Buffalo examines Erie County history

December 6, 2012 by  

According to a report dated November 23, officials responsible for Erie County parks are trying to find out what the cost might be to restore the historic, but deteriorated, Wendt mansion.

Henry W. Wendt made his fortune in the metals industry, beginning as a machinist and working his way up to a partnership in the Buffalo Forge Company. He built the mansion, which is approximately 20 miles from Buffalo, New York, in the 1800s as a summer home.

Today the grand building is dilapidated, and has been vandalized several times, including once in 2007 when vandals cut out all of its copper pipe with blowtorches, leaving the basement flooded. In 2010, vandals again struck and smashed the building’s windows.

Despite this, the county parks officials are reluctant to simply tear down a piece of Erie County history. Mark C. Poloncarz, County Executive, is urging the county’s lawmakers to have Stievater & Associates, an architectural firm, evaluate the structure and report on the extent of the damage and the cost of restoring it to useable condition.

Troy Schinzel, Parks Commissioner, said the history of this building in particular is worth researching, arguing:

“We, the county, cannot just take buildings like the Wendt mansion and say goodbye and knock them down.”

Erie County parks officials might want to consider publishing a brochure explaining the history of the Wendy mansion and why it is important to the region. They could also use printing services to explain various plans for the building and how they could positively impact the county.