Genealogy & Local History in Buffalo, NY

How to Halt a Demolition in Buffalo: Emergency First Aid

Signs that a Building is at Risk of Demolition
  • Broken or boarded-up windows
  • Lawn dug up to cap water pipes
  • Electricity cut
  • Gas meter removed
  • Site is roped off or barriers set up
  • House has the red mark of death: spraypainted house number

  Situation Response
A The bulldozers are pulling up at midnight or on the weekend
Call 911!
B The bulldozers are pulling up during weekday business hours Call Mr. Lou Petrucci, the Buffalo Chief of Housing and Inspections


C You want to warn neighbor and activists about a building at risk
Join and alert these lists:
D You hear speculation that the owner wants to demolish or you get reliable intelligence that the owner plans to apply for a demolition permit Contact these people:
Richard Baer, Chair
Buffalo Preservation Board

There is also an unofficial page for the Preservation Board:

This office can tell you only if someone applied for a permit or not.
Preservation Coalition
Phone 716-362-0266
Campaign for Buffalo
Phone/fax 716-884-3138
E The owner actually applied for a demolition permit
Call the Mayor's office
Ultimately, only the mayor can refuse to issue a demolition permit
Call the Common Council member representing the district
F You want to launch an online petition
Go to :
Click on "Create a petition"
You, not PetitionOnline, are responsible for publicizing your petition and delivering the names to your recipient.
G You want to alert the media about a preservation emergency Contact these people:
Mark Sommer, Buffalo News
Jamie Moses, Artvoice Newspaper
WGRZ-TV 716-849-2200
WIVB-TV 716-874-441
WKBW-TV 716-845-6100
WNED-TV 716-845-7000
WNYO-TV 716-875-4949
WPXJ-TV 716-852-1818 
930 AM WBEN - News/Talk - 716-879-4839
970 WNED-AM - NPR - 716-845-7000
1080 AM WUFO - 716-834-1080
88.7 FM WBFO - News /Jazz - 716-829-6000
96.9 FM WGRF - Classic Rock- 716-644-9797  
H You think a property owner is engaging in demolition-by-neglect
Report it to the Buffalo Housing & Inspections Office
Beware that this move can have unintended consequences. If the property ends up in Housing Court, the owner can get the demolition order he wanted all along.
I You think a building is at risk and you want to proactively protect it
Contact the Buffalo Preservation Board
If it is not situated in a preservation district, submit an application to the Buffalo Preservation Board for landmark status. The process requires extensive research and landmark status is not guaranteed. Preservation groups listed on row D may be able to assist. Expect a steep $500 filing fee.
You want to know if a building is in Housing Court
Search the Housing Court Information System

Relevant Reading
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