Mar 5, 2013

Another Lost Opportunity on the East Side, Genesee and Doat

Another east side gem is headed for the landfill after a suspicious fire ravaged this great building at Genesee and Doat Streets. The building has been vacant since the 1990s and was relatively intact, with the exception of a small section of the east wall collapsing. The open floor plan of the structure and massive windows could have been an incredible space for someone with the right vision and the money. This is just another in a long list of east side buildings that deserved better, like the Brecker Building that was just down the street.


The interior was similar to many other commercial buildings that have been converted to industrial lofts. Hardwood floors were in decent shape, the large window openings brought in lots of natural light, and the high ceilings with exposed rafters could have created a unique residence.


It was likely built in the 1920s, but I haven’t gotten a chance to research too much of its history. The building appears on the 1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, but not the 1917 map and given the style and construction, I would say the 1920s is a fair bet for now.


It was used as a Desoto Automobile dealership, but more recently was toy store operated by the Golebiewski family, which closed in 1991. Several people including Chris Schmidt of Buffalo Rising, fondly recall shopping there as children. After the toy store closed, it was owned by a handful of others including the City of Buffalo, several times. It is currently owned by Steven Winter & Associates based in Cincinnati, OH.


There are still dozens of buildings just like this one all over Buffalo, especially the east side, that have an uncertain future. Hopefully, things will begin to turn in the right direction in some areas and people will recognize the opportunities these buildings hold.

For additional photos of the building before and after the fire, check out my Flickr page here.

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  1. The East side of this building has been blown out for the better part of the last five years. For the last 20 years it's been sold and resold via the City's tax foreclosure auction. Who'd like to wager that Steven Winter Associates/FIve Star Financial - (513) 489-4111 - in Cincinnati OH, the building's owner - will not pay the emergency demo costs? For that matter they probably don't even know the building burned.