So I wanted to talk a little more about this building. I muddled my message a bit in yesterday’s post on this property by including my thoughts on Nick Sinatra’s Buffalo Spree interview. Although related to my point, it actually sent the conversation into an unintended direction so here it is clearly.
Look at the condition of this building on Pearl Street downtown. Can anyone honestly say that the condition of this building is OK? What does this building say about Buffalo? What should a young Canadian hockey player think when he walks to his hotel past this mess? To me it says the people of this city don’t give a damn. Is that true? Do the people not give a damn? Does this building convey pride of place or does it say I can’t wait to get the F out of here?
Certainly, it is hard to imagine that the owner who filled in the windows of this building with concrete blocks and striped off much of its masonry detail gave a a damn about Buffalo. This “remodeling” was likely an expedient way of fixing a problem of some sort suiting the owner’s goals just fine. It looks like the owner felt zero responsibility to the city from which profits are being drawn. This wall of concrete windows is just a big FU to the city of Buffalo. Oh yea I know, property rights blah blah blah – move to Buffalo then – blah blah blah – why don’t you buy it – blah blah blah. This building looks like shit and it shits all over the city street. Property rights don’t give you the right to crap on your neighbors and this is just what this building is doing.
The individual properties of the city do belong to individuals but the city belongs to EVERYONE. When you wreck a building as this one has been wrecked you also wreck the city. For much too long people in Buffalo have accepted this kind of property management as a normal thing as if that is just the way things have to be in Buffalo. Wake up! It is not normal! It is not the way it has to be! It is the way it is allowed to be. People in Buffalo need to start demanding that owners take responsibility for the effect their property management (or lack there of) has on the city as a whole.
It is not OK to have trees growing from your roof? It is not OK to sit and hold a building with no investment for decades? It is not OK to strip all the valuable elements from a Church and leave it as a shell? It is not OK to block up all the windows with concrete blocks! Buffalo deserves better than this, not just on this street but throughout the city. Demand responsible building ownership!