An Open Letter from BYP to the Buffalo Common Council: Support for Locally Landmarking the Trico Plant #1

All Members of the Common Council City Hall
Buffalo, NY 14204

RE: Support for Locally Landmarking the Trico Plant #1

To whom it may concern,

We, Buffalo’s Young Preservationists, write in full support of local landmarking the Nationally Register-listed Trico Plant No. 1 Building located in the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The question is not, “Why should Trico Plant #1 be a local landmark?” Instead, the question is, “Why isn’t Trico already one?”

Trico Plant #1 is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places which proves, and meets numerous City of Buffalo landmark criteria, including (1), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8) and (9). The building has character, interest and value as part of the development, heritage and cultural characteristics of the City, state and nation. It exemplifies the historic, architectural, economic and cultural heritage of the City of Buffalo. The complex is identified with John R. Oishei, a person who significantly contributed to the development of the City and still continues to do so through the Oishei Foundation that he initiated.

Trico Plant #1 embodies distinguishing characteristics of the “Daylight Factory” modern architectural style, which has been valuable for the study of a period, type, and method of construction. Deeply influencing not only American but German, French and other modern architects, the building embodies elements of design that render it architecturally significant. Showing its internal construction, was both structurally and architecturally innovative.

The building should be designated based on those facts alone, but Buffalo should consider one more thing: making Trico Plant #1 a local landmark is sound public policy, in line with ideas established in the City’s new Green Code, and the Comprehensive Plan outlined in 2006. The building is eligible for New York and Federal historic tax credits, making many of the BNMC’s plans possible, but only if the structural and historic integrity is maintained.

Examples to follow are not even that far away: the buildings of the Larkin District have nearly the same exact floor plate and design, and have been rehabilitated spectacularly. The same could be done with Trico, avoiding a demolition that would be costly, as well as environmentally and historically irresponsible.

In closing, to not protect and reuse Trico Plant #1 would fly in the face of rationality, in the face of environmental and economic sustainability, as well as the proven successes around Buffalo. To ignore the significance of the building to Buffalo’s past would be in direct violation of the city’s own mission and guidelines in regards to historic structures. Designating this building a local landmark ensures its integrity as a cultural resource, as well as preserves it to potentially become another example of sound, sustainable, development practices, and to do anything otherwise would be negligent on the part of this city and its leadership.

Sincerely,
Buffalo’s Young Preservationists

bypteam@gmail.com

CC: Buffalo Preservation Board, Buffalo Common Council, Hon. Mayor Byron Brown 

 

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