Historic Buffalo Bowling Alley To Be Demolished?
One of Buffalo's favorite places to play a few games of 10-Pin is one more step closer to meeting the wrecking ball and being turned into some other sort of development, or even just a vacant lot.
The owners of Voelker’s Bowling Alley on Elmwood Ave in Buffalo had been seeking to demolish the sprawling bowling complex for a few years but have been in court with preservationists and officials from the City of Buffalo who had issued a cease and desist order in an attempt to block the demolition.
However, it seems that city officials have changed their minds because their objections were dropped at the last hearing in front of Buffalo Housing Court Judge Patrick Carney. Because those objections were dropped by the local government, the judge was able to clear the way for a demolition permit to be issued to the owners of Voelkers.
Originally built in 1892 as a tavern and hotel, Voelker’s Bowling Alley served as a mainstay for those looking to bowl and just hang out on the edge of Buffalo's Blackrock neighborhood. I remember spending several fun nights in Voelker’s with my friends during my Buff State days in the 90s. The lanes ultimately had to close because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the business just was not able to recover from the financial strain.
The building also had fallen into disrepair over the years with both the roof and neon signs on the roof appearing to be in danger of falling down.
According to reporting from WGRZ-TV, members of the community and Councilmember Joseph Golombek feel that the community should have a say in whether or not the owners can tear down the building. Councilmember Golombek has previously stated he wanted to see a site development plan before he would be okay with any demotion moving forward.
I don't want a vacant lot here that's going to sit here for 10 or 15 years, I don't want drive through ... or something like that
-Joseph Golombek, City of Buffalo North District Common Councilmember