Plans Unveiled for Restoration of Fosdick Field
Mayor Brown addresses audience at event unveiling plans for Fosdick Field and announcement of capital campaign to secure funds for reacquiring the land.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Plans Unveiled for Fosdick Field Restoration Near Medical Campus
Foundation Completes Year-Long Planning Process
Buffalo, June 30, 2015: The City Honors/Fosdick-Masten Park Foundation has unveiled results of a year-long schematic design and development process to reassemble the footprint of the school’s original campus and restore historic Fosdick Field. The Foundation has also announced the launch of a capital campaign to secure the funds needed for reacquiring the land from the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority.
Design work was completed by GLS Architecture in collaboration with Optima Design, Frandina Engineering & Survey and Baer & Associates. Plans call for an all-weather athletic field that can used for physical education classes, youth athletic competition and neighborhood recreation. The field surface is surrounded by natural slopes and a tree lined setting inspired by the original landscape that Frederick Law Olmsted implemented at the site in 1885. The design also includes the removal of Fosdick Street and inclusion of a tunnel to locker rooms and underground equipment storage spaces to eliminate the need for an outbuilding on the site.
Co-chair of the Committee to Restore Fosdick Field, Jason Yots: “The Foundation's investment in this predevelopment process has greatly increased our readiness to begin construction when the land is returned to the children. The proposed design provides the practical uses needed for youth athletics in our city, while also returning much of the character and aesthetics that once graced the neighborhood and the National Register-listed school building.”
School principal and Co-chair of the Committee to restore Fosdick Field, William Kresse: “Our residents have waited a long time to correct this planning error. Kids in the city have lost too much greenspace over the years. Schools and athletic organizations compete fiercely for field time in the city. This facility will relieve some of that stress and serve as a resource for our surrounding neighborhood. This is one more project that visitors to our city will point to as a forward thinking planning decision in the new Buffalo.”
Mayor Byron Brown: “My administration has been heavily involved in the process of trying to secure this land as a field for City Honors for many years. We have facilitated meetings of key stakeholders, assisted in the demolition of Woodson Gardens, and continue to invest in the infrastructure in and around the neighborhood.”
Assemblyman Sean Ryan: “The restoration of Fosdick Field is another critical opportunity to move Buffalo forward by returning it to the carefully thought out city it was designed to be. The architectural designs unveiled today represent an investment in the young people of our city who have lost so many of their athletic spaces over the decades, as well as a commitment to a city that values a unique heritage of nature and green space as a part of its urban fabric.”
President & CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc., Matthew K. Enstice: “The effort to restore Fosdick Field has the support of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. We fully support development that helps make our adjacent neighborhoods stronger, enhances quality of life and promotes active, healthy living. The designs for restoring this greenspace represent smart planning that will add to the momentum of the Medical Campus.”
Discussions have been ongoing to arrive at a real estate transaction that will gain HUD approval for returning the land to the school district. Baer and Associates pegged construction of the field at $2.9million. The property contains human remains dating from a city potter’s field from the 1800’s. District architect for the Buffalo Public Schools, Paul McDonnell, comments, “Given this project is for educational and historic preservation purposes, we feel that we can make the strongest case to the State Office of Historic Preservation and Parks when it comes to relocation of the remains. This is a project that clearly represents an important public good.”
The original Fosdick Field was taken from the school in 1977 when the campus was bisected by a street and public housing placed on the field by the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority. The Housing Authority paid $15,000 to acquire the land from the city in 1977. The housing stood vacant for many years and was eventually demolished in 2013. Over a dozen local organizations including the Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus, Kaleida Health, Macedonia Church, The Fruitbelt Coalition, The University at Buffalo Medical School, Roswell Park, The Buffalo-Niagara Enterprise, The Olmsted Conservancy, Preservation Buffalo-Niagara and the City of Buffalo Preservation Board have endorsed plans to restore the field.
Renderings for restoration of the field, a virtual tour, endorsing organizations, a history of the field, a petition and other ways to support the restoration of Fosdick Field can be found at www.RestoreOurField.org
The City Honors/Fosdick-Masten Park Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization established in 1996 to carry on the rich heritage of Fosdick-Masten Park High School and its surrounding neighborhood as well as to ensure that no student’s educational opportunities are compromised by a lack of funds.
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