Tonawanda News


July 5, 2013

ADAMCZYK: That was then, this is now

Tonawanda News — Timing is everything, so I am told. You obtain what you need and when you realize it has overstayed its welcome, you remove it or repurpose it. Mostly remove it.

Kenmore has an old water tower, on Elmwood Avenue behind its Department of Public Works, built in 1927 to stabilize the municipal water pressure. That it did, as well as offer a convenient place on its lid to paint a big red arrow to direct flyboys to Cheektowaga’s Buffalo airport instead of the tiny existent airfields of Kenmore and Tonawanda. Now hovering over the wading pool at Mang Park like a giant praying mantis from outer space, and with no one’s attention turned to water pressure these days, it stands empty, rusting and awaiting its downfall, although the “Village of Kenmore” painted on its flaking side accomplishes its purpose.

It’s the same a little north, east of the I-290 near Niagara Falls Boulevard, where a turquoise pillbox of a water tank, its side extolling what a great place Tonawanda is for one thing or another, remains empty and ready to drop. Built in 1960 and now hollow, the Town’s exploding population found other ways to draw water. We needed it then, but that was then and this is now.

Repurpose things if you cannot afford to erase them, the way a public library on Brighton Road, again, built to fulfill that need of a growing populace, became a clubhouse and private library. An elementary school becomes an office park, another elementary school becomes a warehouse and theater, another becomes a senior center catering to those who remember the place as a school, and Kenmore Middle School, once a high school, sits with its future in doubt.

I grew up in North Buffalo, just over the line marking the border with Kenmore, and the elementary school I attended now has a flashy new addition (Buffalo apparently needs elementary school space) obliterating the parking lot where I played a game I thought my friends and I invented called “Strikeout.” (It involved two players, a baseball bat, a tennis ball, a brick wall with a strike zone delineated on it, and no, I repeat, no involvement of adults, and when the ball went over the fence onto the street, drivers would stop, leave their cars to retrieve the ball, and toss it back into play. Imagine that.)

Text Only
  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg DUVALL: In defense of the Common Core They've become the two dirtiest words in education, but the Common Core is very much worth defending.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Bits and pieces from out and about Ever since it was restored and opened, the Hotel @ Lafayette in downtown Buffalo has fascinated me. Last Monday, the Preservation Buffalo Niagara offered a tour of the hotel led by developer Rocco Termini.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg ADAMCZYK: Kenmore is a village made of bricks Buffalo and surrounding environs have brick buildings galore, often in the process of repurpose. Whole neighborhoods made of brick await development, redevelopment, gentrification, whatever wand will be waved at them to make them function again. Structures here tend not to be razed; they fall down occasionally but typically simply stand and wait.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • leffler, scott.jpg LEFFLER: Justice is blind -- and deaf and dumb I've always been intrigued by the concept of justice. I say concept because it really seems more theoretical to me than practical. One man's justice is another man's nightmare.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DuVall, Eric mug.jpg For Sabres, more suffering is on tap

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • tucker, barb.jpg TUCKER: Taking down trees 'disheartening' Several readers have questioned the City of Tonawanda's tree removal program. An email to Jenna Koch, who represents the third ward and checks into any query on the city, explained the program.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • mug - adamczyk.jpg [Duplicate] ADAMCZYK: Letterman was on my side The announcement that Mr. Letterman is retiring from his groundbreaking television program, sometime in 2015, is already old news, but it gives opportunity to ponder a few truisms about history and modern life.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leffler Mug 041114 [Duplicate] LEFFLER: 'Need to know' a double-edged sword Inquisitive doesn't begin to describe me. I must know everything. About everything. I hate being in the dark. I guess that's what makes my career choice so very obvious. I think "must know everything" is at the top of most journalists' trait lists.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wallace, Amy BW mug WALLACE: Airplane coverage has gone awry I don't know about you, but I am so sick of the cable news stations' constant coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo