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Giving Buffalo's historic buildings new life

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Buffalo: Giving Buffalo's historic buildings new life
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Buffalo is known for its historic buildings, but time hasn't been kind to some of them. YNN's Natalia Martinez reports on a new push to stop the wrecking ball and use tax money to revitalize them.

"Buffalo is filled with historic buildings," said Tim Tielman, Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture & Culture Executive Director.

But some of them have fallen into disrepair, left suspended in time.

On the upper floors of the Historic Statler City, the original wallpaper still sticks to the walls and you'll find the porcelain tubs under a blanket of dust.

"There was a time a few years ago when we almost lost this building. There was people calling for demolition," said Mark Croce, Statler City LLC President

Croce joined Senator Chuck Schumer on Tuesday for a tour of the Statler Hotel, built 90 years ago. Schumer promised to fight for federal tax incentives to encourage developers to give buildings like this new life.

"It's very important for these old historic buildings."

The details, from the chandelier to the curtains are why local officials hope that other historic buildings in Buffalo can be brought back to life.

Schumer said he'll propose the Capp Act to the Senate, which would raise the Historic Tax credit from 20 to 30 percent for projects less than $7.5 million. He also wants to extend the New Market Tax credit, covering 39 percent of the investment costs for some development projects in low income communities.

"The rehabilitation of these historic buildings to provide either apartments, offices, hotel space is actually as we are seeing in the last 10, 15 years, the driver of Buffalo's economy."

Croce still needs to secure millions to continue to fix the upper floors.

And Senator Schumer is hoping the fiscal cliff debate in Washington won't make his proposals just a thing of the past.

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