Judge Rose Sconiers denied the request from the Campaign for Greater Buffalo, and about an hour later, the preparation began to tear down the century-plus old building. But Tim Tielman, executive director of the group fighting demolition, says it didn't have to happen.
COMMENTARY: Sometimes It's Best To Tear Things Down
"That is a great disappointment to everyone," laments Tielman. "I think no one comes out of this looking good because the City of Lackawanna was deteriorating for years, and that immediately raises the question where was the city's code enforcement over the past 25 years." Tielman says it's a travesty Western New Yorkers will lose what he calls a historically important building.
Tielman says a full environmental review needed to be done because of the building's eligibility for the National Register by the state's historic preservation office. "That argument, believe it or not, still has to be heard in court, but it may become moot," notes Tielman. Tielman contends the city was trying to get past due revenues by processing state grants, "but it blew up in their face and egos took over. Once the state declares this eligible for the historic register, it takes away any state funding for demolition, so the city was forced to go after the owner to demolish it, and now we all have egg on our face."
Tielman says the city could have backed off, but did not