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The comments contained on these pages are those of the authors and NOT by The Buffalo History Works or its ISP - BuffNET. We reserve the right to edit all comments before they are published on this site.

Emmet Zaworski
My father and I visited the terminal every other Sunday for many years during the mid 50's to mid 60's. My grandparents lived 2 blocks away. Although the heyday of the terminal was past, it was still quite a thrill for a young boy to visit such a grand building. I visited all of the public areas and can still remember the feeling of being somewhere special whenever we would go there.
Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
Fair. In some cases the buildings remain but the interiors are gutted. The cost of upkeep for many of these structures is very high. A good example of unrecognized are the elevators along the Buffalo River.
Although I have not lived in Buffalo for many years now I still have occasion to visit. Your Web site disturbed me greatly. It has been many years since I visited the "Central" and I found myself saddened by the decay of one of the greatest buildings that Buffalo has.

I remember spending alot of times there just looking at the huge buffalo in the middle. My grandfather and father were both engineers on the NYCentral . My grandfather had his last run in that terminal when he retired.
If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
Use it as a railroad terminal again.
Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
No Buffalo only cares about trying to build new. Whats wrong with repairing and using our history of Buffalo?

Greg Miller
I am an avid fan of the terminal and would love to see something done with it. I would think a dream would be to have the terminal concourse area restored to "as it was condition" and use the tower and adjacent areas for money makers. Cincinnati did an excellent job with their terminal as did Indianapolis. While they aren't as they were in their glory years the building has at least been preserved. I spent an afternoon in BCT a few years back. It was a wonderful experience, I would have loved to have lived in the days when it was a busy place! I shall be a regular visitor to the Central Terminal web site, outstanding work!!

Rich O'Donnell
I was delighted and yet saddened to find your Web page of the Central Terminal. Its demise is Buffalo's lost. I grew up in Depew (my family still lives there) and I now live in South Carolina. My family is comprised of a long line of New York Central Employees. There is no other building in Western New York which holds more haunting memories than the Central Terminal. Knowing that someone else must have the same feelings I new with a little effort that I would find some reference on the WWW. Your work is excellent and effort much appreciated. I remember going through the station in the 60's (I'm 36 years old) and taking the train to Erie to visit an aunt. In the later years since my father, his brother and and my grandfather were all NYC employees they were especially knowledgable of the terminal and we found often end up at the terminal on Saturday and explore the building.

One vivid memory that I have is my father describing the terminal during the holidays when the War was going on, a huge christmas tree would be erected on the balcony with a live band playing christmas music. With the war in full swing the place would be filled shoulder to shoulder with servicemen. And lastly I'll never forget his description of his home coming from the South Pacific after being gone for 3-years and meeting his mother inside the terminal. She did'nt recognize him.

Many, many memories are contained in that building. I hope your work stimulates some people to capture those memories. I do thank you for the views from home.

Gregory M. Holmes
Our family church (St. Nicolas UCC) is just a few blocks over from the Terminal (off Genesee). I traveled past this bulding for many years of my life (and still do when I'm back in town). I vaguely recall my Grandmother taking a train out soon before it closed (her memories of the building in it's glory days are still wonderful to listen to).
If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
Probably follow along the lines of the St. Louis Union Station. Only I would create more of a cultural center that would make the building a thing of importance (pride) to the surrounding community.
How has the surrounding neighborhood affected the Terminal?
Again, having gone through that area for much of my life, I believe it has become better (or at least started to stabilize/rebound). A little foresight years ago could have stopped the skid (the terminal's *and* the neighborhood) early, but foresight is often been lacking among Buffalo's power structure. I must commend the photographers who are taking the risks to capture what they can of the terminal. Many thanks! **WARNING** I can't resist a chance to rant my $0.02 worth... It galls me to no end that Buffalo can not come up with the means to save this structure and potentially revitilize a community. Yet when a sports franchise "needs" a new arena for a team that hasn't been a worthwhile product in _years_ the city jumps with the cash [this from a true blue (and gold) fan]. A simplistic view? probably but then again, I'm a rail *fanatic* ...rant turned off.

An anonymous visitor from the National Mine Health & Safety Academy wrote. . .
This is without doubt, simply one of the best local history websites I have ever seen. You folks are to be congratulated. The section on the Buffalo Central Terminal is all too familiar to those of us who grew up riding trains.
It's probably too late to save the structure now which is too bad when you consider what has been done to restore/save other ex NYC or NYC-served stations such as South Station in Boston, Trinity Place (aka Back Bay) in Boston, Utica, Cleveland, St. Louis, Cincinnati and of course, GCT in New York. The one thing that these places had going for them was location.... The Buffalo Central Terminal was built, as you suggest, in an attempt to "grow" the town to it's location. Everything changed after 1929, however, and railroad management, with its typical myopic way of looking at the world, refused to acknowledge it.

Incidentally, if you ever get a chance to get to Cincinnati, their Union Station is probably the one of the finest surviving examples of Art Deco depots in existence. Unfortunately, the murals that were in the concourse were moved to the airport. CUT was a functional station that had a lot of architectural interest. I had the fortune of riding the trains of the Louisville and Nashville, PRR, and N&W in and out of there more than a few times.

Joshua Gordon
I photographed the exterior of the terminal on a day of exploring after playing at the June In Buffalo contemporary music festival. Very sad sight. It would make a great museum of railroading, but I doubt there would be any money for that.
If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
John Carpenter movies.
Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
Mixed. Losing the Larkin Building was pathetic.

Richard Fischpera
It's terrible the way the building is now. Like Rochester NY those buildings were a credit to the NYC.
If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
Remodel it and use it as a transportation center, mall, and hotel.

John R. Wendelin
I remember my father and me dropping my older sister off at 3am to catch the train to college in Indiana. This was in the late 70s. I thought it was the coolest building I'd ever seen. It terrible to see the building now. It's like a dead friend who hasn't been burried yet.
If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
It's hard to say. The glass bill alone would be big $. I'm not in favor of gambling, but if it ever passes, the terminal would make a great casino. I don't think that you would be able to get 1 major tennant. I guess apartments, offices, shops, light industrial. A railroad museum maybe. You would have to have deep pockets. It's too bad that the building wasn't secured better. But when you don't have tennants you can't collect rent to pay for security. Tennants also become eyes and ears for vandals. So it became a magnet for bored vandals. There was nobody to stop them.
Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
I would say no. Not until it's too late. Or they want to preserve something like the Aud. The Aud has a lot of memories but it is a single purpose building with no tennant. The Larkin building is a shame. As well as the Central Terminal. To save the Central Terminal you have to be 3 things. Super rich, Super stupid and you have to have a big heart. I think the super rich and big heart parts are obvious. The super stupid part is that the building would probably not be a good investment. Buffalo has a hard enough time putting things into vacant buildings on Main street. The section on Main between Huron and Lafayette Sq. is practically a ghost town. There are no easy answers. Although at this point, after so amny years of neglect the "easy answer" should just be tear it down.

M Rodgers
When I had an office in the terminal during it's decline, there were a great deal of the spirits left in the building that we would run into every now and then.
If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
Social Services - on-site training for those who are homeless and need skills and/or crafts to get back on their feet. Housing for homeless mothers and children with daycare during training.

Dave Mudie
The first time I really noticed the building was in 1989 when WS East had a prom there and I went to meet a friend. I have been hooked ever since.
If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
Although currently illegal in NY, the terminal would have put the new casino in Ft. Erie to shame. I'm sure our fine governor would have made a provision to allow legalized gaming in NY, especially if the terminal was anywhere near restorable. I grew up off of Seneca St. in south Buffalo, and saw first hand. As time goes by and people in these areas are less apt to spend their time working at careers, family, and taking pride in their surroundings, the neighborhood always suffers from their lack of civic pride.
Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
Yes, but after spending 4 years in the military and living in Philly, San Diego, and New Orleans, I can say that Buffalo does not do enough in comparison, especially with how blest with history we are. I am encouraged however, seeing the renaissance of home improvement especially around Richmond, Arlington ( where I spent a year living ),and several other neighborhoods in the city. Hopefully this will continue.

Mike Zollitsch
I have only several recent memories, as I am way too young to have ever seen the building in its heyday. However, I am very close friends with the people hired by one of its recent owners (Bernie Tuchman) as security, and we have visited the terminal almost daily during the mid-nineties. My friends were not really security any more when we had gone there, but the mystique and attractiveness (along with the spookiness of things remembered and time past) was too great to keep us away. We would commonly sit on one of the floors in the tower and watch/photograph the trains below. It is a very poor shame that the building has deteriorated to the state it is in. In fact, we have not visited it since early 1996, as the structural state and neighborhood has just become too dangerous.
If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
A Railroad-enthusiast center, and offices for various historical groups. Not to mention some sort of museum. I've even had a dream (or nightmare) that the terminal was turned into a college/university (but in the present state its in--shudder).
The terminal is no longer safe to the cretins who live nearby. The terminal is gang territory, and I would make sure I was well clear of that area by sunset. Guns have been found stashed in certain areas, and the pure "fun" of wrecking something the size of the terminal without being reprimanded is just too great and attractive to the neighborhood youths.

Jim Post
My father worked for the New York Central for over 30 years. As a kid growing up around the NYC, Central Terminal was my playground. I was always fascinated by the Buffalo. I joined the Air Force in '77, went overseas and by the time I got out ('89) dad had retired. These are the first pictures that I have seen since I was 10 years old ('65). Dad passed away last May, and seeing your web site brought back both wonderful memories as well as making me terribly sad.

Kevin Kaminski
I was there a few times in the early 80's with family for trips by train.... We wandered around the station (behind the wood dividers) and I was amazed at the sheer size of it.
How has the surrounding neighborhood affected the Terminal?
It stopped any commercial development because of the bad neighborhood.. Vandalism would have happened if it was in the middle of Amherst also!
I also was at the terminal in june of 1985... On a senior class trip for a history of WNYclass.. There was a guard there.. and let us in. We looked around the concourse a little.. didnt look too bad.. but when I recently visited, I could not believe we let a treasure fall apart like that. There are tons of people, me included, who would volunteer to help close the place up if materials would be supplied.

Eric Krasinski
I do not have any memories but I think a treasure of the past is going to waste.
If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
I would restore it and then turn it into a historical museum. As the years go by Buffalo started to turn into a slum. Drug deals were a common picture on the streets. People were afaid to go there and the rest is history.
Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
No or this website would not be here.

Lenny B.
(I remember) riding my bicycle in the terminal and down under to the post office on William St. The grand buffalo was super!
If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
A major transportation hub to everywhere in the city and suburbs (with aerial mag-lev trains) or a major central office for government Imagine the savings -- all gov't businesses under one roof ( boy , how stupid gov't can be!!)
How has the surrounding neighborhood affected the Terminal?
I would say the closing of the terminal affected the neighborhood more than the reverse. I am a native East Sider, now residing in S. Bflo.
Give me the job of city planner or elect me mayor!!!!

Joe Mazur
(I remember) my parents taking me there when I was very little and watching the steam locomotives pull in and out. I think the building needs to be restored. Volunteers should be solicited to help in the clean-up.
How has the surrounding neighborhood affected the Terminal?
Deteriorated it, however, fix it up and I believe the neighborhood will improve. I lived in that neighborhood for 20 years (52-72)

Karen Pinzel
Just that when I was a small child, I remember going to the terminal with my parents to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
I would remodel it for a shopping mall or boutiques. The decline of the neighborhood and people not caring for their property has made people in Buffalo not care for the landmarks.
Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
Not at all. We have some people who care about landmarks and properties in Buffalo. But the politics involved in doing anything put people off instead of urging preserving and keeping landmarks and surroundings alive. We should not let our heritage go.

Dan Radzikowski
I don't have any memories of the building, but my grandfather does because he was an engineer and rode through the Central Terminal many times. In fact, he pulled the last train out of the Terminal when it closed. I think the building now looks absolutely horrendous and should be renovated. I think it should be renovated to its original glory and change it into a History Museum of the American Railroad. It might encourage tourism.
How has the surrounding neighborhood affected the Terminal?
It has brought it down to the state it is now in. The city of Buffalo was stupid to decide to make that area around William St. industrial around such a beautiful landmark.
Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
Not at all!!!! They're more concerned with all the sports of the city and its revenue. They don't care about Buffalo's architectural heritage.

Terry Sheehan
My Dad was a 'wire-bender' (aka Electrician) working on Pullman cars during the 50's. From my earliest youth, he would take me down to the Terminal to show where he worked and to opine on its earlier splendor; he was no fan of Perlman and the other Central Senior management. In 1977, I worked at the Broadway Market (quite a feat for an Irish kid from West Seneca) and the Polish kids who I worked with would show how to access the roof, enter the administrative area and show the secret areas for consuming amber liquids; they seemed to have the railway police schedule down pat. They essentially treated it as a big neighborhood clubhouse and not a place to trash.

During the early 80's, there used to be an organized indoor floor hockey league that played on the main concourse; what a treat that was. Don't forget that Robbie Robertson and the Band played a concert there in I think 1983. My roommate at the U-Michigan is an avid photographer and in 1987 we trekked to the Terminal where he took pictures that won him an award in Detroit. My last visit was Labor Day of 1994 and it was depressing. To see the Concourse so destoryed, plaster everywhere, you'd never think that ten years earlier, urban youth used it basically as a rec. center.
If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
I live in Boston MA, and what makes this City charming is the extensive preservation activities relating to their old buildings. South Station is now truly a gem, and even though it was in bad shape 15 years ago, it was never allowed to deteriorate as badly as Central Terminal. So, basically it's over; tear it down and build a community center so the locals have some place to go.
How has the surrounding neighborhood affected the Terminal?
It's worthwhile to note that a large portion of the Terminal's old neighborhood was stockyards, coal transfer points, train repair shops and the Railway Express. The decline of these ancillary activities and also the decline of the Erie-Lackawanna railroad cut out the heart of employment in the East Side and had a much more negative effect on the neighborhood; the demise of the Terminal was a symptom of a larger post-industrial problem. Sure, virtually all of the guys I worked with at the Broadway Market wouldn't be caught dead in that neighborhood anymore. There's no place to shop and it's very dangerous, especially at night; the Terminal only adds to this. The sad issue is that the neighborhood by old Memorial Stadium demanded, and got, the "Rockpile" torn down. They didn't feel it was fair to have an old eyesore that nobody was going to use for a neighbor. It's probably fair to say the existing neighborhood should expect the same.
Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
No, because of the dearth of available capital. The amount of capital required won't generate a suffient return on investment in the private sector and, the public sector is basically broke (what folks pay in sales and property taxes in W.N.Y. is staggering even by Mass. aka Taxachusetts standards). Also, there is such a disconnect between people who grew up in the City and then moved away that the vast majority of Western New Yorker's (and by extension those of us who moved away to find work) don't feel like their losing or missing anything.
The next treasure trove of architectural heritage that is soon to meet the wrecking ball are the majestic churches in the city. These were the true lifeblood of the various neighborhoods and their demise would pretty much end any historical sense of continuity and history to Buffalo's working class industrial past, (more so than the demise of Central Terminal (!)).

Jeff Sheldon
I do not have any memories of the Terminal. I am too young. I have found your web page surprisingly fascinating. I am currently looking to move to Buffalo and I remember the "ominious" site which was nowhere near the Buffalo skyline. It is a shame, the history, the fame all seems wasted. I am originally from Syracuse and live near NYC. NYC citizens do tell a tale similar to Buffalo's called "Coney Island" a heyday in its time where now you wouldn't dare go there in the daytime let alone during night.
If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
I would say revive it into a railstation (however as of March 25, 1997, Amtrak is going through the same problems Central faced in the late 50's.) Why not a shuttle between Buffalo and Rich Stadium? There has been talks about building a train line to connect the stadium with WNY,CNY and Albany. The train could bypass Depew and drop off Bills fans to catch the shuttle to the stadium eliminating traffic congestion.
How has the surrounding neighborhood affected the Terminal?
A neighborhood determines everything! Central had problems with the 'sign of times'; however a deadly rise in crime does not help any ailing business.
Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
I would say yes and no. Yes to City Hall, Knox Museum, but no to areas like the East Side. However as I read in the news, an interest to revive the inner city may bring around more preservation. In anything I do (sports, work, hobbies) I never like to say 'it's over'. Nothing is ever over. Central can make a comeback...will it be difficult? Yes, no doubt. However follow the most perfect example...Times Square, ridden with crime 5 years ago, porn shops and every hoodlum...for those who haven't been in a while...with all the renovation you'd think you were somewhere else.

Patricia Szymanski
I have great memories of the train station when I was young and we would travel or meet someone coming or going. It was loud and exciting and adventure was in the air. I loved it. You felt the thrill of all man kind around you and the old Buffalo and windows and high ceiling was something you don't get anywhere but when the train station was in full swing. (I remember) running for the train and listening for the arrival. I was only 6 or 7 the first time, but what an impression it left. I looked forward to anytime we could go down there. I've been in (recently) and it's so sad. It makes your heart cry because I could never share that with my children.
If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
I would see if they could not incorporate it into history rides like they do with the Atica railroad and other areas. I would have one place for history and learning, and a training area for computer classes for people who can't afford to go to school but could train for work in the business world. I would have Channel 17 work from there rent free and they could help to raise money for themselves and other non-profit organizations.
The surrounding area does not do anything for the terminal. (I think) they should be having their ethnic food parties in the same area which should be the Terminal. They should then take the responsibilty to clean and maintain their spots in the Terminal. That way, if it rained, or was too hot, it would not matter because everything would be protected by the shelter the Terminal provides.
Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
Not at all, and compared to other cities that know how to use their heritage to their advantage, Buffalo just lets it go and then tries to build over it -- like the Aud and the theaters they have taken down. (The city) burns, destroys, or lets it rot. They don't care.

Stephen Miller
I have one memory of the Terminal. I live on Rother Ave, about 3 blocks from the terminal but was alway scared to go near the thing! One day I took my dog for a walk to the terminal. I didn't think about it, I just did it. I was so disgusted by what I saw! It was raining inside the terminal! Or so it seemed. Old papers everywhere. holes in the walls. the place was open to the elements! Then I heard the voices and the noises from up in the tower and came back to my senses and ran!
If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
I would insist erie county use the terminal building as the new court house! You couldn't ask for a more majestic building and most of the criminals in Buffalo seem to be on the east side anyway! I think the building sets the tone for the whole area. It's hard to ring up a community with a condemned building as
Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
NO IT DOES NOT!!! I'm from virginia and believe me, if the terminal where there, it wouldn't be in this condition! We save evrything! We have so much pride in our past, we even preserved a hole in the ground( the crater in Petersburg,VA).

Buffalo has to make a choice, do we care more about our past or do we want to appease the Wilsons and the Knox's with new stadiums for their little boys to play in. Our history is here for us unconditionally, you cannot say the same for the Bills or the Sabres.

I have only lived in WNY for 10 years, so I have no memeories of it as a working terminal. I think now it is an eyesore, all run down. And a danger. My husband and I drove over to see it two weeks ago when we were at the B'way Mkt, and there were CHILDREN playing there. Someone could get hurt.

When my brother went to Korea, we saw him off from the Central Terminal (1953). A sad time. Buffalo's priorities are skewed. More money poured into new sports facilities than into preservation of historical buildings. Sad!

Allan Awald
Sadly, the only time I was ever in the terminal was after curiosity got the better of me and forced me to stop in after work one day in 1994. I had driven past the building for weeks while working on a construction project in the nearby neighborhood. I could sense the place must have been grand in its heyday. It was severely vandalized by 94. I wish I had been able to view it in the 40's.

If I had the economic resources I would make it the staging area for departure of Light Rail Rapid Transit to the SouthTowns as well as the centerpiece of a revitalized Southeast Buffalo. Of course such an idea will never take place with the current level of NY State and City taxes and the death grip thay have on the WNY economy. What the terminal needs is an economic development tax free zone to be designated with it at the core.

The Buffalo Area doesn't have the money to "preserve" its working infrastructure much less historic sites. It is just a sad fact. Drawing new business to the area is essential to effect both the living tax base and to provide money for preserving sites of cultural importance.

Until the State and City leaders realize that the same old tunes with regard to regional economic development don't work anymore and begin to think creatively about ways to empower neighborhoods to improve themselves, the neighborhood surrounding the terminal and many others will slide into economic oblivion.

Jim Mulcahy
I remember picking up relatives there in the 1950s, and always looking forward to seeing the BISON! In Nov. 1963, I went with hundreds of other teenagers to the CYO convention in New York City. We went by train. It was great. All the hustle and bustle of the station was to be seen with all of the parents seeing us off. I am saddened by the abuse that this beautiful building has been subjected to. I also agree with the comment about groveling after sports teams.
If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
I doubt if it is salvageable. I have heard conflicting opinions. Assuming it is, I would reroute amtrak to it. That farce in Depew is does nothing to encourage train usage, nor does the schedule. I also would work towards something similar to Union Sta. in St. Louis. I would have the govt. set the ground rules for rehabbing, state clearly upfront what, if any, the tax breaks would be and then get out of the way. Govt. screwups have contributed to the demise of the station and they would prevent any possibility of meaningful revival.
Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
Comme ci, comme ca. Buffalo's problem is that it always looking for a handout: the toonerville trolley, for instance; that they think will turn the city around. So they turn the post office into an ECC campus, while businesses are moving to the suburbs.

Ralph McClive
I can remember riding trains in & out 1956 -- Amktrak-riding by Exchange St. is depressing. I now live in syracuse but still have family in buffalo.- Two of us explored the place in 1983 about the time they cut the concourse. The biggest problem with the building is that it has 25 cycle power.

Ken Pizzuco
I took a historic preservation class at UB in 1991 and had the opportunity to make two visits inside the central terminal. It's sad that nothing is being done with it. I did a paper on the possibility of reuse. Cincinnati has turned their railroad terminal into a museum center (Imax theater, various displays, ice cream shop, etc). It has worked out very well and is considered a must see when visiting Cinci.
How has the surrounding neighborhood affected the Terminal?
For the terminal to support any type of attraction it must be a major draw since it's in a rough area and far outside the city limits. It would be the only thing to see in that area.
Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
Are you kidding? Darwin Martin house - almost lost, central terminal, larkin building, grain elevators, etc.
I'd love to know what's happening right now with the terminal. A friend from Buffalo told me that there is a definite plan to save the terminal. I don't know the details but would like to.

Doug Drew
You have constructed an excellent site here. I have no memories of Central, as I've only been through Buffalo, never stopped there. It's present condition is a sad testimony about how little value America puts on its architectural treasures, of which Central was certainly one. A kinder fate may have been to dynamite the thing while it still had its pride, rather than this slow death by vandalism and decay. We have a similar situations in Worcester and Springfield Mass., and these stations are much closer to the city center than is Central. Periodically, the issue of revitalization comes up when another piece of the building falls down, but nothing is done there, either.

Due to the stripping of the roof and subsequent weather damage, substantial parts of the building may be unsalvageable -- it would have to be torn down and rebuilt, structurally, and that would never happen in today's financial climate -- at least it wouldn't be rebuilt as-is. Even if it CAN be structurally salvaged, probably the only two groups that could afford to do the work would be the government, and the gambling industry. I doubt there would be any other organizations that would have the guts or deep-enough pockets to invest in what appears to be such a crime-ridden neighborhood.
If you were the owner of the Terminal, what would you use it for?
It could be the center of a neighborhood revitalization, but other aspects would have to be in place first, such as a pronounced, zero-tolerance police presence. Washington DC's Union Station is a shining example of how a neglected masterpiece can be turned back into a vital social entity, but the circumstances surrouding Washington Terminal are significantly different than those at Central -- two of which being a substantial train daily service into WT, and its highly-visible location a block from the U.S. Capitol, source of Amtrak's funding.
How has the surrounding neighborhood affected the Terminal?
From the text of your site, this seems a rhetorical question. There is a saying "tyranny occurs when good men do nothing." People afraid to venture out of their houses at night, or even during the day, are under the tyranny of the criminal element. Just because you were born out of wedlock, or have no father, or are poor, or on welfare does NOT mean you then have the "excuse" to become a criminal. Vandalism on the scale Central Terminal has experienced is gross criminal behavior. Unfortunately, whoever has owned the terminal during the last decade apparently has not had enough political pull to have an effective police presence maintained in the area of the building. Crack addicts will do anything to feed their habit, including such physically demanding work as stripping a copper roof for the salvage. That the police looked the other way or took no action as this type of thing was happening is the REAL crime.
Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
Not in this case. Apparently, the politicians couldn't figure a way how to line their pockets from preservation of Central, and so it has languished and decayed. Truly, one of the best web sites on the subject of railroading I have seen.

I have actually departed from the station in the mid '70's taking a train to Albany, NY with my parents. I remember the grand expanse of the approach to the terminal as we drove up to the front doors. The main concourse semmed huge at the time and as we walked downed to the train platform an electrifiying sense came over me that a great adventure was about to begin. Years later while going to school in NYC, I went through Penn Station & Grand Central and said, "This is just like Central Terminal in Buffalo." As you have done, I have explored the lonely and sadden halls of this fallen beauty. It is a shame we do not capitalize on such greatness (the powers that be are too coward to be visionaries like F.L. Wright, Roycroft, Olmstead and a host of others) and make it a symbol of Buffalo. From where I live I see it everyday. My contact with the Terminal has driven my interests in model railroading.

If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
This is a just a collection of ideas. Maybe all of these could fit or maybe just some.

  • Top floor the most exclusive restaurant in Buffalo.
  • The Amtrak Station
  • The new Buffalo Court Building
  • Law Offices
  • Business Offices
  • Police Station
  • Hotel
  • Expanded container terminal Donald Trump was just in town looking to invest. Let's go ask him. Cite the example in Cincinnati Terminal Restoration Project.
  • If the terminal is demolished it will be in the same catagory as the Larkin Complex. Why did they neglect it? The Terminal was Buffalo, and everyone was touched by it. Companies are looking for write offs. Companies in big metro areas (NY, LA, PHILI, BOSTON, etc) are being eaten alive by sqft cost, commute, conjestion, and taxes. We do not get any taxes from the property now so lure 10 or 15 companies have them contribute to the recontruction and give them a 10yr moratorium on taxes etc. What will you gain? 1.New business purchasing things, 2. jobs and new people, 3. businesses interests which could generate other interests. Again, you get no taxes now so nothing lost and everything to gain. Come someone be a visionary it can be done.

    R.Scott Palmatier
    A friend and I went to the Terminal this past winter for the first time. The Terminal is a remarkable place. We took lots of photos and went through the building from top to bottom.
    If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
    Office space, Railroad Museum, any Museum, Rec-Center, School or College, Historic Mall, Hotel, anything.....
    Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
    NO!!! Example: The Larkin Building (1904-06),demolished in 1950, 680 Seneca Street at Swan. Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright

    Ed Bednarczyk
    Well, it's the only location (in the US) that I've caught a train from! I took a train up to CT back in the 70's - I remember being really impressed at how the building looked a "this is what a train station is SUPPOSED to look like" feel. The best use of the terminal would be linked to an expansion of the light-rail service the city offers (similar to use of existing rail lines that have proven successful in other cities, including Cleveland). Once easy access to the site were established, then development could, and would be rapid.

    Alternatively, it could be rehabbed as a high tech site - much like Amherst has done. This would require access from William St (easy access from the burbs now that the William St. Exit from the 90 is in place). Last idea would be to stabilise the structure and lease space to our local artists - ala what I've seen in London (don't recall the name) - a little grungy, but hey, it seems to sell!
    Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
    So so. It pales in comparison to one of the other places I've lived - Charleston, SC. I think our kids need a good dose of local history to build up some local pride!

    Shane Dettman
    I do not have any memories, but my parents tell me about their fond memories of the terminal. My mother was poor and she used to go there just to listen to the man call out all of the trains. Then she would go to the restaurant and have a chocolate coke. My father used to work in there for the phome company.

    The surrounding neighborhood is basically run down and slum. The vandalism has killed the building. I wish I could buy things like the terminal and hide them from all the vandals. Maybe someday I can buy it. When ever I get the heck out of school. I take a huge interest in architecture of buildings and I get upset when people don't respect them.
    Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
    Buffalo neither does a good job preserving its architechtural heritage or helping restore it.

    Floyd Baker
    I have many memories of the building having working in it and explored it's every nook and cranny from 1959 until 1964. I too, took many (b&w) photographs of the exterior, interiors, people working, the trains in the yard, etc. When we started there, it was still in "full" operation. A clothing store, jewelery store, bar and lounge, restaurant and snack stand opposite, newstand, barber, drugstore, shoeshine, and others. I understand what I have now. Beautiful memories of a time that will be no more. I remember, being low on the totem pole, we worked each holiday. Every July 4th I would go to the top of the tower and watch the fireworks across the city. One night a "gigantic" rocket went up on Paderewski Street and went off seemingly right in front of me. This giant orange fireball took up my entire field of vision. The biggest "bang" I ever saw.

    I also know the man who is held most responsible for the current state of the building.

    We understand that in his well meaning efforts to *save* the building, it cost him dearly. I can't go into it but with no help from *anyone* fate took over. Their were things that *could* have been done but weren't. The I.R.S. for instance, moved to Appletree Mall instead of takeing over this historic site as it "should" have done according to several Federal, historic preservation, guidelines. These pages are extremely well done. They convey a lot of urgency and love. This is what this building brings out. It must be saved!!
    How has the surrounding neighborhood affected the Terminal?
    I would put it the other way around. The terminal put many people into the area in the past. It is now rather depressed. The Broadway Market is failing and the area is missing the many small stores and other amenities of a busy community. With major use of the terminal, this neighborhood can thrive again. To destroy the terminal will be to destroy the community. Removing the terminal will create a vast wasteland where nothing will grow.

    We have lost much in the past. The glory of our heritage. We are now on the brink of losing the S. S. Canadiana. This grand ship that was a part of so many lives. This sole survisor of Buffalo's great maritime past when this city gained it's title, "Queen City of the Lakes". When shipbuilding was a part of our society. This ship can be made to live again. It would create jobs, economic development, cultural activities, tourism. It would be a playhouse, a restaurant, an entertainment center with bar, stage and dancefloor. It would bring in movie makers, conventions, visitors from the Niagara Falls, Canadians, and elsewhere, to sail on a totally unique, turn of the century Victorian Passenger Steamship. Now, the D.O.T. is going to dump the funds for this project somewhere outside of Western New York. The people who will not benefit from the Canadiana are prevailing.

    The new waterfront, if it gets built, needs the Canadiana to bring the crowds but there are those who look on it as "competition". Then there are others who are just plain ignorant. That is the norm in this regard, here in Buffalo.

    It will bring in a few housand visitor a year to the area but we can't see where any architecturally inclined tourists who come to see this building, will stay around long enough after, to do anything worthwhile for the people of Buffalo and Western New York. They will be on their way to the Falls... The Canadiana on the other hand would put all our children on the water, for decades to come. It would give their lives excitement, education, rounding and just plain parent/child bonding, sailing Lake Erie. And; for practically nothing. The News says it doesn't want to see that happen.

    Ed Rzadkiewicz
    My father was a clerk at the terminal from 1932 till 1977. I lived on nearby William St in the 1950's and was a frequent visitor to the terminal and nearby stockyards. I think it is a travesty that this beautiful building was allowed to be destroyed but I think it may now be too far gone. The people of Buffalo seem so short sighted. Take a visit to Pittsburgh and see the beautiful mall that was built in the old rail terminal. It is a real draw for tourists and the local residents with shops, restaurants and boutiques.
    Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
    There have been a number of treasures that are lost forever. ie: Larken Bldg., DL&W Terminal, Old Erie Cnty Library. It seems like any efforts at preservation are fragmented with no overall plan. It seems like politics and infighting and hidden agendas are hindering most serious efforts.

    I really enjoyed visiting your Central Terminal site. My father and 3 of my uncles worked there and as I mentioned I loved and grew up around trains and railroading. Many of the photo's brought back a lot of memories. My father was a baggage clerk for a number of years and often took me for rides on the electric baggage carts through the tunnels which ran like a maze under the platforms. He often took me up in the tower or to the baggage dept. offices which overlooked the tracks.

    Barry E. Stark
    Very sad at its current condition. Such a beautiful building! Have been a train buff it seems since birth! Would have enjoyed being around durring its hayday! Some day, i'll get up the nerve to go into it!
    If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
    Perhaps office space. Or maybe a museum, of Buffalo and her history. Granted we already have a history museum, but this one could be strictly of "BUFFALO STUFF" if you know what I mean, perhaps a Railroad History Museum!

    I believe for the terminal to be a viable concern, the surrounding area would have to be revitalized as well. There would be no one wanting to venture to the terminal in the area that it has around it at the present time. I believe that the building now being under the control (or soon to be) of the Polish Community center (?) is a step in the right direction! lets continue positive, forward looking decisions as best we can!
    Adam Barr
    I'm from cleveland and heard about the building in trains magazine. I'm a photographer and was riding my bike around the city taking pictures and rode to the station. I was stunned with how amazing this building was. It was the most fantastic station I had ever seen. I fouund the statue at front intereesting as well. I have seen many stations and this one beats them all even the terminal tower and CUT in cinncinatti. I wish is were preserved.

    Kathy Kopp
    I'm a Amherst native, and I had been living in Maryland. My children and I hadn't been on a train, so on that visit we traveled by train. Very enjoyable. We had a great time.
    If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
    Small shops, Tea Room, Large Ball room for Paries, Wedding etc. Smaller rooms for small weddings, shower, office etc. Railroad Museum, Beer & Brewery Museum Bring in craftman of lost arts. Inside Sidewalk cafe. Top floor Business Offices, to help pay the expenses. a Model train to visit, passenger, engine, baggage etc. I could go on and on if only I had money!!
    Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
    I know for years, people have been trying to restore the terminal, and as of today nothing has been done. SO-no,they are not preserving our heritage. The terminal is a very large part of buffalo history. i had a tour of the terminal about 15 years ago and it wasn't in good shape then.