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REVIVING A LANDMARK

A Student Celebration of the Visual Arts Show will take place from noon to 5 p.m. May 7 and 8 in Buffalo's historic Central Terminal. More than 1,500 pieces of art, from 23 high schools and two colleges, will be featured. Admission is free; pizza lunches can be purchased. The event will feature live music by the Williamsville North Jazz Ensembles.

"It's something we're trying to do for the community," said Brad Curcio, the Williamsville North art teacher who is coordinating the show. He is also a member of the events and planning committee at the Central Terminal, which is located at Paderewski and Memorial Drives in the City of Buffalo.

The Central Terminal opened in 1929 and served as a train station until 1978, when Amtrak diverted all passenger train traffic to the Exchange Street Station downtown and to Depew. The terminal spent nearly two decades sitting idle and sustained extensive damage and decay from vandals and the weather. Nearly everything of value was stripped from the building and sold during the 1980s and early '90s. In 1997, the building was sold to the Central Terminal Restoration Corp., an all-volunteer organization, which is working to clean up and rehabilitate the building.

Upon entering the terminal, one is dwarfed by the immense size of the interior. You can still see where the ticket areas were and clearly make out signs on the wall that say "TO BUSES AND TAXICABS" and "TO TRAIN CONCOURSE." One looks down the empty hallway and can still almost hear the faintest rumbling of a locomotive in the dark.

Millions came through here at one time, residents of a different city, a different region, and a different era. And although the building still needs a lot of work, it, like the City of Buffalo, still stands today, poised to be redeveloped for the future.