Alone

I'm motionless here
all alone
I'm thinking about
a better season
when I felt the never ending footfall of humanity
anonymous and famed
in and out of my doors
when my marble floors
were still brilliant
despite the influx
I've heard steam engines wailing their hello to me
the steam billowing and snow-white
when they passed in the night
I've seen families
and felt their anticipation
biding their time
waiting in line
to get home for a holiday
I felt the grazes when children wrote on my walls
and I was happy for those who were reunited in my halls
I saw the exchanges of money for passage
of hugs and kisses
I remember who was eager to arrive
and who was eager to be gone
I'm thinking about
a time when I illuminated the night sky
when I stood noble by day
I remember the vibes when music was played in my concourse loud
and I felt proud
when my windows glimmered clean in the sun
I wish I could go back to the way I was
raped and pillaged
by those who disrobe, dismantle and deface
my heart is broken and buffalo shattered
my windows now hundreds of unlit eyes staring into space
I remember when I mattered
out of touch
I was born too late
out of sync
thus deciding my fate.

Kathi Byham

reflections of an unweary visitor
It stands on Buffalo's East side. Perhaps you've seen it. Maybe you were curious enough to drive up to it. But today, being in a brave and daring mood, you've climbed out of your car and ventured inside its decrepit walls, taking in the stench of mold, smoke and neglect. A horrible sight greets your eyes. You are standing in the darkest, most horrific place you've ever been in. As you look down you see water up to your ankles. All around you are the remains of corridors and walls now showing nothing but a steel skeleton. Huge chunks of plaster drop from the ceiling at your feet.

Somewhere inside this terrifying place you swear you hear another voice; maybe even a laugh. The only constant in this cold, dark place is the dripping of water from all around you. There are so many dark areas to explore but you are too terrified to wander further than the door you came in. Don't ever lose sight of the doorway -- your car and freedom are just out side. The sunshine looks comforting -- at least it's not as dark outside as it is inside. In fact, you remember what someone had told you when they had been brave and wandered inside this place, "Never walk into an area where the way you came in is the only way out." As you look around you see that interior parts of this building have been brutally vandalized. Satanic scrawlings litter the floor. Electric wires are scattered all around. You can tell that artifacts have been removed by force.

Suddenly you hear a crash. You turn and look in the direction where you think the noise came from just in time to see a shadowy figure dart behind a doorway. The sound of his footsteps running up a flight of stairs sends your heart down into your stomach and back up your throat. "I've gotta get out of this place now," you hear yourself whisper. But you can't leave. The place is like a magnet. There's just too much to see.

A faint roar suddenly catches your ear. As it gets louder and louder you also hear the sound of squealing metal on metal. As the roar becomes almost deafening, you look beyond one of the filthy rooms and see what appears to be movement coming from outside a window. Cautiously, you enter the room being careful not to trip over the huge mounds of debris littered on the floor. You feel like you just walked under Niagara Falls as torrents of water begin to pound down on you from the ceiling.

As you head toward the beckoning windows, the outside movement you saw earlier materializes into a moving train. Drenched, but still curious, you walk to the open window and peer through the broken glass. There, some 15 feet away from you is indeed a slow moving train. "Amazing," you hear yourself say. A crackling sound stops you from looking out the window. You turn just as another piece of plaster tumbles to the floor sending up a spray of dirty water all around you. That musty smell of filth, smoke, and plaster is now even stronger. More voices! Now you decide it's time to leave. But you must take it all in. You need to see every inch. "I'll be back with some more people," you say.
No, you didn't have a nightmare. You've just spent less than ten minutes in Central Terminal. Everyday, countless people pass by this building and wonder how it got to it's current state. Some don't even know what the building was used for. Be that as it may, Central Terminal is the last building of its kind in the Western New York area. Letting it get to the condition it's in has been called one of the area's biggest crimes. Something must be done, but who will take the first stand? To see it is to be awe struck by its majestic size and beauty. To venture inside is pure stupidity, not for the faint of heart and not recommended.

This building has a place in the legacy of Buffalo's history and culture as you will read in these pages. Enjoy all that this web site has to offer and please take some time to fill out the questionnaire. Central Terminal may be running out of time. We need to appreciate it while we still can.

top