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Improvements underway at Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens

by jmaloni

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Thu, Jul 23rd 2015 04:25 pm
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz (at podium) is joined by (from left) Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens President and CEO David Swarts, Erie County Commissioner of Public Works John Loffredo and Assistant Architect Elisabete Godden. They were on hand to review more than $3 million in improvements underway at the gardens. The venue's north dome has had glass completely removed.
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz (at podium) is joined by (from left) Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens President and CEO David Swarts, Erie County Commissioner of Public Works John Loffredo and Assistant Architect Elisabete Godden. They were on hand to review more than $3 million in improvements underway at the gardens. The venue's north dome has had glass completely removed.

Erie County investing over $3 million to reconstruct houses 2 and 3 at historic site

Popular houses to see significant upgrades, interior/exterior restoration during yearlong project

Interior work is well underway at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, as the initial phases of a $3 million-plus Erie County investment in houses 2 and 3 begin to take shape. Work on these historic houses, home to the waterfall and koi pond - both visitor favorites - will include steel refurbishment and replacement, foundation and masonry repair, wood restoration and replacement, and complete glass replacement, among other improvements.

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined Thursday at the Botanical Gardens by President/CEO David Swarts, elected officials and gardens enthusiasts to review the ongoing improvements.

"The Botanical Gardens are a treasure in themselves, both in their collections and in the buildings that house them. When complete, these critical investments will protect these treasures for future generations and provide an enhanced experience for garden visitors today," Poloncarz said. "While these buildings may be more than a century old, today they are brimming with new life and excitement. I thank gardens President Swarts and his dedicated staff of employees and volunteers for their hard work to preserve this historic site far into the future."

Glass is currently being removed from the gardens' iconic dome for replacement later this year. Other improvements to the site will include electrical and heating system upgrades, repairs to and expanded installation of the gardens' misting system and heating system repairs. The extensive, yearlong project also includes the repair and restoration of gutters at the site, refurbishing of steel support frames, refurbishing and replacement of wood trim, removal and restoration of doors and windows for later reinstallation, lead remediation where necessary, and plaster repair.

"The Botanical Gardens are a unique, world-class facility, and these improvements will help to ensure that they remain a jewel for generations to come," Swarts said. "The gardens are celebrating their 115th birthday this year, and these improvements are bringing a renewed vigor that underscores the commitment shown by Erie County and others to maintain and improve this outstanding facility and collection for the next 115 years and beyond."

Improvements at the site have necessitated the moving of several plantings, including a 500-year old prickly cycad (the oldest plant in the collection) that was gifted to the gardens by the Albright Knox family from their private collection more than 70 years ago.

Contractors for the restoration project include Telco Construction (general construction), Goodwin Electric (electrical work) and Quackenbush (mechanical work). Project updates can be found at www.buffalogardens.com.

Work on the site is anticipated to be complete in spring 2016.

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