Buffalo spent years trying to forge a “signature bridge” during the arguments surrounding the Peace Bridge. But we already have a signature bridge – the Skyway. This bridge is our signature bridge; it is one of our most prominent and distinctive icons. The bridge is graceful as it swoops around, and it is high – some of the best views of the lake and city are from that bridge. The bridge represents the might of Buffalo industry in the 1950s, and it still reminds us of the reason Buffalo is here – the lakes and the river.
Buffalo had a very dismal record of tearing down significant older buildings that were perceived to be no longer functional. Lately, Buffalo has moved away from that ethic. We hope Buffalo does not lurch back to that tenet with respect to the Skyway. Phrases such as “functionally obsolete” that are ascribed to the Skyway are eerily reminiscent of the phrases bandied about for every important building we lost in Buffalo.
In February, 2014, we wrote to The Buffalo News concerning the endless possibilities that could flow from keeping the bridge; many similar ideas have been incorporated into some of the proposed bridge designs, including the winning design, the “City of Lights,” displayed recently at the Gateway.
If the high part of the bridge remains, it would be Buffalo’s improved version of New York City’s High Line. Think of possibilities – a café/beer garden up there, watching the sun go down over Lake Erie from so high up, feeling the breezes in the summer at those cafes, runners and cyclists, and cross-country skiers in the winter.
Other cities have hill-climbs – we could have the only bridge climb. And vendors – we could join the long tradition of the medieval Ponte Vecchio in Florence. A weather station up there for the ones who love winter and want to take a selfie in a howling blizzard – they wouldn’t have to drive to Mt. Washington.
Do not tear
the Skyway down.
Robert and Hana Jacobi