Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

March 5, 2013

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — “I love it here. Everything’s new, everything’s clean, energy efficient. ... People can get a new start here, and hopefully can get involved in the community,” she said.

With the rise of Lockport Canal Homes, Waterman Street homeowner Dave McCowen said he’s seeing his neighbors invest more in home improvements. He’s guardedly optimistic the development will inspire others to try keeping up with the Joneses.

“It’s a good shot in the arm,” he said. “The neighborhood is changing (but) there are still some people who doubt the good (feeling) will last.”

Local preservationists are applauding Housing Visions’ work rebuilding 155 Genesee St., a 140-year-old brick house that the agency originally proposed to rehabilitate and later realized it could not.

The rebuild is nearly the spitting image of the original, from the columned front and side porches to the bay windows that give it a grand-old-house feel. The only thing that’s different is it’s now clearly a two-family home. The units have separate entrances, one on each porch, elegantly numbered 155 and 157.

“It’s wonderful. It personifies that period, and at the same time it works with the neighborhood as it is today, “ City Historian Margaret Truax said. “It satisfies everybody.”

Before the ribbon cutting, development partners gathered in the chapel at Christ Community Church, formerly First Baptist Church at Genesee and Pine streets, for a prayer and remarks about the project. Together they told a story about collaboration — about the unusual partnerships of human services agents and bankers, of volunteers and bureaucrats, of local preservationists and like-minded strangers in Syracuse and Albany  — getting the job done.

No one partner can take the lion’s share of credit for Lockport Canal Homes, not even Housing Visions, its development director Ben Lockwood said.

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