BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — As Buffalo enjoys a resurgence, its large stock of old homes and buildings is getting new attention. Local realtors say buyers new to the area are amazed at the structures here, just waiting to be refurbished and restored.
“I deal with a lot of out-of-town buyers,” said realtor Len Sciolino, “and they cannot believe the housing stock that we still have in Buffalo. It’s been lost in so many other major cities.”
But maintaining this treasure trove of history and style takes patience, time, and talent.
That’s where ‘that furniture guy’ comes in. Scott O’Dell of Wolf Lake Restorations, also known as ‘that furniture guy,’ has made a career out of restoring, refinishing, and reclaiming Buffalo’s past.
“I started when I was about, I’m going to say 12,” said O’Dell. “I was just doing light sanding and staining for a local company and then I just kept on doing it.”
O’Dell’s work can be seen in old homes and buildings all over Buffalo, including the former Knights of Columbus building on Delaware Avenue. And some of his work was just featured during the annual Parkside Tour of Homes.
“Scott has the ability to make the woodwork and the doors look original and we’ve been using him for about 5 years. He’s an artist,” said Sciolino.
O’Dell refuses to call himself an artist, but he has the passion of a Van Gogh when it comes to his work. He put 60 hours into restoring the 100 year old doors on a Grant Street church (formerly St. Elizabeth R.C. Church) and said he was ‘nervous’ when the church pastor saw them for the first time. Her response?
“Scott is a master of what he does. He IS ‘that furniture guy!'” according to Rev. Lenora Darden of Abundant Life in Christ Ministries, who gave him a big hug when she saw the refinished doors.
Drawing on his Native American heritage, O’Dell often finds a spiritual connection to his work. He realizes it has become much more than a job for him. It is touching and preserving history for all of us and giving it new life.
“I’m here, I’m in Buffalo and I love saving the woodwork,” said O’Dell. “Houses or furniture, I love saving old stuff. That’s what I do.”
You may reach Scott O’Dell on Facebook under Wolf Lake Restorations or by calling 716-548-4879.