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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.

Bill Lisk
Years ago, I boarded PRR trains to Central Pa. at the Terminal. No one with any appreciation of landmarks could be happy about the present condition of the terminal. I'm delighted that you have constructed this excellent web site covering the history of this fine old train station. Hope that your efforts help to save the terminal.

Joshua Blay
You shold be proud for posting this info on the net. The more people that know, the better chance at survival this terminal gets. From your descriptions and pictures, this station needs help NOW. Is there a group set up to take care of the station? If it's on the Register can't any funding be used? Reading this made me sad and angry with all the groups associated with the demise of the station. I hope something will be done and save it before it's too late, and soon.

Patricia Schade
I am retired now....but was born in Buffalo many years ago and the terminal was always a special place to visit. I would be happy to help preserve it if I can be of any help.

I was so happy and surprosed to see your site on the net. I can't believe how well you captured the emotions one feels as they walk into central terminal and finally get past that initial feeling of fright and terror. The amazing beauty that this building holds even shines through with all of the broken glass, missing components, and creepy darkness. It is still gorgeous and makes a person stand in awe to just absorb everything that is in your immediate vicinity, nevermind the endless rooms and floors there are to explore.

I was just there last week, and even the amount of destruction from the time you took your photographs to the time I took mine is appalling and heart breaking. My first reaction to this structure was to run and hide from the corners and darkness where anything could be lurking and waiting for an unexpecting sole, but my second reation which only came about 2 minutes later was to cry. How could this happen? How could people let this happen? How could my parents and other people's parents and grandparents allow this to occur? Why didn't they want to do something so that this rich place would be there for me, and for my children someday? I can't even express in words all of my feelings and emotions that are now attached to this place, as I explored and climbed all of the way to the top. I tried to take in everything, but it was impossible. The light faded and the journey ended. I will go back, but I know now that I need to hurry.

Chuck Maley
My first visit to the Central Terminal was in October of 1977, after reading in the paper that the station would soon close. I was 16 yrs. old at the time. I took a self guided tour and even got to see a passenger train waiting at the platform. When I was 20 yrs. old, I revisited the station with a few of my friends. Not knowing that somebody still lived there, we made it to the roof until we heard the police searching for us. I made it out without getting busted, but the same wasn't true of my pals. We weren't looking to cause trouble, just curious kids, thats all. I've been an old railroad buff since I was a child. It was always my idea, to explore the train stations of Buffalo. We even got to see the old D.L.&W. down at the foot of Main St. in the mid 70's (your friend was right, it was in worse shape than the central terminal).

Anyway, we seem to share a common interest in the terminal and I really loved your web site.

Paul Evans
I stated my railroad career in the Central Terminal.

Joshua King
My father used to drive by the old station and tell me how much of a shame it was to see it look the way it did. The neighborhoods have fallen to pieces. If people can't take care of their homes, (how can) we expect them to take care of a monstorous building?

Bonny A. Lewandowski
My memories of Central Terminal begin when the buiding was already abandoned. It was on the way to my aunt's house and it was a treat to drive through the tunnel. I am a firm believer in historic preservation and reuse of existing structures whenever possible and I think the building should be utilized if possible. It would be a great loss to the city and the people of Buffalo.

It has been many years since I have visited the city and I am not aware of all the changes taking place. But the essence of the questions posed is that the building must used for something that is meaningful and very much needed. It needs to fill a void instead of creating a new category. A revitalized Central Terminal will have a much longer life the second time around.

Scott Tylicke
I loved your website about the Central Terminal in Buffalo. I actually drove up to it this past Saturday with my camera to see if I could get some pictures of it .... inside and out. It is a pretty creepy place to say the least, and I wasn't able to get up enough courage to get very close to it. I found the neighborhood to be a little intimidating. I'm sure, however, that if the Terminal were still operating, the neighborhood would not be in the condition it is in today. If Buffalo provided public transportation from the surrounding area to the Terminal, I think it would be a real boost for the neighborhoods. The traffic in and out of the area, including visitors from New York City and Chicago, would increase business. And the local politicians could use their influence and fanfare to make the terminal a real showplace.

I love old architecture, and actually rented the movie "Best Friends" to see if I could get a glimpse of what the inside looked like. I take the train fairly often (especialy in winter) down to NYC to visit my family and noticed that they're doing alot of work on the station in Utica. It would be a shame if they let the Central Terminal deteriorate further.

Thanks for the pictures and informative web site.

S. Budnack
I went to the terminal last year and was in there for about 5 hours. It's sick to see how this building has gone to hell and how everything was stripped. I have a video collection of steam engines and in one of them there is a steam train leaving the Central Terminal. If you walk down the tracks abit heading east, you can see the service area where they serviced the steam engines. It a shame that this station has been destroyed and there sure is alot of work to be reworked.

E.C. Schroeder
Thanks for the great page on the Terminal. The family and I were in Buffalo for a YMCA national swim meet, and I just had to see the Terminal. While my wife was coaching, I dragged our two kids, on a trip trying to locate the station. I was amazed when I finally found it, (actually not too hard to locate), it is still a gorgeous station. Unfortunately, it has reached the looks like it has reached an unsalvagable state. However, don't give up hope. I went to college in Worcester, MA, which had a wonderful station which was falling apart, and no one was using it and numerous plans had been suggested. I graduated 10 years ago. Then this year federal money was made available to renovate the station into a multi-modal faciltiy (it helped that Boston's commuter rail system was extended to Worcester). The project will cost upwards of 30 million.

I must admit that the station even as it crumbles, is an impressive sight, almost lords over the surrounding area. I enjoyed your articles about the station, and I must admit I did not realize that someone occupied the building until the mid-80's, it looks much longer. Is there any chance of saving the main building and demolishing the various surrounding buidlings? Although an amazing sight, it is also very depressing to see such a building abandoned. And then reading the descriptions of some of the other Buffalo stations, it is ashamed that none are left.

Bruce Turkiewicz
Both of my Grandparents live close to the Terminal. I can remember as a young child going to the station to watch the trains. I also remember seeing them leave on trips from the the terminal.

Ori Siegel
I have very fond memories indeed of Central Terminal. Though I can't be specific about the date, my first visit the place must have been sometime in 1957. Nothing is remembered about that visit except, naturally, the bison.

My last New York Central trip through Buffalo was in early April, 1965 when I took the train from Toronto to Beacon, NY. The train left Toronto as CPR tr.321 which magically became TH&B (Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo) tr.376 at Hamilton and even more magically became NYC tr.376 at Welland! (Some trivia: the train number changed from odd to even when it rounded the western end of Lake Ontario and changed direction from a westbound to an eastbound). A bit of research shows that the train left Toronto at 7:55pm for an 11:50pm arrival at Buffalo. I recall U.S. Customs and Immigration agents boarding at Welland to conduct their official business while the train was enroute to Ft. Erie.

Upon arriving at Buffalo, through passengers had a one hour to 2:40 wait as cars from the Toronto train (sleepers and coaches for New York and Boston) were prepared for coupling to through trains. Boston-bound passengers connected with tr.28, the New England States departing at 2:29am. For those of us going on to New York State destinations, however, the cars were coupled to tr.16, the Ohio State Limited which departed at 12:50am.

For most passengers, that one hour wait was passed in the comfort of the coach. For a train-loving 12-year-old travelling alone, however, the draw of the terminal was irresistable. As soon as we got in, and with the admonition from the conductor that we would be leaving punctually at 12:50 from a different track, I left the coach for a tour of the terminal and, bonus, a hot cup of coffee served up at the still open cafeteria. (Even at 12, I knew that coffee would not stunt my growth!). The object of the trip upstairs was, of course, the buffalo standing tall and proud on its pedestal announcing to the world that you were in a place of substance. Though I didn't know it at the time, the buffalo was in fact a bison. However, the name "Bison, NY" simply would not do! I also did not know at that time that I would not see this magnificent statue again until 1974.

I returned to Central Terminal twice again by train, once on a CP Rail/Amtrak (Amjunk in those days) trip Toronto to New York City in the autumn of 1974 and one last time on a trip from St. Thomas, Ontario to Rochester on Amtrak's Niagara Rainbow. That last trip did not afford an opportunity to visit the bison and I would not see the old animal again for another 8 years when I made one of several railfan trips to Buffalo. By then the terminal had been abandoned by the railroads and its future left to the whim of developers and the elements.

One other visit, in December, 1974, deserves mention. A friend of mine and I drove down from Toronto to do some shopping and railfanning in Buffalo. Late at night, we drove up to the terminal and went in to pay homage to the bison. We were met by a very suspicious Penn Central police sergeant who, very naturally, queried us as to our intentions. Since we had no notion of doing harm to the building, he warmed right up to us and invited us back to his office for a very lovely chat. I forgot his name years and years ago, but I will never forget his badge number: 401, because that happens to be the number of the major expressway through central Toronto. Perhaps someone knows the whereabouts of sergeant 401?

My last visit to the terminal had to be around 1983 or 1984 during which time I was allowed to walk around (though not in the truncated concourse) and look but take no photos. The attendant there claimed that the no photo policy had something to do with some litigation or other such nonsense. I got the distinct impression that he was protecting the interior of the terminal so that he could market exclusive photos of the building.

I have driven by the terminal many, many times since enroute to and from the thruway and never fail to glance over toward that magnificent structure. In recent years, I must say that if a building could cry, it would look like Buffalo Central Terminal. Over the last 5 or so years, it has taken on the appearance of something very old and very sad. It was not until recently when I saw the photos of the internal destruction published on your page that I realized just how devastated the terminal had become. It is truly sad that such an ignominious end should be the fate of such a landmark. It stands yet with a great dignity that belies the fact that its heart has been utterly ripped from its bosom. A little too flowery? Perhaps, but there you have my opinion.

As much as it hurts to say so, I don't see a future for this edifice even if the megabucks could be raised to restore and preserve the terminal. A tremendous loss to the City of Buffalo and another architectural gem lost to America.

Victor Golovin
I see the building every day, I stare at it while meditating, sometimes I watch lightning strike it or watch as the fog tries to blanket it. During a good sunset the building reflects a pink/red color, it was more dramatic when the windows were intact.

(If I owned it,) I would live at the top of the building. The view must be spectacular. But some ideas in no perticular order : luxury apartments,truck terminal{ NAFTA link enterprise zone}, museum, business suites,high tech communications center, including resturants, groceres,laundry, a real classy cosmopolitan environmet that was active 24 hours a day. Park like grounds, flowers. The perks of living in the city and the security felt in the suburbs.

From reading the Terminal home page i get the impression short sighted politics where against this project from the start and it continues. I'd like to have met the architects and experienced the visions they had in design. It's easy to get lost in thought when seeing the building, its so big, an obelisk, an anomoly. Its a mirage but its real. It's an archetectual parodox.

Keith Holdsworth
No memories. Never been in there, but have read articles about it in the papers over the years. It is a major disapointment that a building of such magnificent design could fall prey to vandals. It seems no one ever even tried to make efforts to save such an enormous land mark. I would think such a structure would be able to get local, state and federal funds for its preservation. Much like the state taking over the barge canal.

I would think it could be used for a multitude of purposes. The shopping center is a good idea; that in conjunction with offices or the new holding center they have been talking about building and bickering over for so long. Maybe put in one of the multi ice rink complexes they have been discussing. A holding center in part of it would increase a police presence in the area to deter further vandalism.

How could the city let some of the buildings dissappear from the great exposition the way they did. Time waits for no man. Unfortunately man is mortal and some men may never appreciate their dreams or asperations in life. You and I my friend may never see anything done with this once magnificent structure within our time, unless of course we have alot of money. It should not be allowed to waste away.

Tom Olszewski
Every now and than, I drive up to the terminal and look at what once was a grand design and tears fill my eyes as too what I see. I would have loved to have seen the terminal operational.

There are times where you have to get rid of the old to make way for the new. Case in point, the grain elevators, just because they are a part of our past, what can be done with them? It would cost more money to repair them (if possible) than to tear them down. That's the case with alot of buildings in downtown Buffalo including the old AM&A's building. The foundation of the floors are cracking and to repair them would cost 5 times as much as it would to build a new building.

What we need is the people that have and still are making their money in the area to build it up again; to put Buffalo back on the map and give the "Queen City" back her crown.

Chip Ordway
No memories, but even in it's current state, I am dying to explore the inside. I've explored many abandoned depots in my recent years, (I'm only 22!), and even in their abandoned state, you can get a sense of the history that each one holds.

P. Proefrock
I worked for the NYC in Central Terminal in an office on 7th(?) floor from 1956-1959. I left the railroad after 13 years in 1959. The concourse was deserted most of the time in the late 50's. Great web page.Very sad about terminal.

I truly wish it could be saved.

Wow. The Buffalo Central website moved me a little. I've been all over that building, at least, everything that isn't fenced off. The basement, the clocks, the observation deck, everything. I only wish I had done this earlier. Much of what remains even in your '93 pictures is now gone, or innaccessable. I was wondering what caused the destruction of the ladies room on the first floor there.... I realized it was vandalism, but I just couldn't imagine a vandal so thourough.

What really moved me was the old photos... It's so odd to see the station in working condition, and learning what I could only speculate about from the evidence in there. Thanks alot... I'll be back to read more about. It's cool to know that we're not the only ones who explore for reasons other than vandalism. It's really shameful that they (Amtrak is it?) are letting that place rot.

Andrew Bisantz
My memories of the terminal as an active structure are few... my parents tell me of taking me there in the late 70's, but this is a hazy memory at best. More recently, I remember exploring it in high school with photography friends (almost as popular an artsy-photo spot as the abandoned grain mills on Military road). It is such a marvelous structure even in its current state of disrepair. I make it a point to drive by every time I visit the area. It is a place most definitely haunted by the spirits of history...

If you were the owner of Central Terminal, what you would use the facility for?
Currently living in Cleveland, Ohio, I have seen first-hand how cities DO have the ability to rebuild themselves. Not only the train terminal here (Tower City Center) but also the Flats area (still coexisting within lower-class and industrial neighborhoods) point to the fact that with a strong civic initative and leadership such areas can thrive. However, the location of Central Terminal cannot be ignored. It is possibly too far out of downtown to link it inexorably with the image of the city. Also, environmental factors must not be ignored. The grounds of the terminal may have become too polluted to be safe. My fantasy would be to see it restored to its glory as a rail terminal, but I think it is far more likely that I would be able to transport myself back in time to the 40's and 50's when it was the glorious mid-point on the 20th Century Limited route (all cynicism intended). y are linked, but it's not the decline of the lower east side that has caused the terminal's current state. It is more a symptom of larger economic and leadership problems plaguing Buffalo in general.

Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
Reasonably so, but seeing what Cleveland is able to do with so little (of architectural interest, that is) it is discouraging to see that Buffalo has done so little with its enormous wealth of important historical architecture (industries included right up there with the Frank Lloyd Wright houses). It would depress me terribly to see Central Teminal go the way of the Larkin Building.

Scott Williams
I grew up in the shadow of the terminal. It is like a ghost ship now,meandering aimlessly to its' impending doom. This facility could be used to serve the needs of the community in which it stands. To build such a structure today would not be cost effective. To remodel this one would be almost as expensive, but it would show true investment in our community,and our heritage.

The terminal is like a magnet. It has influenced the surrounding neighborhood as well as been influenced. In its current state we can only say that it is negative in its influence.As are the neglected and decrepit housing which surrounds it. Both have to be addressed at the same time. The city of Buffalo has not initiated one project on its own for the preservation of any structure. If it has ,I would certainly like to know where and when a city official (w/out any prodding from an interest group) undertook such action.

We need more forums such as these so we can let our feelings over such issues be known.

James Gaskin
I would like to see a music/recording complex/Arts district apartment co-op started...Full recording studios highlighting Buffalo's music scene,nightclub,concert hall and discounted high-rise apartments to attract an arts scene....the only way to survive is to create a liveable,safe area that appeals to people and also affords a sense of community....
The surronding community reflects on the building's current state....They need a sense of pride and something that is truly theirs...The East Side is in a terrible shape and needs industry before any of our pipe dreams for this beautiful station will be realized.....

Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage?
No, too much red tape to get anything done in this city... This is not a "can do" city... Our city fathers have left a jewel to decay and it disgusts me and is one reason i no longer live in the city i love.....

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. 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 maby 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. The surronding neighborhood is rather scarry. It would need to be cleaned up before any one would come to the terminal.

I would enjoy sharing my B&W photos I took with this page when they come back.

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.

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 is good shape then.

Michael Geyer
I am too young to remember anything about central treminal. (unfortunately) But I was curious and interested enough about two years ago to pay a closer visit/ My friend and I work downtown and decided for lunch one day we would "check it out". I was at a loss for words the terminal was incredible...

Lunch was only an hour so we had to go back but we assured each other we would return! Later that month we did, we drove right to the taxi area and got out to look around. We gazed in through the boarded up doorways...... we were scared but we had to go in. We cautiously walked in and we again were awe of the enormous lobby. We just stood there only saying "wow this is unbelievable" could you imagine this place during its era? We slowly proceded through the various rooms and came across the bathrooms that you spoke about in your text. We couldn't believe all the marble, things are not built that nice nowadays.......... Our expedition was ended abrubtly when two undercover police officers came in........ they didnt say anything to us but we knew it was time to go.........

The neighborhood has had a great deal to do with the current condition of the terminal My girlfriends grandparents (polish) who lived on Lopere recently were forced to move from that neighborhood which was there home for many many years. People dont want to be there. Its not really safe at night. If it were downtown a little more (which until recently has been on the increase for safety) new restoration plans for the terminal might have been able to be made.

Is there any way to form a group to travel through the terminal? Is it concedered trespassing? I would love to go through there one more time taking a camera to save the memories in case the teminal is some day torn down could you please send me an email if this could be a possibility.

Tom Widzinski
My grandmother lived on Fillmore and William, and we'd go for walks to Central Terminal, talking to all the Polish ladies along the way. The Terminal was still being used then, but obviously not like in it's heyday. If I was the owner, I could never justify spending the amount of money necessary to make the building useable again. If I were Bill Gates, maybe I could afford the good deed to the city, but a businessman has to make a profit. I don't think hotels, casinos etc. could ever recoup the costs, when a new facility in a better area would be so much less.

New York Central made a mistake putting the building where it is when it did, plain and simple. You can't blame a neighboorhhod for being what it is - a poor neighboorhood. The vandalism is probably made easier because of where the building stands, but any unsupervised empty building is bound to be trashed, whether in the east side of Buffalo, or in Amherst.

A look through the book "Buffalo Architecture: A Guide" will show that Buffalo has done a good job of preserving its architectural heritage with the population/economy it has to deal with. There are at least 5 major Frank Lloyd Wright works Buffalo can claim. These do not make up for the loss of the Larkin building, but building such as city hall, the Guaranty Building, Kleinhan's and Shea's are just a few examples of the achitecture Buffalo has preserved. I'm certainly not an expert, but my travels around the country have proven to me Buffalo packs a lot of excellent architecture in a small area, and that it's unfair to portray the city as a enemy of architecture.

The openning narrative whic describes risking a "visit" to the current Central Terminal is very accurate. Many areas contain drops that can kill someone unaware of their existance. I wonder how long it takes till someone is killed roaming the Terminal, similar to what happened in one of the grain elevators - I can asssume this would lead more quickly to the Terminal's demolition.

Finally, as much as I love architecture and railroad history - if it were a choice between using Buffalo's limited resources to re-develop the waterfront for the future, or pour money into the past, I would have to choose the future.


Mark Black
I don't have any memories of the terminal but worked in it's shadow for several years. I am very interested in architecture and trains. I love the building and almost shed a tear when I saw it up close. I just couldn't believe the state it is in. Without a doubt. nothing can be done to bring the public in there. People will not feel safe.

Greg Jankowiak
The only memories I have of the terminal in somewhat operation is the last Dingus Day held there. The surrounding neighborhood has effected the terminal because the people that live there now are new to the area and to start they don't take care of their own homes let alone the things around them. But the biggest problem is the city officials!!!

Cindy Guguentz
Although I don't have any personal memories of the terminal, it is great to learn the history of this architectural masterpiece. I would like to see it used again as a train station- it would be incredible to have it become part of the city's public transportation system. I feel it is unfortunate that we must see our architectural heritage through pictures and memories of generations past. I feel it is an obligaion to preserve the rich history that we have left in buildings such as this terminal. Great site. I very much enjoyed learning more about Buffalo's past.

Carol Evanisky
Too young to have memories. It's a shame the building cannot be saved. Being in the condition it is, I believe the building should be demolished, sadly. Luckily, we have pictures. I was born and raised in this city. Just recently became interested in its past. I thank you for all of your time and effort on the subject! I enjoyed reading it.

Andrew M. Kloc
I feel that the state that the building is in now is absolutely pathetic. The neighborhood has dragged it down since the building was closed, but the vandalism that occurs there would never have had the oppurtunity to happen if it weren't for the carelessness of those who could have saved the building.

This city is blessed to have been endowed with brilliant architecture, yet most people don't even know. The reason is beacause this city does nothing to preserve these buildings. Three glaring examples come to mind, those being the now demolished Larkin Building, the grain elevators on the Buffalo River, and the Buffalo State Hospital, which is now in a state of disrepair.

Bob Willer

Chris Reger
I recently went to the terminal on 5/17/97 and explored the whole main tower up to the very top. My friends and I also tried to go into the basement but we were to scared (it was 11:30P.M.). We were amazed at the destruction that has been caused and at the same time amazed at the beauty. The view from the roof was exciting. We found the control room and boiler room which is flooded with almost five feet of water. We checked out the 13th floor along with the 10th where the clocks are and many other floors. We went back again on 5/19/97 and explored the outter branches, this is where we found the boiler room. I have one question though, are there any trains in there?, if yes ,where are they?