Well, that was exciting!
On Tuesday, over 50 concerned citizens, activists and organizations came together in the Buffalo City Hall common council chambers to discuss Trico’s future as a local landmark. It took two hours to get through the public hearing and to listen to all the public comments.
A quick note of clarification – Tuesday’s public hearing took place during a Common Council Legislative Committee Meeting, not a general Common Council Meeting. Confusing, we know. To better understand the process, we recommend that you check out this flow chart that details the legislative path for local landmark designation applications. Tuesday’s meeting is represented by the third box from the end on this chart.
Rendering by Nicholas Tyler Miller
Here are the details:
Most attendees that spoke were in full support of landmarking Trico including Preservation Buffalo Niagara, Rocco Termini, the Campaign for Greater Buffalo, Occupy Buffalo as well as many other concerned citizens. Many citizens spoke on how this building is important to our historic fabric, how Trico can be a great economic driver in the area and that other areas of the city, and country for that matter, have the same types of buildings that are not only wanted but have also been rehabbed successfully! An estimated total of 30 people spoke in-favor of the landmarking status for Trico.
Only 5 people spoke against making Trico a local landmark, which included Matt Enstice (BNMC), Terry Gilbride (Hodgson Russ – BNMC’s attorney), a tenant of the Innovation Center (who claimed to be a real estate ‘expert’) and two residents from the Fruit Belt neighborhood. The BNMC’s attorney ran down a list of chemicals supposedly located in the building, however did not address the fact that the BNMC is responsible for cleaning up the chemicals regardless of what they ultimately do with the building. Scare tactic? We think so. Nice try.
Didn’t make the meeting? Check it out on UStream. Here are some highlights: public hearing for Trico starts at 31:50, Rocco Termini – 34:25, Tim Tielman (Preservation Board) – 41:56, Frank Kowsky (author of the National Register nomination for Trico) – 49:52, Dana Saylor – 1:05:24, Terry Robinson – 1:08:00, David Torke (Eastside Resident) – 1:20:15, Matt Enstice – 1:23:29, Terry Gilbride – 1:32:22.
The end result:
The ending was good – three council members overrode Pridgens decision to table the landmarking decision. Now, the landmarking goes before the common council on Tuesday for the vote. If it is approved, it is a local landmark. If they deny… well, we will have to push harder somehow. We expect the item to be tabled, but that is just a wild guess.
Here is the take away:
It is important to note that no one denyed that Trico meets the historic requirements for the local landmark. It meets six of the nine criteria for placing it into historic local landmark status… and not even the BNMC could argue that. So, why is there such a debate on this issue? Its because no one wants to harm the BNMC….
We are going to need EVERYONE to contact all the council members before the end of this week so we can push the common council vote to approve the landmarking. Here contact information is here.
Stay tuned for a condensed video version of Tuesday’s meeting, questions to be raised and other information.