My Favorite Buildings: Castle Corner

This odd building at the north west corner of Richmond and Connecticut has fascinated me for a long time.  It is composed in a jumble of  assorted towers and peaks which step along Richmond to fill the property.  It is not one of Buffalo’s more refined buildings and has been somewhat abused over the years. It has been painted dull gray as long as I can remember and sports a multitude of roofing materials.  Several windows have been filled in ands it is covered with conduits and cheap upgrades.  I am sure it has been cut up into a as many small apartments as they could cram into its walls.   
It was likely an elegant apartment building in earlier days.  Seen from the air it actually looks like it could have been a series of townhouses.  Richmond was built up as one of Buffalo’s premier residential streets so it is almost certain that this was once a very desirable building. I would bet that a lot of elegant detailing has been stripped away.  It probably had a series of porches and balconies along Richmond.  There is a gorgeous little segment of original porch rail at the back side that hints at what has been lost.   
Castle-Richmond-Buffalo-NY-3.jpg
Today the building sits awkwardly on its prominent site and I am sure many think it is a bit ugly.  But with vision and the right owner this building could be a real jewel and a gateway landmark at the head of a quickly re-emerging Connecticut  Street.  I can dream can’t I? 
Castle-Richmond-Buffalo-NY-2.jpg
Castle-Richmond-Buffalo-NY-1.jpg
Images from Google Maps

About the author  ⁄ WCPerspective

Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

17 comments
tommyJ
tommyJ

I looked at 2 apartments here a few years back... they were DISGUSTING.

The 1 bedroom was just a dump; mismatched appliances, poorly closing doors, random thrown up walls... this building was chopped up to high heaven. I don't think it's worth doing anything with - it'd require a full gut.

The "Deluxe" 2-bedroom I got shown in the "garden level" was even worse... they had commercial carpeting throughout in the kitchen that had seen better days 20 years ago. There was a random second door in the kitchen that went into the basement that was unfinished and accessible by anyone - kinda scary actually... it was pretty bad.

jim1234664
jim1234664

that would be a long, epic mid 6 figure gut rehab. I agree if the right person bought them at the right price it would be feasable.

Realistically though if all you do is slumlord (and even that is most likely done by a property manager) you dont really have the skillset or time to run a rehab like that.

Especially if you're already in a high stress / high paying job like law and you actually want the project to come in under budget.

thats a huge risk to take.

hopefully he sells the place and does it at a price where it still makes sense to do a rehab

medea
medea

People, people, trash? Good God, you sound like the victorian trash that used to say the same about the italians and irish only now most of the "trash" is brown. Hey, why not join a friggin eugenics club and suck wine whilst listening to Barry Manilow? Boo Hoo, are the poor people still a little too close for you? Then move to the g'damn suburbs already and study waldorfism's!

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

Friend told me this evening that Harvey Garrett has opined that the owner of these buildings is a moron, because he doesn't realize that they could be a gold mine if he simply invested in fixing them up.

LouisTully
LouisTully

Although, sometimes it's simply being cared for at all, or just occupied, that is the true service with these old buildings.

jim1234664
jim1234664

its about time, Im tired of looking at that listing lol

Rand503
Rand503

Is the back entrance for horse and carriage? It looks like it might have been.

paulsobo
paulsobo

The poverty and fractured families can break alot of people into unstable territory.

RaChaCha
RaChaCha

I walk past that building several times a week and agree with all comments so far: love the building, but not the nonsense.

Just over a week ago there was a VERY LOUD woman standing outside it after dark trying to block the way of everyone walking across Richmond. When I didn't stop and kept going, the string of epithets and her starting to follow me down the sidewalk startled me so much I pulled out my cell and called 911. She quickly decided to leave me alone.

I was not aware of the issues with the owner, but would be glad to work with others to address them. I've tried various times to get on the email list for the Bryant Street block club without success. Any of you who mentioned you live nearby, feel free to drop a note to any BRO writer you've had contact with, and they'll forward it to me.

Superman3d
Superman3d

A similar building at 136-138 Richmond on the corner of York was split in original 3 townhouses recently. The middle townhouse, consisting of 2 one-bedroom units, closed this week at $175K.

ccbuffalo
ccbuffalo

maybe we can get bryant street block club to start to raise consern. i dont know, i would love to see that building get rid of all the trash that lives there. maybe start flooding stephen c. townsend voice mail about how bad the property is maintained.

On Richmond
On Richmond

Full agreement with sobuffbillsfan. It is owned by Attorney Stephen C. Townsend and he has done nothing to the building in the 6 years I've owned my place on the same block of Richmond. He does not care who he rents to, mostly section 8 and the cops are there 2-3 times a week addressing problems with drugs, tenants & the scum they attract. He also owns the row of townhouses next door and runs it the same way. He must have connections with City Hall; we've had no luck with City Hall helping to address any of the issues with the building or those he rents to. The quality of life for all of us in this area will vastly improve once this scumbag sells both properties and someone fixes them up & returns them to the quality housing both buildings once were.

sobuffbillsfan
sobuffbillsfan

Good luck with that! The guy who owns this is a classic slum lord. He owns that building and the red one next to it. Hes content doing the bare minimum to keep it up to section 8. He doesn't care who he rents to, this summer there was a crazy person shouting out the window of that gray building all day every day and a group that partied with their music blaring in that parking lot all day every day. I have walked by there and seen fights, tenets yelling at each other over who the "real trash" is that lives in those buildings. The cops are there all the time.

I'm pretty sure this guy is going to hold out until he finds a buyer with enough money to grossly over pay for the property potential. He should be forced to live next door like the people in the area who are investing in the homes around this place, despite his lack of effort.

Don't worry though he's doing alright, judging by the private college stickers on the back of his $40k SUV.

ccbuffalo
ccbuffalo

is that place filled with section8? just wondering

Cam33r4
Cam33r4

I would love to see this building fixed up and re-done someday!

JimB
JimB

Great building. Like so many others in this city it has great potential, if only it was cared for better.

townline
townline

Love this building. Interesting comment that it could have been a series of townhouses. What an amazing way to restore this property that would be, to rehab the exterior with separate treatments for each of the four(?) sections facing Richmond. Really would be THE signature residential property of Richmond Ave.

© 2014 Hyperlocal Media. All Rights Reserved.