The City Honors/Fosdick-Masten Park Foundation has officially taken title to “Fosdick Field” from the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority. The Foundation agreed to an appraised value purchase of just over two million dollars and a three year mortgage. School principal, Dr. Kresse commented, “We are not there yet, but this is an incredible step forward that some said would never happen. Buffalo is thinking in different ways these days and it is exciting.” The Foundation has launched a capital campaign to secure the funds needed to satisfy the terms of the mortgage.
This purchase was reviewed and approved by the Federal Governments’ Department of Housing and Urban Development. Special credit was given by Foundation officials to the office of Congressman Brian Higgins for helping with technical assistance during this process. Other supportive local leaders include Mayor Byron Brown, Assemblymen Sean Ryan, Senator Tim Kennedy, and County Legislator Barbara-Miller Williams.
Jason Yots, Fosdick Field committee member, notes “this is not just about athletics and recreation, this is about putting another important piece of Buffalo back together. The neighborhood quality of life and landmark Fosdick-Masten building were altered in a very unfortunate fashion when the land was pulled away from the rest of the campus.” The historic Fosdick-Masten Park campus (currently occupied by City Honors School) was bisected in 1977 and the Fosdick Field greenspace was taken from the students and neighborhood. With the abandonment and demolition of structures on this land by the housing authority over the past ten years, the opportunity was created to reunite the original full campus of ‘The School on a Hill’ and restore an important resource for our city and neighborhood.
The CH/FMP Foundation will be looking to every source possible for support to make this a reality. The challenge is to repay the three-year mortgage and then secure funding for reconstruction of the field and surrounding parkland, including the removal of the street that severed the field. There is broad support from residential and institutional neighbors to restore this greenspace. Major survey and design work has been completed. Fosdick Field committee member, Jim Eagan ’90, states, “This project is now ready to build out as soon as the funding is in place. Putting this campus and parkland back together is no longer just a dream. It is set to become reality.”
Achieving a restored Fosdick Field will be a substantial financial undertaking but the alternative is to have the land taken away forever. In the near future, The Foundation will be sending out additional details about the campaign and asking anyone with a connection to City Honors School, Fosdick-Masten Park High School or our resurgent city to make a significant lifetime gift to the campaign. In the meantime, more information and a giving portal are available at RestoreOurField.org. If you know of an individual or organization that would like to add to early momentum by making a major gift to this important project, please contact David Cohen at 716.855.8090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.