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68 & 72 Sycamore Street

  At Risk      High Risk      For Sale      Demolition By Neglect  

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March 2017

Photo credit: Tony James, David Steele. 68 on left, 72 on right.


68 Sycamore Street, Buffalo NY 14203

Next to: 82 Sycamore Street


  • Nancy Singh dba 68-72 Sycamore LLC; 98 Hoosick Road, Troy NY 12180.
  • Nancy Singh was the owner of the Royal Pheasant building at 443 Forest Avenue when it burned and was demolished in 2013.

Physical Description

  • Two adjacent red brick Federal-style buildings.
  • 68 - two story brick apartment building.
  • 72 - 3 1/2 story brick apartment building.
  • The outside appearance of the houses has changed little since the 1840s. Both are excellent, intact examples of Federal Style architecture. Characteristic Federal Style features are low-pitch saddleback gable roofs, with distinctive end parapets and chimneys. Windows are flat-headed single light, double-hung with stone lintels and sills.

Current Condition

  • Vacant and insufficiently boarded after recent fire.
  • In Buffalo Housing Court for multiple violations.
  • Increasing dilapidation.
  • Last use was as boarding houses.


  • 1843 - 68 Sycamore Street was built in time for inclusion in the 1844 city directory as the residence of Joseph Staub, a shoemaker and saloon owner. PBN Landmark Application
  • 1848 - 72 Sycamore Street was built in time for inclusion in the 1849 city directory as the residence of Eliza Smith. PBN Landmark Application
  • 1867-1868 - The city changes street numbers along Sycamore St to the current 68-72 designation. Prior to that, these residences were actually 46-48.
  • 1870 - Home to one of early Buffalo's more interesting residents, "Irish Lize" Elica Quirk lives here until her death a decade later PBN Landmark Application

Recent Events and Actions Taken

  • March 4, 2015 - Nancy Singh's 68-72 Sycamore LLC purchased the pair of buildings for $160,000.
    • 68 & 72 Sycamore Street are part of the proposed Michigan Sycamore Historic District.
  • January 2017: The two buildings at 68 & 72 Sycamore have been listed for sale with an asking price of $349,900.
    • Sale contact: Rick Recckio, Recckio Real Estate and Development, 716.631.5555 x10
  • February 2017 - Owner applied for demolition permit.
  • March 2017 - Demolition denied by the Preservation Board. Board voted to hold a public hearing on March 23 to consider an application to landmark the two adjacent buildings.
  • March 23, 2017 - the Preservation Board unanimously recommended local landmark status for 68 and 72 Sycamore.
    • '"This is exactly what we should be doing to protect and preserve these structures," Common Council Member David Franczyk said. Council President Darius G. Pridgen said that demolition should not be an option.' Buffalo News, March 24th, 2017

Other Pertinent Facts

  • Chris Schmidt says in Buffalo Rising that they may be two of the oldest buildings in the city.
  • Some of the only Federal style architecture left in Buffalo, as well as some of the last remaining pre-Civil War buildings in the city. PBN Landmark Application
  • Frank Kowsky points out that these two buildings were of the type fugitive slaves would have seen when they arrived in Buffalo on the Underground Railroad from the 1840s on. This is resonant with the historic district of nearby Michigan Avenue, with important landmarks of local and national African-American history.
  • Read PBN's local historic landmark nomination here (650kb PDF).


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Added 2017-03-09 • Last changed 2017-04-14