Mayor Byron W. Brown on Friday announced the newly designated “Washington Street Literary Corridor” outside the Central Library. (Aaron Besecker/Buffalo News)

Downtown Buffalo has a newly designated area that recognizes the city’s rich literary history along with present-day efforts tied to the written word.

The new 0.8-mile “Washington Street Literary Corridor” stretches from Lafayette Square north to Virginia Street.

Anchored at the southern end by the Central Library, the corridor encompasses a variety of businesses and organizations with an interest in literary arts, reading and learning,

“This stretch of Washington has developed into a major hub of vibrant literary activity,” Mayor Byron W. Brown said Friday in issuing a proclamation that designates the corridor.

In addition the library, the stretch of Washington also includes Just Buffalo Literary Center, the Western New York Book Arts Center and Plur•al•ity Press.

The designation gives a coalition of groups involved in literacy efforts in Buffalo a way to get identified, said Laurie Dean Torrell, executive director of Just Buffalo Literary Center.

While there are significant sites in the city beyond just Washington Street, organizations will be able to use this designation as a place to start and to continue to grow, Dean Torrell said.

“Just Buffalo Literary Center believes in the love of reading, the art of writing and the power of the literary arts to transform lives and communities and we are so thrilled to be part of this effort today,” she said.

The coalition within the corridor is planning to put up banners marking the area by sometime this fall, she said.

Buffalo, once home to Mark Twain and F. Scott Fitzgerald, also has been home to other noted playwrights, novelists and poets.

email: abesecker@buffnews.com

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