A beautiful, city-owned home is getting a shot at a second chance this week as demolition has been halted for thirty days in an attempt to find a qualified buyer. David Torke of fixBuffalo sat down with Al Steele of the demolition crew and Commissioner James Comerford yesterday in an attempt to save this stately home at 557 East Utica Street.
There has been an incredible amount of investment in the surrounding area as people have begun to recognize the history and integrity of the rich building stock. Many of the homes on East Utica and those that line Humboldt Parkway, just steps away, have been lovingly maintained and/or restored, which all adds up to a strong sense of place.
The fantastic pink house to the left of 557 has a very caring owner; you couldn’t possibly ask for a better neighbor. When she purchased the home it was in almost the exact same state as 557, but it’s now the pride of the street. These projects are not impossible, they just take someone who can see past the dirt and problems to the gem underneath. 557 is a fantastic example of one of these gems because it has a newer roof, a high level of original integrity on the exterior and interior, and is dry as a bone throughout.
David also spoke with Julian Adams of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for his opinion on the home. The following is courtesy of David’s post, which can be seen here. "557 is an outstanding example of how bold forms and ornament can make a house standout in a neighborhood,” said Julian, “The bold broken and scrolled swan's neck decoration in the third floor gable reflects both the colonial revival style of the period as well as the exuberance of the time in which it was constructed. It adds a grace note to the street, being both a singular presence and part of a stronger historic neighborhood."
Dana Saylor of Old Time Roots, David, and I are currently researching the building to tell the story behind this wonderful home. If you are interested in more information and checking the house out, contact David Torke at firstname.lastname@example.org.