Landmarks and Historic Districts in Buffalo - Table of Contents
Local HISTORIC DISTRICTS in Buffalo - Table of Contents
Buffalo's Local Historic Districts - FAQ
What are Buffalo's local historic districts?
500 Block of Main
Olmsted Park and Parkways
Are there other lists of historic districts in Buffalo?
Yes, see Districts in Buffalo, NY for an unofficial list of both local and state & national districts. Includes links.
See also a List of Addresses in Local Historic Districts
What's an "historic district"?
This is a legal term. The definition in Chapter XIII of the City of Buffalo Charter and Ordinances, 1974 is as follows: "A geographically definable area ... which possesses a significant concentration, linkage or continuity of sites, buildings, structures or objects united historically by past events or united aesthetically by plan or development."
See the official criteria listed in Chapter XIII of the City of Buffalo Charter and Ordinances, 1974
Is there a difference between a LOCAL historic district and STATE/NATIONAL historic district?
Yes. A district can be one or both.
There's also a difference in terminology: a LOCAL historic district is "designated" as such, whereas a STATE/NATIONAL historic district is "listed on the National Registers of Historic Places."
A LOCAL historic district is one designated by the Buffalo Common Council. Application is made through the City of Buffalo Preservation Board.
A STATE historic district is listed on the State Register of Historic Places. Application is made through the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).
A NATIONAL historic district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Application is made through the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Once the district is listed on the State Register of Historic Places, SHPO sends the application to the the National Register. Listing on the National Register is virtually certain.
What's the difference between a PRESERVATION district versus an HISTORIC district?
There is none. The terms are synonymous.
Why would anybody want to live in an historic district?
There are lots of reasons. See Benefits of Historic Districts and Landmarks for a list of reasons.
Studies consistently have shown that property values rise faster in designated historic districts than in similar, nondesignated neighborhoods. This may be because owners have the assurance that their neighbors will be unable to make changes that would be detrimental to property values.
How does a neighborhood became a designated local historic district?
The process begins with requesting an application (nomination) form from the City of Buffalo Preservation Board
Has any research been done that will help neighborhoods determine if they are potentially legal historic districts?
Yes. In 2005, three Intensive Level Surveys were completed. These contain a wealth of information.
The 3 surveys:
- Triangle (Cazenovia Creek, South Park Avenue and Southside Parkway, Hopkins Street and Lilac Street, DL&W Railroad)
The City of Buffalo has posted the Surveys online; the Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier has also posted the Surveys online. The Landmark Society site also includes culled lists of buildings and districts eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, and all of these would eligible for local designation.
See also: Historic Resources Surveys in Western New York
Does the owner of a building in a local historic district need to get approval from the City before doing any exterior repair and improvement?
Yes. The owner needs to contact the City of Buffalo Preservation Board