eliz - Since the protesters who helped save it impacted some people on the "sidelines" to use your word - some nearby neighbors and all city taxpayers who paid some costs to help save it (which I hope were recovered from the previous or new owners), this is open to sideline coaching from anyone - especially city residents. I feel I actually helped enough as a taxpayer and resident.
If your comment is saying everything possible was done to publicize and find a savior proactively, and it just couldn't happen until when it happened, then I'll accept your word about it. Maybe Savarino knew about the building all along but didn't decide to buy it until the dangers and protests were under way, neighbors were forcibly moved, all that. If you're saying for this one that everything proactively happened that reasonably could have, I'll believe you 100% no questions asked.
But if you're also saying that for every doomed saviorless building which most Buffalonians (and maybe potential saviors) never even heard of until a last minute emergency comes along... that everything possible is done proactively to publicize, prioritize, and try to find a savior for all of those buildings in Buffalo... well, if you're saying that, then I withdraw my crazy well-intentioned suggestion from earlier.
When your nice Spree magazine or its blog publishes critiques about a play or restaurant or public issue, I wonder if that's also "coaching from the sidelines". It is, but that's probably different for some reason.