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I took my camera to that building many times. It has lots of opportunities for photographs. Unfortunately I was never able to take any inside. I remember the guards wouldn't allow photographs to be taken inside... the reason? The way I remember it is that the building was filled with marble and old time soda fountains as well as the original art deco lighting fixtures, people were taking pictures of these and them telling people that they would be able to sell them these fixtures, that I take, were worth alot of money. I was told that one of the owners sold all of the fixtures because he needed the money for the building. My whole point is that the decline of the area started with the decline of the building, I lived in the area when the building was still in operation, that is when someone should have made the decision to do something with it. So that it would have went from an operational train station to an operational hotel... or whatever. Just that it would have went from one thing to another without have to close and be abandoned and then salvaged. It is too hard and costly to do it this way. I read through some of the comments about the neighborhood, welfare people, drug addicts, crime, vandalism. I lived there and I am not like that, the neighborhood was not like that, it is not Amherst but so what. The people who lived there were hard working people. People who live there now are hard working people. The neighborhood just needs a jump.
As a kid, I spent many hours in the teminal. My dad worked for NY Central from the early 30's until his retirement in 1973. I used to go up to the observation tower and places that most of the public were not allowed to go. In fact, I used to ride the trains to NYC and Syracuse (the 20th century), and even was allowed to blow the whistle on the engine. My dad was a conductor from the early 60's until his retirement. My sisters to this day still belong to the RR Credit Union.
I really only have a memory of going to pick up a cousin from Az there and I remember the big buffalo in the middle of the terminal. It is such a beautiful structure, I would love to see it put to use and restored rather than lost to a wrecking ball. My grandfather was a fireman, brakeman and finally an engineer for NY Central so you might say trains are in our blood. It would be wonderfull to see something come of this and hopefully the structure has not been damaged beyond repair
Mark D. Ballmer
I have no past memories of Central Terminal per say, but having lived in New York City and Westchester County, I know the value of preserving our bright U.S. rail history. I currently live in the Seattle Area of Washington State and sit on the board of Directors of The King Street Station Foundation. We are working hard to raise the $47 million needed to rehabiltate our large 1906 passenger station. It was built as the main station for the Great Northern Railroad and the Northern Pacific Railroad. Though our station hasn't fallen to such a level of destruction as Buffalo Central, Great Northern's former station has been a victim of a badly botched 1960's Federally funded make over, which involved removing and throwing out most of her heirlooms and fixtures. She was originally designed in the style of a great building in Venice Italy. Seattle was enormously proud of her for decades.
Considering I am only 14yrs old, I kind of remember some footage from the movie the Natural. I think the building should be restored EXACTLY the way it was. No slight modifications. Vandals and increasing crime obviously has not helped. If new upscale housing was created near the Terminal, crime would likely be reduced, less vandalism, and a better effort for future renovation and use.
I think it's wonderful. Haunting, brooding, impressive. I was back visiting in Buffalo and had gotten off track after leaving the Broadway Market (another favorite) and I saw it looming over the housetops. I was drawn to it and have gone to see it each time I have returned to Buffalo.
I was just visiting my Grandmother in Buffalo and being an art deco fan and enthusiast I had to see what the looming tower in the distance was. I drove up in awe with my father as I saw the most magnificent celebration of human existance falling to pieces as vandals bashed the place to bits before my eyes. I greatly appreciate that someone is trying to preserve the memory of one of man's greatest achievements.
It really saddens me because I hired out as a fireman there in Dec. 1962 I fired passenger trains out of there for 3 years. We received our physicals there. the crew callers were there and we picked up our pay checks there also.
I remember (age 5) this huge, beautiful building. I would visit it often until I left Buffalo in 1975. Very sad sight. I lived off of Broadway and we played around the Terminal,it was a neat place.
I, too, have rambled through the carnage that used to be Central Terminal, but not since about 1979. I used it as a passenger only once. Even an E8 in PC black looked wonderful as I descended the stairs to the platforms.
Bernard A. Watkins
I think it is falling apart just as many other buildings are in the over taxed and over regulated state of New York. I think it is falling apart just as many other buildings are in the over taxed and over regulated state of New York. Saving any building, railroad, or historic items always ends up being an all or nothing project. Perhaps little projects and small steps would result in more success.
When I was younger my uncle took me there, by then it was already shut down. There was paintings from kids all over. I always thought that buffalo should restore it PRESERVE part of its history! I remember the buffalo was still in the lobby when we were there we should not have been inside but i am glad we were.
It looks deplorable now. My dad worked there for many years when I was young and it was beautiful. I used to love to go there to take a train to Detroit. I remember it as being majestic.
My dad worked there and in the yards for 30 years. I grew up riding the trains form Buffalo to many places. Use to visit there when my mom worked there too. Remember the big steam engines coming and going. The different people waiting for trains or family or firends.As kid I thought it was the biggest building I have ever seen. And when driving in to Buffalo from the sounth you could see it standing tall and proud in the distance. You knew you where home.
Reminded me of South Station Terminal in Boston before it was fixed up in 1986. Its a beauty now and STILL a VERY BUSY railroad station.
I saw Central Terminal in the early 1980s when I worked for Conrail in New Haven, CT. The terminal was in terrific shape. Even the concourse was intact. I took many photos. I'll bet federal money is available to convert the terminal to an intermodal transportation center. Worcester Union Station in Worcester, MA is being restored as an intermodal transportation center. That station has been in a state of disrepair since the New York Central stopped maintaining it back in the 1960s! If that station can be restored, there's much hope for Buffalo's Central Terminal.
I rode Amtrak out of there quite abit and boarded the TH&B Budd Car for Fort Erie there several times a week in the 1970s.I also remember a ticket agent named George (last name forgotten) who always had a joke for me whenever I showed up to buy a ticket for Amtrak or the TH&B or often both. It was a good natured ribbing and it was the highlight of each trip, which was usually a Buffalo-Rochester round tripper of a few hours duration and very enjoyable at that. I think Central Terminal, in addition to resuming its role as a railroad station, would be a great place to display memorabilia of Buffalo's transportation past and house a research center for rail and other transport historians as well as the other uses I have suggested here. If anything should be thrown away it is the politicians who have turned City Hall into a cesspool of corruption and incompetency.
I live in Rochester and our Grand Rail Terminal was destroyed 30 years ago. It was designed by Claude Bragdon and was a wonder of the world. If it were here today, it would be the focus of downtown renewal. Buffalo, Please don't do something that later generations will know was really stupid. Build Buffalo on the station.
The last time I was to see her, my darling grandmother shared with me a picture of Central Terminal she had taken the day it opened: streamlined, glorious, a physical embodiment of the hopes and general mindset of the people of city of Buffalo. Gram, who died last year at the age of 98, was a resident of the east side for oer 40 years, and would often inquire about the state of her former home, and that of the city's most beloved landmarks. Although I told her of the delipated condition of her home on Antwerp street, I could not bring myself to tell her of the decay of Central Terminal, and of the unabashed public neglect that had brought about that sad state of affairs. As civic virtues decline, so, too, decline the elegance of our civic buildings, be they historic or newly designed.
The city we have known as Buffalo is dying before our eyes. In my lifetime, there was first the destruction of War Memorial Stadium, then the closing of Memorial Auditorium (which will likely suffer a similar fate)--to build soulless arenas with such names as "Marine Midland Auditorium" and "North Americare Park"! These edifices are symbolic of the modern fetishizing of Corporate America, and actually serve to detract from the city's now shaky reputation. "Waterfront Development?" Please! Look at the discarded treasures that surround us. Bit by bit, Buffalo is being destroyed--in fact eradicated--in the name of "progress".
Charles L. Faraci
My only memories are of what my parents have told me. My mother w/her parents picking up traveling relatives at the terminal. My father going off to boot camp from the central. I live in Lockport, where some historic buildings are being torn down to make way for a Walgreens. The main historic buildings that were torn down were from the international railway and the Erie / Lackawanna Railroad. And we have signs that read "Historic Lockport" imagine that! It makes me want to move away from people like that who allow these things to occur. If the Central terminal will be converted into a nursing home or some other non related spectacle - THEN IT SHOULD BE TORN DOWN! We do not need landmarks like that as lawyers offices and the like. Make it somewhat educational!
Remember taking my kids to view back in 1975. Was sad to see this former beacon being left to decay. Made it a point to stop by on 9/26/98 to see how it is holding up. Much worse than I recalled from previous visits. I had my wife with me and wanted to show her another landmark. Know where we went? To Seneca St. to the old Larkin warehouse.I showed her the one remaining section of F.L.Wright's office building,there was a plaque on it but that has been removed. You would think that as embarressed as Buffalonians are about destroying this treasure we'd at least rescue this little bit and relocate to a protected location as a reminder to our leaders,fellow citizens and future generations to cherish and save our heritage.Does Buffalo do a good job? You should already know the answer otherwise you would not have felt the need to create this forum.
My entire family on my mother's side all worked at the terminal from 1910-1964. I saw the terminal many times when it was a train station.
The horrible neighborhood has scared away all but the most dedicated lovers of the Terminal, dashed hope for revival, and called the City's adminstration away from it as a cause.
My memory of the terminal goes back to around 1957.When from that year to about 1960-65 we would take the train to Toronto several times a year. I grew up on the east side(Detroit street) and spent a lot of time hanging around the terminal. Sledding at devils hill(as we called it) and riding bikes down the hill from the main entrance. I left Buffalo in 1972 and every time I go back I have to pass the terminal and remember all the great times there. Back when we rode the trains to visit relatives or pick them up as a kid I was just enthralled by that buffalo . Looking at these pictures brings back the smells and sounds of the terminal bustling with people. Even as fewer and fewer people came I still would go back and wander around the place and just hang out and have an RC.
My dad used to take me there as a kid, to watch the trains. When I lived in Buffalo, I could see it from my window even though I lived several miles away. It's a beautiful building that is a sickening waste!
I grew up on the east side of Buffalo within walking distance of the CT. I was there when it closed, and when they tried to turn it over to businesses. It's beauty and architecture is unsurpassed by anything else in Buffalo. I would consider turning it into a Hotel/festival park complex-somewhere where out of towners could come and enjoy a historical landmark and be within driving distance of the waterfront and downtown. Creating a central area where festivals of all cultures could celebrate would be safer and more economical as far as providing security in a familar setting. A hotel complex would even provide a place for out of towners to stay while they enjoy the festivities and the neighboring local sights. Perhaps the subway could eventually extend to the Broadway Market and CT in time. And businesses could once again flourish in that part of the city.
The clearest memory of the Terminal is when I was 6 or 7 years old & my parents took me to the Terminal for the first and last time & my mother telling me how she'd come to the station to meet relatives arriving by train, & running down the ramp as fast as possible to meet them. She said that coming to station to meet family was fun, but the real thrill was running down the ramp. I also remember being in the station and can still visualize the "real" buffalo, and all the art deco words on the walls. Presently I stil find beauty in this building & can picture what the Terminal may have been like in the 20's-40's with people bustling through and solider meeting and saying good-bye to their families. It must have been simply wonderful.
The only historical sites that have been saved in Buffalo are much smaller than the terminal. It may be impossible to save such a large space that has such a specific purpose. I would like to see it used in the event we have to build a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills. Somehow the elegance and design of the terminal could be implemented in a modern stadium. Fans can commute by train from downtown!
I think it is very sad that the city, county, and state have let this building rot away. It's history and Buffalo's place in history should be reasons enough to attempt to preserve and restore what is left.
I took the train to NY in 1976, and thought it was the coolest place I'd ever been. It's still beautiful, in a decrepid sort of way - like a church to the industrial age.
My dad and my grandfather both worked for the railroad. As a little girl I remember taking the trains, using the ramps and the stairs, the big gold buffalo, the bathroom had a big black couch in it. I remember the mirrors. I also remember as I got older, playing hide and seek in there, we never vandalized it. It was sad to see how old and ruined it is now. I grew up on Concord St. and I have alot of memories of the terminal. I saw it everyday!!
James M.Szczublewksi Jr.
If no one shows intrest in the neighborhood, the Terminal will continue to rot and vice versa. It is disgusting and embarassing they way we treat our heritage.
The neighborhood itself has failed. It seems that every breath of life which is blown into Buffalo sooner or later gets sucked out. Maybe if the Terminal were utilized in a positive fashion, that would help the surrounding neighborhood as well. I'd love to see our history preserved. It's a vital part of what we are, and allowing it to dwindle is approving it's death.
My only visit to the terminal was in '79 with my mother, sister, and grandfather. Grandpa took us to the loading platform to catch a train back to Rochester. I remember the waiting area. It's sad to see a beautiful landmark rot like that. It should've been sealed off 15 years ago. Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage? Are you kidding? The city fathers have never planned for the future of Buffalo. The money wasted on that damn subway could've been invested in the community.
It took alot of battles to preserve what we have now, but I still do not understand why this place became a forgotten legend!
I had seen it a few times when I lived in Buffalo in 94-95. Never went into the building though, seemed to dangerous. I think that its terrible that the building has been left to rot and be stripped by vandals who actually went and sold all the items from inside. But progress is progress and no one could stop the auto from pushing the trains into near obsolescence. I thnk that the neighborhood around the Terminal makes it a difficult place to develop. Since the area isn't so great, how are owners going to get people to go there even when it is totally finshed? I mean are people going to leave Amherst and Orchard Park to visit the renovated train terminal in a bad area of Buffalo? Do those people even visit good areas of Buffalo?
Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage? NO. Let me repeat that for those in the cheap seats, NO. The city of Buffalo is only interested in MONEY. Proof is in the talks now of moving the zoo, and a new convention center.