fix buffalo today, archive

a view from recently demolished 669 Genesee Street

BN 10/13/05 Artspace

Invigorating Main St. pulse, old factory will be new haven for artists to live, work
News Staff Reporter

A project offering low-income, loft-style living and work spaces for artists - the most ambitious to be undertaken in Buffalo - was formally unveiled Wednesday.

The 60-unit project will be in and behind the historic 1914 building that housed Buffalo Electric Vehicle Co., an automobile factory, at 1219 Main St. It is the 19th project by Artspace Projects, the nation's leading nonprofit developer of space for artists and arts organizations.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., who helped secure critical funding, was on hand at Kleinhans Music Hall to celebrate the project's launch.

It was the second stop on her visit to Buffalo on Wednesday, sandwiched between an endorsement of State Sen. Byron W. Brown, Democratic candidate for Buffalo mayor, and support for a state promotional campaign for apples.

"This arts project will bring new life and activity into Buffalo, and further enhance the city's reputation as a creative arts destination," Clinton said.

"The arts are an engine for economic development. They clearly are the means by which we revitalize neighborhoods, buildings and communities."

Mayor Anthony M. Masiello hailed Buffalo Artspace as one in a number of projects that are populating downtown through conversions of historic buildings into lofts, apartments and condominiums.

The mayor said he hoped that Artspace Buffalo would also be a catalyst for more development of industrial structures for artists' living and work spaces.

The design by lead project architect Hamilton Houston Lownie Architects calls for 36 units in the renovated brick factory, also known as the Breitweiser Building. It was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Sizes for the living/work spaces in the five-story building will range from studio to three-bedroom and feature 10-foot-tall windows and exposed concrete floors. The top four floors will be "hard loft" housing - flexible, multipurpose spaces without much trim or adornment, along with exposed masonry walls, ceiling structures and mechanical systems.

Twenty-four units are planned for a new building behind it that architect Matt Meier said will be "a hybrid industrial warehouse environment" that maintains the feel of a residential neighborhood.

Monthly rents will range from $450 to $895, including utilities. There also will be ground-floor commercial space for arts-compatible businesses.

The event brought an outpouring of local arts administrators seeking a glimpse of the Artspace design.

"The timing is really perfect, because we have so many new developments going on downtown," said Lawrence Brose, executive director of CEPA Gallery in the Market Arcade.

"People aren't waiting any longer for something to happen. They are just doing it, and that's really great."

Louis Grachos, director of Albright-Knox Art Gallery, said, "It's an exceptional project, and it's rewarding for me as a museum director to see initiatives like Artspace really taking over in Buffalo."

Clinton's and Masiello's help in bringing the project to Buffalo drew praise from Wendy Holmes, vice president of resource development for 26-year-old, Minneapolis-based Artspace. "We wish we could have this much support in our own back yard," she said.

The $16 million project - which includes $1.1 million from the private sector - is expected to open in December 2006. Interior work is scheduled to begin this December. For information, visit

Clinton also appeared Wednesday at a fund-raising event for Brown in his campaign office and joined Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, and officials from a trade association and JetBlue Airways in supporting a promotional campaign for New York State apples.


Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006

0 Responses to “BN 10/13/05 Artspace”

Post a Comment

about fixBuffalo

buildings & issues
contact & intro
main page

fixBuffalo delivered - enter your email address

other places

    a daily dose
    cascadia scorecard
    city comforts
    cool town studios
    National Trust
    peter gordon's blog
    planning livable communities
    smart city

    Featured blogger at Sustainable Cities Collective

    Locations of visitors to this page
    fixbuffalo's photos More of fixbuffalo's photos

There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask
of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served.
- Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) from The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 1961.

The views expressed here are mine and shouldn't be confused with the mission and statements made by others.
This site is best viewed using Firefox. © 2010 fixBuffalo today