Landmarks and Historic Districts in Buffalo - Table of Contents
State and National HISTORIC DISTRICTS in Buffalo - Table of Contents
National Historic Districts in
Buffalo, NY - FAQ
Buffalo's Historic Districts Listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places
What are Buffalo's districts listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places?
Cazanovia Park- South Park
Delaware Park-Front Park System
Forest Lawn Cemetery
Martin Luther King Jr Park
Pierce Arrow Factory Complex
South Park System, Buffalo and Lackawanna
The following are lists:
- Historic Districts in Buffalo, NY Unofficial list of both Local and State/National districts. Includes links to Buffalo as an Architectural Museum.
- National Register of Historic Places: New York - Erie County
- Nominations (photos, text) for buildings and historic districts listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places:
State and National Registers of historic Places Document Imaging Project
Click on "Basic Criteria" and scroll down to "County - Erie."
Then, click on "Results."
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."
What's the difference between a PRESERVATION district versus an HISTORIC district?
There is none. The terms are synonymous.
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.
Why would anybody want to own buildings in a district listed on the State & National Registers of Historic Places?
There are lots of reasons. Listing on the National Register recognizes the importance of these properties to the history of our country and provides them with a measure of protection.
In addition, owners of income producing properties may qualify for federal income tax benefits.
Properties owned by municipalities and not-for-profit organizations are eligible to apply for state historic preservation matching grants
See also Benefits of Historic Districts and Landmarks for a longer list of reasons.
Some studies 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.
Does the owner of a building in a historic district listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places need to get approval from the City (or anybody else) before doing any exterior repair and improvement?
Only if government money is being used. Otherwise, you can do anything you want to the property, including demolition.
Of course, if you to get tax credits for the changes you make, you need to follow the Secretary of the Interior's Standards in making changes.
What's the process to become listed on the State Registers of Historic Places?
The process begins by contacting SHPO.
If your building is listed on the State Register, the National listing is pretty automatic.
How do I go about researching the history of my building?
Librarian Cynthia van Ness has prepared a great guide: Built in Buffalo: How to Research Local Architecture
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)
See also: Historic Resources Surveys in Western New York
Are there guidelines for preserving buildings located in districts listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places?
Yes. See the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties