Over the weekend about a dozen people did some serious work at the Wildroot building as part of a BYP clean up event. Leading the charge to secure the building before winter and for future development, Mark Paradowski assigned tasks to the volunteers around the 100,000 square foot complex. Although the event was only slated for four hours, most people stayed over six hours for additional work. You can check out before and after photos on the Wildroot Buffalo Facebook page here.
The overgrown and wild courtyard was tamed as plants and debris were uprooted and await removal from the site in the near future. The majority of the first floor windows on the north side of the building that had been left open have now been completely sealed to keep out vandals and the elements. Several window openings were boarded and although not all of them were addressed, there will be additional work before the snow flies to get them sealed up.
Due to the success of the fundraiser and donations that continued after the clean up, Mark has extended the online campaign in order to purchase additional materials for the winterization project, which you can see here. The new project goal is $1000 and Mark is already three quarters of the way there after $250 was added to the campaign, post clean up.
“Since we continued to get funding beyond our initial goal, we’ve decided to extend the campaign so we can get additional work done which will go a long way in securing the building for future development,” says Paradowski. “I’m very thankful for the people that came out to help on Saturday and those that made donations, big and small. They truly made a positive impact for the future of this east side landmark. A special thanks goes to Chris Ziolkowski of Zee’s Property Services. Chris works professionally in construction and has been present on many BYP clean ups and not only donates his skills, but often kicks in additional funds for more supplies or food for the volunteers.”
The majority of Wildroot is the former factory building to the rear, which makes up 80,000 of the 100,000 square feet. Similar to many rehabilitated reinforced concrete factory buildings, the open floor plates and high ceilings lends itself to almost any new use. Wildroot has the potential to be an incredible catalyst for this part of the east side. It could be a business incubator, brewery, or could replicate the model at the Foundry, but include space for the artists to live all in the same place. It could even be all three of those things. The possibilities for Wildroot are endless and these clean up efforts are first steps for a great future.