inside of this building?

Malone_C
Malone_C

Let's turn the building into a giant lollipop and it will be bigger than the CNN Tower. We need new leadership, more progressive leadership, (insert other useless cliches here)

mikerals
mikerals

His money and land, our rule of law and tax money spent on demolitions. Housing in Buffalo is worse than a zero sum game. When we build new things here, our old things rot in place.

Travelrrr
Travelrrr

Wrong. We'd simply be on par with the number of cities who have successfully reused their freight houses.

rubagreta
rubagreta

I think if this building was prevented from being torn down, Buffalo would become the laughing stock of the country. I mean this is beyond insanity.

Quixote
Quixote

Their motivations? Well we can only guess but the facts would allow you to make it an intelligent guess.

What is more troubling is their behavior. I don't know if it is against the law but it ought to be.

Quixote
Quixote

Their motivations? Well we can only guess but the facts would allow you to make it an intelligent guess.

What is more troubling is their behavior. I don't know if it is against the law but it ought to be.

Joe E.V.
Joe E.V.

I bet you believe man never set foot on the moon, too.

South Buffalo Drifter
South Buffalo Drifter

I agree with you there! Doesn't seem like all the facts are out in the open....that's not surprising though, Buffalo runs on underhanded late night deals every day. Sounds like the "group" has it's own motivations that it isn't sharing.

Quixote
Quixote

If it is true that this group had been having a dialog with Great Lakes Paper Fibres going back years then why did they allow GLPF to let the building deteriorate? Why not get it landmarked before it deteriorated beyond redemtion - certainly before it collapsed or for that matter right after it collapsed?

Something doesn't smell right here. It looks as if the group was more interested in obtaining a river side property on the cheap and then maybe/maybe not use the structure - or part of it if that was all that could be salvaged - for some pie in the sky project that they were going to ask the public to fund for their benefit. This group must have thrown blandishments at Riverkeeper and Maritime center to have them be tenants on the cheap in this river side nest. No wonder Riverkeepers is taking such an interest in one "proposal" over another.

It is not surprising that little thought or consideration seems have been given to how this group was going to provide for 4 acres of parking for this taxpayer funded dream. Did they care if they saddled the Ohio Street corridor with a sea of ashpalt around their river side shangri-la?

I would not be surprised to find that the current landlord for Riverkeepers and Maritime center is a member of the "group". All signs point to it.

Seems that Savarino and FFZ interupted this group's fever dream when they contracted to purchase the property for cash. Did the members of this group work at or support the rushed efforts to get the building landmarked in order to stymie redevelopment efforts of Savarino/FFZ? If so they must have been really disappointed when, in spite of this handicap, Savarino/FFZ came up with a privately funded plan for market rate residences - the very same type of project that the Riverkeepers own study said should be built on that section of Ohio Street.

And now this mysterious group is joining with Riverkeepers in trying to cow the Commissioner of Inspections and Licenses and suggesting to him that he force a sale from Savarino/FFZ to the group lest they stir up trouble - all in the interest of "saving" a building that they did very little to save when they actually had the chance to do so.

'Taint right.

South Buffalo Drifter
South Buffalo Drifter

Any updates on "The Cooperage"??? People are talking about mixed use properties and Clinton Brown's plans for the building is to include mixed use on the bottom levels and have lofts on the upper levels.

See www.riverloftsbuffalo.com.

That would bring mixed use to the area and the apartments on the other side of Ohio St.can be built in place of the deteriorated freight house. If anyone has any updates on this project please let us know.

JM - stop in there to see Clint if you see his truck there and see what's up.

sonyactivision
sonyactivision

If this is such a good idea, where was this plan 10 years ago? Five years ago? A year ago?

Obviously no one considered this collapsing structure worthy of a fancy makeover until a better idea came along. Then the NIMBYs sharpened their knives and went to work...

sonyactivision
sonyactivision

Downtown Chicago was the second fastest growing downtown in the US from 2000-2010. The population losses have been in outlying distressed neighborhoods.

The Boss
The Boss

You got one thing right Chicago is huge, but it is a mess, declining population, horrid schools, crime and a huge tax burden. I love Chicago, but it faces that same issues that most large urban centers do.

Sabres1970
Sabres1970

I love the earlier post about turning this hunk of crap into a mixed use building. Mixed use in that area is laughable. The Genesee Gateway mixed use bulding has been sitting vacant for over a year since being rehabbed. If they can't find mixed use tenants for that building, you will not find mixed use tenants for this building on Ohio St.

Knock this hunk of crap down, and let Savarino go forward with his plans. Continue on with the crusade to save a factory(Trico) instead. I am sure there are prospective tenants a mile long waiting to move into that old dump.

Pegger
Pegger

This subject certainly garnered a lot of attention from people along all points on a spectrum. For some of the contributors, the issues are vital as they are stakeholders (or appear to be) in the outcomes. For others, outcomes matter for the sake of doctrinal belief systems in the areas of urban planning or preservation. The entire range of opinions expressed in the posts reflect the varied degrees of interest from fervently vibrant to casually involved. Many are just critcal.

Perhaps it s time to turn the dilemma over to the people who have been elected, appointed, assigned or delegated with the power and expertise (hopefully)to determine the final resolution. There is certainly no shortage of individuals and agencies involved already.

pampiniform
pampiniform

Are you implying the big whole in the middle is an "easily reversible cosmetic flaw"? I think I would have to agree with the trained engineers that it more like a major structural issue.

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