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More About Seneca Babcock
Seneca Babcock Neighborhood
Growing up in Seneca Babcock
I’m exceedingly pleased that my parents, Mary and Daniel Sullivan, lived in the Seneca Babcock neighborhood when I was born in 1930.
For the next 31 years I continued to live with my parents. Then, in 1961, I married my husband, Larry Langgood, and when we started looking to buy a house, I told the realtor it had to be off of Seneca Street so I could stay close to my old neighborhood.
My home is on Remington Place in South Buffalo, but my heart is in Seneca Babcock, a five-minute drive away.
The Seneca Babcock neighborhood is like a small town in the middle of the city— surrounded by the thruway, the Seneca Street Bridge, the Elk Street industrial neighborhood, and the Babcock railroad tracks.
When I was growing up, you never had to leave the neighborhood to get what you wanted. There were hair salons, barbers, restaurants, a bakery, movie theatre, drugstores, ice cream parlor, lumber yards, taverns, shoemakers, gas stations, pizzerias, drycleaners, a grocery store, and delicatessens all over. We had both Public School 26 and St. Monica’s School and Church. A trolley ran down the middle of Seneca Street if you wanted to go downtown.
When the thruway was built, and homes were taken by eminent domain, a number of families were displaced. For some, relocating within Seneca Babcock wasn’t an option as there weren’t any available homes, so they moved out of the neighborhood.
Today, while the landscape of businesses has changed, there are still families from the vibrant “old neighborhood” who live in the community, and the close-knit familiarity of Seneca-Babcock still exists.
I’m proud to serve on the board of directors of the Seneca Babcock Community Center, which is under the leadership of Brian Pilarski. The center has served the community for over 30 years and offers human services programs for all ages, from preschool to a senior lunch program. Residents have access to a family computer room, ceramics classes, a fitness center, homework help, and other activities. It is truly the focal point of the community, with events hosted all year long. The center works collaboratively with local organizations including STEPS, SenecaSt Church, the Babcock Clubhouse, and Catholic Charities. We have a great collaboration with Daemen College in which Daemen students do community service and help implement programs. That collaboration has now been duplicated with Canisius College and Trocaire College.
I also attend the Seneca-Babcock block club meetings, led by Art Robinson. As I don’t drive, my husband usually drives me to the meetings. When he is unavailable, I take a taxi, that’s how important the Seneca-Babcock neighborhood is to me. After the meetings, someone always drives me home.
In September, 2007 we had a Babcock Reunion and hundreds of people attended. They came from near and far. We have another reunion planned for September, 2008.
Years ago, when I lived there, all the neighbors looked out for each other, and today they still do. They are the nicest people you’ll ever want to meet.
Contributed by Rose Ann Langgood.
Originally published in the 2008-2009 Greater South Buffalo Chamber of Commerce Business Directory & Community Guide.