FOR IMMEIDATE RELEASE: February 12, 2014
On February 1st, 2014, Buffalo’s Young Preservationists (BYP) came together on a snowy afternoon for their third annual Heart Bomb campaign in Buffalo, NY. Over 40 members of all ages came together to create special, handmade valentines (AKA “Heart Bombs”) that were then placed on five vacant and underutilized buildings throughout the City. With messages like “love me, don’t leave me”, “buy me and fix me”, “love me tender”, these valentines illustrate the community’s appreciation for the craftsmanship, cultural importance and history associated with these structures, even in their vacant and deteriorated state.
Now in its third year, BYP’s Heart Bomb campaign has taken on a life of its own and spread to other communities throughout the nation! Variations of the initiative have popped up across New York State and in Cleveland, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, St. Paul, Minnesota, Wheeling, West Virginia, and, in 2013, across the State of Texas as part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “I Heart Texas Courthouses” campaign.
BYP’s 2014 Heart Bomb campaign highlighted St. Ann’s, a vacant gothic revival church in threat of demolition;Wildroot, a vacant daylight factory perfectly suitable for adaptive reuse; 27 Garner, a simple West Side double that is a current victim of ‘demolition by neglect’, the former Agway Malting Warehouse, an industrial building currently under renovation by a responsible owner, and, last but not least, the Sattler Theatre, a historic East Side theater in desperate need of a new roof. Many of these and other vacant structures throughout the City are trapped in what BYP has coined the “vacancy vortex” – a type of ‘purgatory’ for historic buildings where countless obstacles keep them from receiving the much-need love and reinvestment they truly deserve.
If you are interested in getting involved and lending a helping hand, check our facebook page for opportunities and events! https://www.facebook.com/buffalosyoungpreservationistsSo what happens now? All five buildings have specific awareness campaigns and advocates from BYP will be working hard and fast to help save each historic treasure from the excavator. Now the fun really begins!!