University Heights, Buffalo, NY

Friday, February 25, 2011

University Park District Lecture

Information about the University Park district, now added to the National Register of Historic Places, will be shared on March 29.

Who: Lecture by Kerry Traynor
President, KTA Preservation Specialists

What: UB at Noon with Kerry Traynor luncheon program
Learn about University Park, the National Register of Historic Places, the planned suburban neighborhood, NYS Historic Residential Properties Tax Credit Program & the future of the University Park neighborhood

When: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at noon

Where: Allen Hall, Room 100
UB South (Main Street) Campus
University at Buffalo

Registration required by Tuesday, March 22nd
Cost: UB Alumni Association Member, $10
Non-Member, $12
Hosted by the University at Buffalo Alumni Association
Online registration see:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

University Park could earn place on National Register

Buffalo News story:
Buffalo neighborhood nominated for historic designation

News Staff Reporter

National recognition is being sought for a triangular-shaped neighborhood that sprouted in the northeast corner of Buffalo as an urban subdivision in the early 20th century.

University Park, a slice of the city's University Heights neighborhood, was nominated for the National Register Historic District in November as part of a University at Buffalo class project.

Supporters are hopeful the national status will be granted in the spring, after the application is reviewed by the National Park Service.

"To be listed on the National Register is an honor," said Kerry Traynor, a clinical associate professor of architecture and urban and regional planning at UB.

University Park is made up of 252 homes and a park on portions of Larchmont Avenue, Niagara Falls Boulevard, Radcliffe Road, University Avenue, Allenhurst Road, Pelham Drive and Capen Boulevard between Main Street and Kenmore Avenue.

The neighborhood is ripe for the National Register, Traynor said, not necessarily for its Craftsman, Bungalow and Prairie Box homes, but for its planned design, which provided a gated, suburban flavor next to Main Street.

"It really was a good example of early suburban planning," said Traynor, an architect and architectural historian, who owns the consulting firm, KTA Preservation Specialists. "It makes it an interesting component in the history of Buffalo."

There are only 11 historic districts in Erie County recognized by the National Register, including Allentown, Delaware Avenue between North and Bryant streets, the Roycroft Campus in East Aurora and the Parkside neighborhood, which was designated in 1986.

The idea of a University Park Historic District was first raised last spring as a possible class project in Traynor's historic preservation course at UB. Her students did the preliminary research and work assessing the properties. UB graduate student Annie Schentag further developed the project as an independent study, using the information to complete the lengthy, detailed National Register application.

The University Park property was developed in 1913 by Anthony J. Huck, who wanted to capitalize on the purchase of land across the street for the university, Schentag said.

University Park boasted wider streets, manicured medians, larger-than-normal setbacks and garages to account for the rising popularity of the automobile. The neighborhood's development continued throughout the 1920s and '30s.

"It was sort of seen as this respite for this middle-class person who wanted to leave the crowded, crazy industrial City of Buffalo at the time," Schentag said. "What's really special is you can go there today and feel the sense of that pastoral environment."

The process for seeking the national designation has the support of the City of Buffalo and the New York State Historic Preservation Office, which listed University Park on the New York State Register of Historic Places in early December.

University Park homeowners seem receptive to the recognition, too, Traynor said.

It opens up property owners to tax credits for rehabilitating their houses, Traynor said, but homeowners aren't necessarily required to restore residences to their original historic condition to be eligible.

"We'll definitely do a project like this again," Traynor said.