Debate concerns more than mere ‘nostalgia’
In deciding where to put our new Amtrak station we find ourselves, again, tempted to chase the bargain while we ignore our larger role as citizens attempting to revitalize our city.
The word “nostalgia” was recently used by Mayor Byron Brown to describe the motivation of Central Terminal supporters in this hot-button debate. Supporters of a downtown station consider themselves fact-oriented and practical to their emotional and dreamy counterparts. They discuss ridership, they crunch numbers; their foremost points deliberate how visitors will get from point A to point B with a train station 2½ miles past the wrong side of the tracks.
Recently, two dozen Buffalo architects petitioned their support for our East Side masterpiece. These citizens understand that cities are celebrated for the artfulness and function of their public structures and that the Central Terminal, as it did in 1927, reflects the elegance of the city for which it was commissioned. Over the years, Buffalo has made countless devastating decisions when, preoccupied with its own relevance, it forgot to simply look in the mirror.
Frederick Law Olmsted wasn’t thinking practically when he decided to run a park through a city, Darwin Martin wasn’t concerned with logistics when he hired a brazen young architect to build his home and Louis Sullivan wasn’t crunching numbers when he decided to ornament his terra cotta. Buffalo’s future depends on its self-actualization, not mere “nostalgia.”