Tear down the existing 1950's monstrosity that blocks the view of the Richardson complex!
Whatever their decision....the brick buildings unattached to the spine are nice but not completely necessary.
What is absolutely necessary is to get rid of the Psych Center on the grounds, possibly relocating it to Millard Fillmore Gates or ECC oops ECMC so that the formerly demolished wing can be rebuilt completing the restoration.
What is absolutely necessary is an over-arching plan with Burchfield Penny, Buffalo State and the streets of Grant, Elmwood and Forest in particular.
An over arching plan is important because some of the proposed reuses for the Richardson are: 1) a boutique hotel and conference center for Buffalo State, Canisius and Medaille. Particularly beneficial for Buffalo State since they have degrees in the hospitality and tourism industry giving great experience to students. 2) Presidential Libraries for Cleveland and Fillmore to complement existing McKinley and Roosevelt. 3) Architectural Museum to which a model of its sister building (Erie Savings Bank downtown ) must be on display
an even better option would be to convert Millard Fillmore Gates into a Hotel/residence and the Richardson into a conference center.
However, nothing really wonderful can happen until the psych center relocates....and the haunting stigma of the old psych days is excorsized.
I hope everyone who feels that the 400-500+ individuals who reside and/or receive treatment in the buildings on the Buffalo Psychiatric Cener grounds must be moved in order to "exorcise the stigma", are prepared to come up with the $100+ million dollars it will take to relocate their fellow citizens with mental disabilities. And, that those same people will also assist in quelling the community resistance which will exist at any alternate site proposed for the relocation of Buffalo Psychiatric Center programs.
Why is it that other historic buildings throughout the world can and have been revitalized and reused despite being located next to other non-historic structures and uses, but the location of the Buffalo Psychiatric Center buildings needed for the care and treatment of the mentally ill is somehow a "hideous intrusion" and incompatible with the restoration and reuse of the HH Richardson buildings?
Good points - the C4GB presentation Monday night, and the public information/input meeting Tuesday (see my previous BRO article) will be good opportunities to give that input, and get a better sense of how the master planning process that's getting underway will address the status of those buildings.
While I don't know exactly what C4GB will propose at the presentation Monday night, some decent clues may be found on their blog, in an entry from September, 2006. Link below.
This is wonderful news and perhaps a catalyst for breathing life back into the surrounding area. I do know that there are several plans being considered and one did include the demolition of the Strozzi Building and rebuilding the three male pavilions that had been demolished.
The Strozzi Building would make a nice replacement for the row of slums that inhabit Grant Street form Buffalo State College to Forest Avenue.
As for the eventual use; the options are open but I would not rule out a mixed-use building. I know the Catholic Health System will be seeking corporate accommodations in the very near future and perhaps their CEO could be approached to consider this option.
@fill, I have no "inside information" other than the track record of similar redevelopments of places like the Richardson complex. There is little value to keeping the large annex that is over 50 years old, laden with asbestos and other structural problems, and is totally incongruous with the historic, valuable Kirkbride buildings. My main concern is that the grounds being restored to period specs may preclude additional redevelopment that would enhance the value of the site to Buffalo. It's a lot of land and a nice balance between old and new could make this project a national exemplar.
Moreover, wouldn't it be better to concern ourselves first and foremost with the historic structures that are actually there? Sure, it'd be great if sometime in the future we can relocate everyone who currently uses Buffalo Psychiatric Center, demolish the Stroze building and rebuild the three wards that went down in '74, but for the time being we still have a massive, quite damaged structure whose predicament is a little more pressing than the matter of a building three more wards (essentially) from scratch. Have we even confirmed that we have enough money allocated to save the present structure? Lest I checked, even that is not definite.