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If I could I would move it downtown or closer to downtown and make it the default Buffalo train station with a Metro Rail connection. Elimination of the Depew station is in order and a consolidated ground transpotation center is needed incorporating a bus station, Amtrak station, and (as previously mentioned) a Metro Rail Hub. At first I would have it boarded up and have security to protect what is left in the building.
Watching the sun set past the building while taking my break on the dock at the Postal Service...it was a good introductory subject to break the ice and talk to other new employees.
HAHAHAHA!!!! Two words: Larkin Building! Until the restoration of the Darwin Martin house, Buffalo pretty much wrote the book on architectural terrorism.
I use to help run a hockey leauge out of the train station. Lot of good memories about that as well as exploring the place. We have a lot of good architecture downtown that has been knocked down already and is not being maintained. I think this question is highly impacted by private owners who do not understand the importance of the buildings the use/own.
By the time I was old enough to be aware of it, the teminal was essentially abandonded. I remember a photo essay in the Courier-Express, that mirrored the conditions so well documented on your Web page. Buffalo's three greatest strengths are its ethnic identity, its architectural heritage, and its proximity to the Niagara River. They poisoned the river, they have neglected or destroyed the landmarks (does the mayor Really want to build a new City Hall?), and every time I return, another symbol wonderful old neighborhoods-- a Polish bakery, a great kosher deli -- has disappeared. I never thought I'd hear a Buffalonian say that the "Olive Garden" is his favorite Italian restaurant, but last June, I did.
Everytime I go and visit my Mom, who still lives in Stadniski Gardens Apts, all I have to do is look out her window and smile... I see an old fried, Central Terminal... It is so much a part of my memories... First, I went there on a field trip from school, then my Grandma lived on Curtis St. and we would walk there for candy with my Dad... I went there when my husband & I were dating and we used to steal a kiss or two in one of the halls when we would go there for a newspaper in the evening...
Most of the people in the suburbs are afraid to come into the neighborhood... I don't feel that way, but then it takes a lot to scare me... The hoodlums who live around there use it as their private playground... If the parents of the children and teens who live there would control their kids, then something could be done with it, but until that happens, any thing done to it would be vandalized immediately...
I used to go there as a boy in the early 50's with my parents to pick up my Aunt and Uncle who came in from New York City.I recall how large the grand Buffalo statue was. All of the marble and going down to the tracks where the trains were. I went to the building recently with my son and was sadly depressed with the decay of such a once beautiful and proud building.
Charles J. Restivo
I travelled through the treminal when I was in the Navy in 1959 It was an impressive building that had a good restaurant. I recall downtown Bflo and the surrounding areas as booming businesses (remember Main & Chippewa Sts in the 50s & 60S?).The Terminal was an important part of the Bflo history in those days.
I remember a carnival there when I was really little. but also exploring the passenger concourse as a teenager, with friends, living in the area, the terminal was the one place that was always off limits, but as with all kids it was always the one place we wanted to go to. The East side seems to be treated like a cultural wasteland, as if it doesn't exist. Hell I'm sure if we had a Frank Lloyd Wright house on the east side we'd be loaded wth funding!
(I would use the terminal as a) grave site for (President) Nixon for destrorying RR passenger service!
I have only seen it in current condition. I have walked alone at night in Buffalo's worst neighborhoods with little fear. I was truly afraid to be there.
It is very sad to see the destruction of such an incredible building. Vandalism is such an attack on the human spirit - it's destroying the product of someone's work. In this case, it's destroying something that will probably never be recreated. Workmanship like this just doesn't exist anymore, and is way too expensive. In its own way, this craftmanship is an endangered species - once it's destroyed we can never get it back.
My friends and I like to "explore" abandoned buildings and sometimes we go ice-skating in the flooded levels of the station. In the winter is the only time you can see certain parts of it.
Heather & Tim
My boyfriend and I recently discoverd the Central Terminal in early spring. The place is awesome. I found myself very upset at what I saw. The vandals have really gotten the best of the place. The people who take liberty in dumping there junk there are (putting it nicely) PIGS! I only wish the right people had taken the time to realize what was going on before it was to late and the cost grew higher and higher. Once again this is one of Buffalo's disappointments. Like many other locations that have been neglected (i.e.waterfront,etc.) I still lay most of the blame on our own city government! They claim our city is beautiful but when you get off the beaten path all you see is neglect, and in alot of areas, down right filth!! I must say it's a damned shame!!!
My mother would put me on the train to visit my grandmother in Rome, NY. I was around 12 and rode the train by myself. Too bad it was'nt initially built downtown, conversion to another use would of been easier. Makes me sad to see what condition its in now. It took too long to get the Darwin Martin house to a point of being restored. Should of been done years ago, also the Richardson complex too. Too much politics!!!!
My father to me there when I was younger and we had lunch outside om the grass. I wish I could see what it was like it was back in it's day. I would to see all the art deco.
I grew up in Buffalo but I am too young to remember very much about the terminal. It is a shame to see it in this condition, but demolishing it may be the best option now to prevent further destruction, injuries, etc.
John E. McGowan
My mother relocated here from N.Y.C.as an employee of New York Central in 1929. She met my father in Bflo.
It is the first sight that introduces the Canadian vistors to Buffalo. The building should at LEAST be stablized by securing the roof and openings.
When I lived in Buffalo, I always used to take friends there to show them the architectural masterpiece. (I left buffao in 96). I think it is so sad that the building went to shambles like it did. My mom and I often contemplated trying to find investors and buy it. We had this idea about converting it into a cultural center with different floors having different themes. We also wanted to have nightclubs in their ranging from Classical music and fine dining on the top floor to having blues, jazz, punk and rock venues. I often wondered what would happen to Central Terminal and I am glad that it may have another chance.
I clearly remember being taken for car rides with my parents and aunts/uncles. When we'd come upon the terminal....stories of the men leaving via train for the WAR (WWII) surfaced. There were always long pauses in their tales. They knew that many of their childhood friends would likely not return alive. I have lived away from Buffalo for nearly 30 yrs. It saddens me to see how the old ethnic neighborhoods are falling apart: West Side, Riverside. Architechturally they are gems. People wise - the original families couldn't be better. But the restoration fever has yet to strike. Seems that the PR should focus on neighborhood rehab first. What a mess. And, such potential.
Track #23 was always my own "gateway to the world." Last year when I rode past it on 448, I thought about how good the CUT in Toledo looked. If we could get more people who cared about their neigh- borhood to move into the area, there would be no room for the the hoodlums who ruin things.
The terminal closed when I was very young, but many of my older relatives have fond memories of their stops there(coming home from college,WW II, etc.). As far as the current state of the building is concerned, I am greatly saddened by its decline, but hopeful that it won't meet the same fate as the Larkin building.
Richard F. Wlos
My uncle came back from Korea through the terminal. My family used to walk through once in awhile. I photographed the terminal in about 1975. I also bought a fileing cabinet at one of the sales there. I wish I could have bought more memorabilia!
The bison on the way to trains. The wooden benches. The trains 24 hrs a day. The many people. The beauty of the architectural art deco style.
My dad worked for the railroad all his adult life and was a Penn Central employee when I was a little girl. I remember going to the "depot", as we called it, with him to pick up his paycheck. The memories are rather cloudy but I do have a few mental pictures that I can conjure up. I recall it was always fairly deserted and the main concourse was so big to my little eyes. I can "see" the buffalo and the ticket counters and what I think was a barber shop or a shoe shine shop. Going through the photo gallery you have assembled was great. This entire site is really well done. My brother hooked me up with it because he recently visited me and was so impressed with Grand Central Station. It is a pity that Buffalo's golden days are gone and one of her majestic buildings is now a ghost of itself.
Took a train out of there in 1969 and was amazed at the site; even then as young as I was I couldn't understand how any politician could let such a glorious landmark deteriorate to that point then, but realized that there was nothing in it for them. Had long talk with mother and father who went on about the terminal with many stories, leaving for WWII, basketball games for Canisus, etc.
I have no memories of Buffalo Terminal, but many of both of Rochester and Utica, NY. When steam was still running, I used to go with my Mother back and forth to visit my Great Aunt and Great Uncle, who was a track foreman for the Central out of Utica, NY. At least your terminal is still standing, the one in Rochester, NY made the wrecking companies money and no one seemed to bat an eye lash at that one! The same process could be followed as was done with the beautiful (of course smaller) terminal in Utica, New York. It was placed on the National Register so it will remain!
My earliest memory taking a train is catching it at the Depew station, and thinking "how can this little hut be a train station?" Does Buffalo do a good job of preserving its architectural heritage? This is a trick question, right? Everyone knows the litany of lost masterpieces, Wright's Larkin building, Olmstead's parkways, numerous other treasures. But on the bright side, those Walgreen's sure are pretty.
I remember picking up a relative there in the late 1960's when I was only 4 or 5 and running up the ramp from the platform when the engine released a burst of air. I went back with my grandfather about 10 years later to walk around when it was still in use. The last time I went in was just before Amtrack left, at which point it was looking run down. I last stopped by the outside a year or so ago and was surprised at how far it had declined. It is ashame that Buffalo couldn't save this landmark, but the bottom line is money, and there just isn't enough in Buffalo for such a project. Buffalo is probably doing the best can given the economic situation of the region for the past 20 years. We can all fault the city officials for tearing down landmarks back in the 60's and 70's, but every major city in the US was doing the same thing. The fact is that Buffalo needs more wealthy benefactors to help with preservation and a better economy to provide tenents for the older buildings.
I think the building has terrific potential, but it will take LARGE investments. Ralph Wilson? The new Bills stadium in the old train station? Where are our priorities???? I think this would be the place for Buffalo's new casino! There could be a hotel and offices in the buildings also. The problem is getting people to go to this part of the city.
No memories of Central. However I have fantastic memories of the terminal at the foot of Main St. Your site is so amazing to me that I am still up and it is now 5AM.
Losing the Larkin Building (I have an architecture degree and have a strong interest in Frank Lloyd Wright) was a national shame. Demolishing any of his major landmarks sullies an area's reputation for decades---anyone remember old Penn Station?