169 East Ferry
February 26, 2010
In February, 2010 the Preservation League of New York State listed this building on its state Seven to Save list, based on a nomination submitted by Preservation Buffalo Niagara. See February 26, 2010 press release
The handsome three story building has been a community anchor since its construction c. 1890. Built of brick and stone, it retains considerable architectural integrity on the exterior and in the interior commercial spaces, stairwells and layout of multiple residential units. Always a mixed use building, it is well known in the neighborhood as the home of Harris Hardware, the first hardware store in Buffalo owned by an African-American family and in continuous operation for 40 years. Today, owner Glenn Banks is locally regarded as a hardware and window repair specialist, serving his almost exclusively pedestrian clientele.
Despite its sturdy construction, the building is suffering from deferred maintenance. Roof leaks have caused serious water damage to the apartments and exterior walls. The building is especially vulnerable to demolition as it has not been listed as a local landmark. It has been determined eligible for the State and National Registers of Historic Places but no nomination has been prepared. Landmark designation at the local, state and national levels would elevate the building’s significance, help make its rehabilitation a greater local priority, and open the doors to state and federal tax credit programs, making rehabilitation more feasible.