The Richmond Ashland National Register Historic District Initiative (RANHDI or the Initiative) is a community-led collaborative process that is creating awareness of our neighborhood’s boundaries and historic importance, coalescing pride of place under a brand that is attractive to current and potential home and business owners, and preparing the way for appropriate investment in homes and buildings that can be assisted with available historic rehabilitation tax credits.
This project is funded in part by Preserve New York, a grant program of the Preservation League of New York State and the New York State Council on the Arts. In addition, financial support has been provided by City of Buffalo Common Council members Michael J. LoCurto and David A. Rivera, the Baird Foundation and the D-B Trust. However the largest amount of funding – over $17,000 to-date – has been raised from over 120 community home and business owners.
The Elmwood Historic District (West)
A Streetcar Neighborhood within Olmsted’s Buffalo Parks and Parkway System
Central to the Initiative is the nomination, by Summer 2012, of nearly 1,700 historic buildings in the Richmond Elmwood neighborhood to the National Register of Historic Places, thereby making available various investment tax credits to home and business owners, in the Elmwood Historic District (West).
THE RANHDI COMMUNITY COUNCIL
This is a neighborhood-driven initiative. The Community Council is made up of 20 people who live in all parts of the community or are members of St. John’s-Grace Episcopal Church. Some also serve as representatives of elected representatives. The Community Council provides oversight of the Initiative and stewardship of the resources provided. Because this is a neighborhood effort we need to show evidence of the support of the people who own homes and businesses through financial contributions and written letters and cards of support. We also have to show that there is not now and will not be a major pushback from home and business owners. There has been no opposition to date creating a National Register Historic District, and our continuous communication with our neighbors will continue this support.
IDENTIFICATION OF THE ELMWOOD HISTORIC DISTRICT (WEST)
In 2006, the City of Buffalo commissioned Clinton Brown Company Architecture to complete a Historic Resources Survey (HRS) of the Grant-Ferry Planning Neighborhood and the Forest Planning Neighborhood. A Historic Resources Survey is the first step in identifying, recognizing and protecting heritage buildings and communities, the results of which are used for planning purposes.
This Intensive Level Historic Resources Survey documented the architecture, history and general condition of approximately 1,500 properties in the West Side of Buffalo. The document is known as “Historic Resources Intensive Level Survey: Grant-Ferry-Forest Neighborhood” and is available online.
Preservation professionals analyzing the information gathered about each building from the HRS, determined that 723 of the approximately 1,500 surveyed properties were eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. This determination was made based on national criteria set forth by the National Park Service that implements the National Register program. Criteria include architectural style, historic significance and the building’s current integrity.
The properties that were identified as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places were concentrated along Richmond Avenue and Ashland Avenue in the greater Elmwood Village area. Professionals completing the HRS recommended the creation of a National Register historic district to officially recognize these outstanding historic buildings of national significance.
Before the Richmond Ashland National Register Historic District Initiative and the RANHDI Community Council was formed, nothing had been done with the 2006 survey recommendation to create a National Register historic district in the Elmwood Village area.
CONTACT THE RANHDI COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Kenneth A. Rogers, Chair
RANHDI Community Council
St. John’s-Grace Episcopal Church
51 Colonial Circle, Buffalo, NY 14222
© Clinton Brown Company Architecture, 2012