Nov 20, 2012

Trico Reuse Study Released, Calls for Some Preservation

Things are beginning to look up for the historic Trico #1 Building on the corner of Washington and Goodell streets. The building is located in the heart of the ever-expanding medical campus and is situated between Allentown, Downtown, and the Fruit Belt neighborhoods. Earlier this year, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus was ready to demolish the entire complex, refused free help for a reuse study, and was proposing a “temporary parking lot” before new construction was to take place.


Between March and today there have been many arguments, false starts, and much finger pointing, but the dust has finally settled. Developer and architect, Doug Swift, was charged with developing a reuse feasibility study for the building and the results mean some good things for Trico.

The plan calls for reusing almost half of the existing complex, adding some new builds, and some significant demolitions. The newest portions of the reinforced concrete daylight factory would be retained, while the remaining older portions would come down. The entire frontage along Goodell would remain, which is definitely the most iconic portion of the complex.


However, since there is so much demolition, the project would not be eligible for historic tax credits. Additionally, since the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places those demolitions may limit or eliminate any federal or state funds, not including the tax credits.


When the issue was first raised, the BNMC claimed the entire complex was structurally unsound, but given the type of construction it seemed unlikely. Sure enough, the reuse study proved that although the site is as contaminated as expected, all but one of the buildings are structurally sound. Building 1, the former icehouse for the Weyand Brewery, is possibly unsalvageable, but was not completely written off.

Rendering courtesy of the Buffalo News
I’m sure the discussions for the future of this iconic landmark are far from over, but it finally seems like we may be turning the corner in the discussions. Stay tuned for more details as the story develops.

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