The directors of two Buffalo area preservation groups voted to merge their organizations late last week. Both the Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier and the Preservation Coalition of Erie County will now be merged into one organization – Preservation Buffalo Niagara.
According to Buffalo Business First, the decision comes after nine months of negotiations. Preservation Buffalo Niagara will be governed by a 21-member board- 10 of the seats will be filled from existing directors and the remaining spots will be filled anew.
Buffalo Rising has more of the story:
According to Harvey [McCartney, retired Director of the Landmark Society] and Cynthia [Van Ness, President of the Preservation Coalition of Erie County], the new organization will have its work cut out. In addition to playing a key role in preparing for the 2011 conference, several longstanding preservation issues need to be addressed, including conducting more historic resource surveys (Rochester was fully surveyed in the 1980’s, Buffalo has not been), and bringing more preservation attention to Buffalo’s east side. A common thread through the discussions was the need for the new organization to get out in front of preservation issues and be proactive, rather than reactive—which all too often results in bruising preservation battles with preservationists being labeled “obstructionists.”
There will be a national search for an executive director in the months to come.
Two locations in New York State have been listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual list of America’s Most Endangered Places. The non-profit membership organization hopes that saving the places where great moments from history – and the important moments of everyday life – took place, will help revitalize neighborhoods and communities, spark economic development, and promote environmental sustainability.
This years list includes eleven threatened one-of-a-kind historic treasures. Listing them as threatened raises awareness and helps rally resources to save them. The two New York locations on the list are:
The Lower East Side, New York City – The Lower East Side embodies the history of immigration, one of the central themes of American history in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, yet development threatens to erase the surviving historic structures. This includes houses of worship, historic theaters, schools and the tenement, a unique architectural type which, by the sheer numbers who lived in such a building, had an impact on more Americans than any other form of urban housing. A New York City landmark designation and contextual zone changes within the neighborhood would preserve the physical character of the neighborhood. [At left Lower East Side Tenement by Greg Scaffidi]
Peace Bridge Neighborhood, Buffalo, N.Y. – The neighborhood and the site, with homes and buildings dating to the 1850s on two National Register Olmsted parks, is an iconic section of the City of Buffalo. The Public Bridge Authority (PBA) proposes to expand Peace Bridge and include a 45 acre plaza that will eliminate over 100 homes and businesses (dozens of which are eligible to the National Register) and diminish the Olmsted parks. Suitable alternate sites exist, but PBA refuses to properly consider them. [At right: Peace Bridge Neighborhood by Catherine Schweitzer]
A complete list along with a video produced by the History Channel is located at www.PreservationNation.org