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White's Livery Ribbon Cutting Celebrates New and Old Neighbors |

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White's Livery Ribbon Cutting Celebrates New and Old Neighbors
White's Livery Ribbon Cutting Celebrates New and Old Neighbors

From her home on Summer Street, Peggy Farrell faced the back of the White Brothers Livery for ten years. She loved the building: an iconic structure with a distinctive façade and tower that had stood in her neighborhood since 1892. Unfortunately, years of neglect had caused the Livery to deteriorate, and its decay was dangerous. At one point, Peggy was forced to evacuate her home when bricks began falling on her patio.

When plans moved forward for an affordable housing development that would preserve the Livery’s façade, Peggy was happy it could be saved. But when her landlord sold her home on Summer Street in January, she thought she was leaving her neighborhood for good.

One afternoon, while apartment-hunting, she drove past the Livery and saw its “Now Renting” sign.

“When I saw that sign, I thought, ‘I don’t have to leave my neighborhood!’” said Peggy. “I called and got my application that day.”

Peggy is one new resident of White’s Livery Apartments: 14 units of affordable housing on the site of the White Brothers Livery on Jersey Street that preserve the building’s façade and tower.

Once one of the largest and best equipped livery stables in Buffalo, the White Brothers Livery was moved to its present site more than 120 years ago.  Residents lobbied to save the building after it suffered substantial collapse in 2008, and the City of Buffalo committed funds to stabilize it.  A partnership between the City of Buffalo, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York then funded development of the site into affordable housing units. NeighborWorks® America added funding later in the project.

The project team included nonprofit developer West Side Neighborhood Housing Services, General Contractor Savarino Companies, Stieglitz-Snyder Architecture, and Development Consultant Oxford Consulting.

On Tuesday, these partners came together to celebrate new neighbors and the preservation of the Livery.

Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes & Community Renewal said, “One of the best things we can do to meet the need for affordable housing and revitalize communities is to rehabilitate historic landmarks. Bringing White’s Livery back to life will allow people like Peggy Farrell to remain in the neighborhood they call home and, at the same time, make a neglected building a vibrant part of the community once again. The preservation of White’s Livery is a labor of love for residents, community leaders, public, and private partners. This is the type of coordination and partnership that Governor Andrew Cuomo knows will improve quality of life in Buffalo and throughout the State.”

“This is a real victory for city residents who appealed to me to save the historic structure which today has been successfully transformed into quality affordable housing,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown, noting that the city allocated more than $574,000 to stabilize the building after sections began to crumble in 2008.  “The City secured the funding needed to stabilize the neglected building when it started to collapse, saving it from emergency demolition.  We then allocated an additional $1 million to make this vital project happen.  Today’s ceremonial ribbon cutting marks the beginning of a new era on Jersey Street as well as the city’s continued investment in the restoration and re-use of historic buildings as a way to build the city, and attract new residents.”

The ribbon cutting was part of West Side Neighborhood Housing Services’ celebration of National NeighborWorks® Week. They joined more than 200 other NeighborWorks® organizations across the country to mobilize tens of thousands of residents, business people, and government officials in a week of neighborhood change and awareness.

“NeighborWorks® Week is the story of people working together to make communities stronger and safer,” said Deborah Boatright, Vice President, Northeast Region of NeighborWorks® America. “The White’s Livery Apartments ribbon cutting is the perfect activity for West Side NHS as they are demonstrating their commitment to making the Buffalo community stronger through access to quality affordable housing.”

“The completion of White’s Livery Apartments is an achievement for the residents of this neighborhood, and we’re proud to be able to offer this kind of quality affordable rental housing in our community,” said Linda Chiarenza, Executive Director of West Side Neighborhood Housing Services.

West Side Neighborhood Housing Services shares staff and programs with Black Rock-Riverside Neighborhood Housing Services to preserve and revitalize Buffalo’s neighborhoods by providing safe, affordable and sustainable housing opportunities for all. For more information, visit their website at www.wsnhs.org


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