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Fate of Livery Still Undecided

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – The fate of a century-old stable is still undecided. A court hearing Tuesday stalled a total demolition plan. But West Side neighborhood activists who want the building saved say there is little left they can do.

The judge gave activists another week to work with the city to find funding or a developer to save the historic White Brothers Livery. That's another week of limbo for the livery and the neighborhood.

About a half dozen residents were evacuated from their homes in the cottage district two weeks ago. That's when time and neglect took its toll on the livery and bricks came tumbling down.

But many residents rallied to save the structure. They say it has historic, architectural and community importance. Resident Catherine Herrick fears that demolition will be the judge's final call.

Herrick is also outraged that, so far, the owner, Robert Freudenheim has not been held responsible for the vacant, decaying structure. But the city reportedly will take action against Freudenheim.

Demolition and rehabilitation costs are estimated at between $300,000 $700,000. Herrick said their engineers say it can be preserved for less. She said the city should be insisting Freudenheim save the building.

"We don't need another vacant lot," said Herrick.

She said they will continue to work on their own plan to save the 119 year-old landmark. A hearing to consider demolition of the building because its a safety hazard will be heard on July 11.

In the meantime, the judge ordered that enough demolition be done to stabilize the livery.

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