UPDATE Dec. 30, 2017: When I originally posted this piece on 12/27, destruction of a dozen century-old buildings was still in progress at the southeast corner of Elmwood and Forest avenues. Each structure that was being destroyed was a contributing resource to the nationally listed “Elmwood Historic District (East).” [See SHPO’s 12-19-2016 letter] Prior to Chason Affinity’s commencement of demolition activities, the Elmwood Historic District was “highly intact” and proudly represented the City of Buffalo’s turn-of-the-twentieth-century economic, social and architectural zenith. I returned to the scene of destruction on December 29, and photographed the mud and mounds of rubble where two two-family residences had stood for a century on the south side of Forest Avenue between Elmwood and Granger Place. I wanted to capture the image of “the last house standing” – the double owned by my friend and former client, Sandra Girage, who has courageously fought alongside her neighbors to preserve the character of the neighborhood she loves. [I have added images of the Forest Ave. portion of Chason Affinity’s “devolution by design” at the end of this post.] In my opinion – as the attorney who, until the latest judicial challenge, represented the opponents to the series of project’s proposed for the southeast corner of Elmwood & Forest – the multi-year legal, political, and judicial steps that have led to this inexcusable tattering of the Elmwood Village’s historic urban fabric epitomize the broken nature of Buffalo’s zoning, land use, and environmental processes.
THE LAST HOUSE STANDING ON THE FOREST AVE. BLOCK THAT WAS 100% RESIDENTIAL PRIOR TO CHASON AFFINITY:
HERE’S WHAT’S COMING TO THE HISTORIC ELMWOOD VILLAGE:
With All Due Respect,