What It Looked Like Wednesday: Allen and Franklin, 1981

By Steve Cichon

When Buffalonians talk about neighborhoods in danger of being lost to freefalling divestment, Allen Street has not been a part of that conversation for a very long time.

Buffalo News archive

Thirty-five years ago, the story was a bit different. “Boarded Up Dreams” was the title of this photo as it appeared in The News in 1981.

The “burned and boarded up” buildings on that corner had been in the sights of developers Stanley Collesano and Dennis Insalaco, but plans for all four corners fizzled when three banks pulled $3.1 million in promised cash — which in turn led to $1.6 in federal urban development grants going away.

The building, minus the boarded windows, still stands a block from Main Street and the hope of the new Children’s Hospital and Medical School, visible from the building’s stoop.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.