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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2011 Archives > January 2011 > Mayor Announces Genesee Gateway Local Historic District Certified By Nation

Mayor Announces Genesee Gateway Local Historic District Certified By National Park Service

Contact: Peter K. Cutler
              (716) 851-4841 

Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced that the National Park Service recently certified Buffalo’s Genesee Gateway Historic District for tax purposes. This means that the rehabilitation of some of Buffalo’s oldest and most historic buildings that have been funded by the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation are eligible for substantial state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits to assist their financial success.

“My Administration was pleased to work with the Margaret L Wendt Foundation in creating a Local Historic District for this section of the city that was adopted by the Common Council in July,” said Mayor Brown. “Our Office of Strategic Planning worked with the State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service to achieve certification based on the work of historic preservation experts at Clinton Brown Company Architecture. This was a great team effort that will have long-term benefits for our community and is the perfect way to begin 2011, which includes Buffalo’s hosting the National Conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in October."

The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation has spearheaded the substantial investment in the rehabilitation of the Genesee Gateway block on Genesee Street, between Oak and Ellicott Streets, that is being undertaken by Genesee Gateway LLC principals Doug Swift and Joe Petrella.

The Foundation’s trustees praised Mayor Brown for facilitating access to the tax credits for the project stating, “We appreciate that Mayor Brown recognized this key entry to downtown Buffalo gave a blighted impression to visitors, and we thank him for his support of the Foundation’s initiative to breathe new life into this historic block.”

Developer Doug Swift stated, “Mayor Brown’s support of the Foundation and our project has helped bring new jobs downtown with the opening of the US Passport Office here.”

Heritage Architect Clinton Brown noted, “The City’s Office of Strategic Planning made the process of working with the Buffalo Preservation Board and the Common Council a smooth one despite a very tight timeframe.

The Genesee Gateway Historic District comprises the 1840’s Seeberg Building at 113-125 Genesee St., the 1878 Schwinn Mandel Building at 111 Genesee St., the 1895 Werner Photography building at 101-103 Genesee St., the 1915 Giesser Building at 99 Genesee St., and the 1850’s Eddie Brady’s Building at 97 Genesee St. Together they form a block on Genesee Street between Oak Street and Ellicott Street in downtown Buffalo. Genesee Street is the entry point for thousands of workers, residents and visitors downtown each day.

State and federal tax credits are available for the historic rehabilitation of historic commercial structures that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. One way to achieve that listing is by certification of locally designated historic districts. The National Park Service, the nation’s historic preservation agency, makes the determination of historic designation based on the recommendation of the State Historic Preservation Office.

The Genesee Gateway Local Historic District is the first such district in Buffalo in many years and exemplifies the Brown Administration’s commitment to working with others to attract new investment in our Buffalo's historic legacy buildings.