Let’s seize opportunity, boost Central Terminal
Last week, Buffalo’s beloved and beleaguered Central Terminal finally received the international recognition it deserves, joining 24 of the planet’s most endangered cultural assets on the World Monument Fund’s 2018 Watchlist.
This designation validates the terminal’s importance from an unbiased, independent source with a global view and breadth of knowledge. It helps those who would see the terminal’s potential realized before it deteriorates any further to communicate to a wider audience of potential investors. This is an important designation for our political representatives and funding organizations, too.
The Central Terminal’s turn in the limelight coincides nicely with Amazon’s search for a second location. Imagine Amazon HQ2@CT connected to Rochester by high-speed rail, making it accessible to employees from both cities.
Toronto’s commuter rail is already extending service from Toronto through Hamilton and St. Catharines to the U.S. border at Niagara Falls, Ontario. If we bring those trains over the bridge, we unite a binational region with a population and GDP that rivals some European countries – yet offering low-priced real estate and affordable living with plenty of room to grow.
The mass transit connections Amazon demands could be satisfied by building out our Metro Rail system according to its original 46-mile design – starting by extending the existing line to Amherst in one direction and from downtown to Buffalo Niagara International Airport in the other. Amtrak service could be relocated from Depew, making the Central Terminal a nerve center of Western New York’s 21st century transportation and industry while saving a world-class monument.