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Landmarking Wilkeson House

The landmarking of 771 Busti is a huge victory for all of us because it is consistent with the community’s position that the proposed expansion is the wrong plan in the wrong place.

I think some of your readers would be surprised at the unsurpassed beauty of the homes in Prospect Hill (over 100 people have taken the Prospect Hill walking tour). The Busti homes now owned by the PBA were just as architecturally charming as the intact district because almost all of the homes were occupied long-term by the same family—some for several generations.

Before and after photos of the Italianate Squier House on Main Street show the potential for what a restored Wilkeson house could be. Restoration is more consistent with the historic condition of the surrounding neighborhoods than continuing the blight engineered by the PBA.

Busti Avenue has always been the “front” of this city. It’s the first glimpse of Buffalo seen by people entering the US. A community that was built for people from a former age who valued the unsurpassed beauty of the lake and the river. These were the people who breathed life into our city.

We already have one of the most beautiful locations possible for the Peace Bridge. It’s the PBA that abuses the historic setting by forcing the residential character of the surrounding neighborhoods to take second place to the demands of cars and trucks. Those who believe that the authority will magically transform this area by building a bigger truck plaza and second bridge are being mislead. The PBA is in the business of facilitating trucks, not neighborhood revitalization.

The logical solution is to move the trucks, use the current bridge for passenger cars only, design a signature gateway entrance and restore the blighted properties for re-use. This block of Busti has been prime real estate for 146 years.

Kathy Mecca

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