Save the Historic North Branch Library

click –> PLEASE SIGN & SHARE THIS PETITION

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I can’t sit around and watch the North Park Library get demolished.  I need to make a personal effort in trying to save it.  I guess it’s a combo of a beautiful building, the history of it, the former and potential future purpose of the building, the proposed plan for it upon demolition (blah), and the surrounding Transit Road-like hell that surrounds it on all sides that makes my heart pump.
I’ll be honest, I only know about as much as the public knows in regards to the building but figured that I’d take my time off for the holidays to develop some action plans, see who’s interested in helping, and get going.  I searched around to see if any other preservation group is deep in this preservation issue.  Other than the landmarking and the local community groups, I don’t see any hard campaigning.  I apologize if anyone was already deep into this preservation issue but I hope we can collaborate.
Here’s what I know:
  • Built in 1925 – closed in 2008 due to asbestos and lead paint – .42 acres of land at 2351 Delaware avenue – 3,000 square foot / 2 story building
  • Library relocated to strip mall plaza across the heavy trafficked intersection
  • Benderson bought the property ($350,000) and has plans to demolish it to build a mixed-use structure with parking that goes all of the way to the road following Green Code specs – all green space would be eliminated
  • Benderson plans on paying for the demolition out of personal company funds
  • HOWEVER, THIS WAS POSTED IN THE BUFFALO NEWS: A memo the Council received from the city’s Office of Strategic Planning on the $1.7 million overall project made no mention of demolishing the building.Council Majority Leader David A. Rivera said Thursday that he wasn’t aware of any demolition plans when the council unanimously approved the sale. But, Rivera added, the council typically defers to district council members on issues such as this.
  • The total project cost is quoted at $1.7million
  • NBO & HBA have all chimed in on the issue and, to my understanding, have conflicting view points
  • Dana =:) was quoted in Buffalo Rising about consulting with the orgs regarding the building – – – so, Dana, any information that could be provided would be super
  • I was informed today that the Preservation passed a motion to start the Landmark process
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Photo via Buffalo News

Yesterday,
  • I went to take pictures and a teenager got off of a bus and tried to enter the vacant building thinking that building was still open.
  • I spoke with multiple people in the area about their views and every single one of them said that they’d like to see it back open.
  • Dialogue was made regarding the amount of residential streets on the same side of the closed library and how it’s dangerous for children/families to cross that intersection to gain access to the library
  • People admired the park like atmosphere of the library and mentioned that they don’t need another Burger King, Mighty Taco, KMart, or pizza place. They also said that they could care less about small boutiques at that location.  They want the library back.  People shared stories of their memories there.  A homeless man was almost in tears because he wasn’t homeless when the library was still open and he said that he frequented the library.
Plan:
  1. My plan is to develop a hard-copy and digital petition.
  2. I developed the Facebook page to get some dialogue going and to get the community educated and aware.  I also posted pictures and links to it.  Please share the page with your contacts!
  3. I want to check on the status of the landmarking and see how I can be of assistance with that.
  4. I’d like to reach out the council and possibly put the issue on a meeting agenda.
  5. I’d like to complete some reuse plans utilizing the current structure.
  6. I plan on doing some digging at the BECHS regarding the history and nostalgia of the building
  7. Finally, if needed, anyone that can develop a rendering of possible traffic changes in front of the library would be requested (I saw interest in this in the comments of an article so I thought that I’d seek out some experts)

ARTICLES/Links:

  1. Benderson likely to renovate former North Park library – Proposes retail, offices for North Buffalo site ~ Buffalo News
  2. Benderson plans to demolish former North Park library

    Benderson proposal extends to sidewalk ~ Buffalo News

  3. Preservation Ready Sites Information ~ PRS
  4. Members of the community question the future of the North Park Branch Library corner ~ Buffalo Rising

  5. Facebook “Like” page ~ Page I developed in efforts to get the community involved

IMAGES OF THE LIBRARY AND ITS LANDSCAPE:

IMAGES OF THE SURROUNDING CORNERS AND INTERSECTIONS/STREETS

IMAGES OF LIBRARY RELOCATION ACROSS THE BUSY INTERSECTION – WITHIN A STRIP MALL PLAZA

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