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Letter: Buffalo Central Terminal is worthy of preservation

Buffalo Central Terminal is worthy of preservation

Just days ago, the Urban Land Institute released a report urging necessary steps for the preservation of the iconic Buffalo Central Terminal because the institute believes its revitalization plays a pivotal role in uplifting its surrounding community.

The recommendations stem from a community meeting held in June, and include stabilizing the building to prepare it for adaptive use; engaging the community in the process of finding a new purpose for it; and promoting job creation through its refurbishment.

New York State’s Buffalo Billion was created to support projects that do this very thing. The initiative aims to create jobs, spur investment and generate economic activity for the Buffalo area. There is an opportunity to act now by granting $5 million of Buffalo Billion funding to stabilize the station.

This is certainly a building, and a project, worth the investment. In October, World Monuments Fund, which protects treasured places around the world, included Buffalo Central Terminal on its 2018 Watch. We recognized it among 25 threatened cultural heritage sites around the world because of its potential to create social impact.

State funds have been successfully used in the past to transform other Buffalo landmarks. Approximately $76 million in state funds were invested in the Richardson-designed Buffalo State Asylum, which reopened as the Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center just last year.

In fact, examples of conservation transforming communities can be found throughout the United States and around the world. Meanwhile, historic train stations across the country in places like Washington, D.C., St. Louis, Denver, Los Angeles and Kansas City have been refurbished and repurposed, becoming catalysts for development in their communities. If it can happen there, why not Buffalo?

Investing in Central Terminal restoration is an outstanding opportunity to empower and revitalize the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood. Buffalo should take it.

Joshua David

President and CEO

World Monuments Fund

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