Earlier in the year, I came up with the idea to visually tag vacant and abandoned buildings in the neighborhood with some sort of theme drawing inspiration from what a group called Buffalo’s Young Preservationist were doing with “Heart Bombs” in other parts of Buffalo. The problem with vacant buildings isn’t something that is going to go away anytime soon. After awhile, they start to blend in with the surroundings and it is human nature to stop noticing them. I had a few ideas as to what to use a theme, but none seemed to strike the right chord with me.
Then a BFA friend sent me this.
Theresa Wandelich and family were adding Kingus Dyngus to their Dyngus Day Parade float. She sent me a preview picture of Kingus. Immediately, the light bulb went off about using pink flamingos as the theme I had been looking for.
As April turned into May, I started acquiring various pink flamingo items. I emailed Theresa and let her in on my idea and she graciously offered to help. Over the last few weeks, we started tagging vacant and abandoned buildings in the neighborhood with pink flamingos. I started posting pictures on Facebook of the flamingos on buildings without telling what was going on. People began to wonder what was up. So consider this a formal announcement to the Pink Flamingo Project.
Over the next couple of months, more flamingos will be taking up residence on buildings throughout Broadway-Fillmore. I will post more pictures of them and highlight some of the buildings getting tagged. The first wave of pink flamingos can be seen on Fillmore, Paderewski, Broadway and the streets surrounding the Broadway Market.
Honestly, I don’t know if the flamingos will change the future of the buildings, but I want to highlight the problem of vacant and abandoned buildings in the neighborhood. There isn’t any real plan on how to deal with them beyond demolition. The fabric of the neighborhood is being drastically altered with no end in sight. Take the Gibson and Lombard Streets surround the Broadway Market. Instead of simply demolishing buildings, wouldn’t it be cool if vacant properties were cleaned up and sealed. This would preserve them for future use and keep the historic footprint of the area intact.
I want people to see the pink flamingos, look at the buildings and view them as more than eyesores.
The first building I am going to highlight is the old Club Romway:
This is a gorgeous building @ 1334 Broadway. You can read more about it by clicking here—>
It sits waiting. The problem is that it is dying a slow death like other buildings in the neighborhood. When I was putting up the flamingo, a neighbor asked me if what I was doing was because something new was going to open up. I told her that the flamingo will hopefully bring some luck to the place.
If you see a flamingo, snap picture of it and send to BFA…I will post it here and on Facebook. If there is a building you want to see a flamingo on, contact BFA as well.