Past Engineering Reports point to ‘demolition by neglect’ tactics by BNMC, but TRICO is still structurally strong

On Friday, Artvoice disclosed a series of engineering reports that were commissioned by the Buffalo Urban Development Corp.(BURC) to examine TRICO. Those reports provide an interesting narrative of how the national register-listed building was maintained and cared for while under the ownership of the BNMC.

From Siracuse’s reports:

  • Structural Assessment – June 5, 2007: ‘The structural framing for the building, however, remains in relatively good condition and will function as originally designed for the foreseeable futureIn order to protect the safety of the public, it is strongly recommend that an experienced masonry contractor be retained to closely inspect and repaint / repair the column covers and deteriorated brick panels…’
  • Structural Assessment – June 11, 2007: ‘At minimum, the contractor would have to clean out and caulk the cracks(of the column covers)…I estimate that this portion of the work would cost between $20,000 and $50,000’ – This work was never completed
  • Structural Assessment – November 17, 2008: ‘Based on my on-site observation of the existing building conditions, the building is deteriorating rapidly and requires prompt attention.’
  • Structural Assessment – January 27, 2010(Siracuse Letter 1-27-2010): ‘Over the course of the past two years and eight months, I have visited the project several times to assess the existing conditions…It is my understanding that a request has been made to have my office revisit the site and issue an updated report on the condition of the building…I see no evidence that either of these issues(roof & column covers) has improved with time (because recommended work was not preformed)…I must therefore respectfully decline to issue a revised report

So BURC pays Siracuse Engineering(with taxpayer money) to examine the structural condition of Trico several times, with Siracuse recommending work to be performed that will not only prevent the building from deteriorating further but to also protect the public. NO WORK WAS EVER COMPLETED. If fact, BURC tries to get Siracuse to come out a fourth time and they refuse because none of their previous suggestions were heard. This is a textbook case of ‘demolition by neglect’, but thankfully Trico’s structural condition was not compromised by BURC and BNMC lack of responsibility for their property due to the almost indestructible mode of construct present.

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