Historic Buffalo, NY, Building at Center of Dispute Consumed by Fire

June 19, 2024
The two-alarm fire started on the first floor and spread throughout the building, Buffalo Fire Commissioner William Renaldo said.

Dale Anderson

The Buffalo News, N.Y.


Jun. 18—Buffalo firefighters are continuing to battle a two-alarm blaze that started shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday in a historic building in the Cobblestone District that has been the center of a dispute between the city and its owner.

Photos on social media showed flames shooting from the roof and the upper windows of the four-story brick structure at South Park Avenue and the corner of Illinois Street.

Fire Commissioner William Renaldo, speaking from the scene about 9:30 p.m., said that 50 to 60 firefighters were fighting the fire, which began on the first floor and spread throughout the building. They included units that were called to the fire Monday morning on Allen Street that destroyed the iconic bar known as the Old Pink.

Preservationist Tim Tielman watched the firefighting efforts Tuesday night and told The Buffalo News that the historic facades of the buildings along South Park Avenue and Illinois Street appeared to be intact.

Tielman, who performed the research that resulted in the establishing of the Cobblestone Historic District, said that the buildings were the centerpiece of the area's heritage.

"This is the only pre-Civil War building left on the Buffalo waterfront," Tielman said. "It's distressing to see this happening, but people have got to keep fighting for it."

The city won a decision in the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in March, which took it a step closer to taking over the properties at 110 South Park, built in 1852, and at 118 South Park, built in 1869, by eminent domain to prevent them from deteriorating further.

Scaffolding had been placed along the corner of the building at South Park and Illinois to protect passersby from falling bricks.

Darryl Carr and Park Avenue Estates purchased the buildings in 2003 and 2008, planning to demolish all but the facades and put a high-rise building there.


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