94 Northampton - Bound for the Landfill

An arsonist torched 94 Northampton early Monday morning, one of Midtown Buffalo's most significant city-owned heritage residences.  Two days later a $26.8K emergency demolition contract razed the building, sending yet another East Side treasure to the landfill.
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94 Northampton - Wednesday late afternoon  
fixBuffalo readers may remember that Commissioner Jim Comerford from the City of Buffalo Department of Permits & Inspections removed 94 Northampton from the demolition list in April 2010 - story heregranting this city-owned gem a renewed lease on life.  John Hannon, Director of the city's Division of Real Estate then placed this amazing 3 family residence on the homestead eligible list - $1 house.  City Hall cooperated. 
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94 Northampton - Wednesday early afternoon
The first ten minutes of Wednesday afternoon's demolition.

During an early 2007 neighborhood walking tour, I was handed a photograph of 94 Northampton, dated 1906.  The person joining the tour that morning indicated that her grandmother is the woman sitting on the porch.  With the recent success of the nearby Packard and ArtSpace developments on Main Street, private investment in the immediate neighborhood has been revived and a number of large single and two family houses have been restored along the two block stretch of Northampton between Main and Michigan. 
Here's what 94 looked like, back in the day.
94 Northampton Avenue - Buffalo, 
94 Northampton - c. 1906
There are dozens of well-maintained houses in the neighborhood, including 82 Northampton, next door. All of these houses can be found within a block of 94 Northampton. By any measure the collection of 19th century architecture in this neighborhood would qualify as an historic district. Near by, 38 Northampton was the first house on the street to sell after Artspace announced plans in early 2006 to locate in the neighborhood.
One block to the North... One block to the North... IMG_0720 IMG_0735 IMG_0789
After numerous showings, no one was prepared to step-up and take on this project.  With the reinvestment in St. Vincent's, a short block away on Ellicott Street, my optimism grew and I was convinced that time was on 94 Northampton's side. 
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    Buffalo ReUse: James Green Executive Director - Q&A

    Buffalo ReUse is located in the heart of Buffalo’s East Side.  On any given day customers may include a downtown attorney searching the piles of green limestone that once graced Minoru Yamaski’s plaza at the base of the M & T tower or neighbors buying hardware and replacement screens. Landlords and local contractors were streaming through the door during a recent visit and were searching an inventory of donated doors, moldings and windows and architectural salvage.  Landfilling these items no longer makes sense, especially now.
    James Green - Executive Director
    I had the opportunity recently to sit down with James Green, the new Executive Director and talk with him about the organization’s past, present and future. Here's the podcast (running time 10 min).
    Javoun & Tyshawn - Buffalo ReUse garden volunteers  
    Shortly after meeting with James Green, the following Buffalo News story appeared about the organization’s eviction from the Northampton Street location.  I sat down with Vince Kuntz, Buffalo ReUse board President on Wednesday morning and asked him about the eviction proceeding.  Vince remains confident about the organization’s future as a number of possible options are actively explored.  While the details and plans are being hammered out Vince explained that all the recent changes that have taken place on Northampton Street have resulted in a stronger organization, an organization that is rapidly becoming an organization of the East Side. 
    Len, Rose & Akhalaq - customers
    Hear what Len, Rose and Akalhaq have to say - podcast (running time 3 min.) - about their Buffalo ReUse experience.  I chatted with them while they were shopping the endless aisles of salvaged inventory from some of Buffalo’s most storied buildings and neighborhoods while working on their own home based projects. 
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