Former mansion getting much needed revitalization

Feb 6, 2017

A Delaware Avenue building described by an architect as the eyesore of Mansion Row is getting a new life and some significant visual updating.

The former mansion at 869 Delaware Avenue dates back to the 1880s. According to the website "Buffalo as an Architectural Museum," it is a former home of William H. Sloan, who was treasurer of the Buffalo General Electric Company and the owner of a malt company, and the largest of the remaining houses designed by architect H.H. Little.

Since the 19th century, the home has been converted to an apartment building. Then offices were installed on the first floor and a brick addition was inserted on one end of the front porch.

"The building has been purchased by a new owner and that new owner is going to put their office here," said architect David DeBoy. "It's a neurologist, who has a neurology business, and his office is going to be here on the first floor and on the second and third floor, they're going to maintain the residential units."

The Buffalo Preservation Board has approved the renovation plans, especially the removal of that brick structure.

"It's a very significant building on Delaware Avenue," said DeBoy. "It's in Mansion Row. It's right now is probably one of the buildings that is the eyesore of that street."

DeBoy says demolition of what he calls 'a very ugly addition" will go.

"The idea is to get rid of that and to rebuild the porch, in kind, into the existing character of the building.)

Besides removing the porch addition and restoring the building to the appearance when the building was built, DeBoy is working on installing an elevator on a side porch to provide handicapped access.

Preservation Board members asked him to provide staff with a final rendering of how the elevator would be installed and how it would provide floor-level access.