Visit us, invest in us, Buffalo, NY - America’s Best Designed City – is on the way back.
Four pictures tell a four thousand word story about Buffalo’s heritage thanks to the Library of Congress and my cousin Bill. Bill by the way lives in Shrewsbury, England UK. He had received an email from a friend who had sent him several dozens of images that had been restored by the Library of Congress from the turn of the 19th century. Within that group of almost 100 photographs were four from the City of Buffalo.
I thought I would share them as they are great images of a City that was an economic giant 110 years ago and was the 8th largest U.S. city as a result. The will be no more comment the pictures like all pictures tell their own tale. Hope you enjoy.
”Jack-Knife Bridge, City Ship Canal, foot of Michigan Street ” 1905
Cycling the Erie Canal Kicks Off July 7th
500 Miles, 400 Miles, 8 Days!
The 15th annual Cycling the Erie Canal bike tour from Buffalo to Albany begins this Sunday, July 7th in Buffalo. More than 500 cyclists of all ages will set off on the Canalway Trail for the 400-mile, eight-day journey. Along the way, they will be treated to fine scenery, fascinating history, and the extraordinary hospitality of canal communities.
Watch for riders as they pass through your area, welcome them to your community, or join them for a mile or two!
2013 TOUR SCHEDULE
Sunday, July 7: Buffalo to Medina
Monday, July 8: Medina to Pittsford
Tuesday, July 9: Pittsford to Seneca Falls
Wednesday, July 10: Seneca Falls to Syracuse
Thursday, July 11: Syracuse to Rome
Friday, July 12: Rome to Canajoharie
Saturday, July 13: Canajoharie to Scotia
Sunday, July 14: Scotia to Albany
Cycling the Erie is organized by Parks & Trails New York. The NYS Canal Corporation is the Premier State Sponsor, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor is the event’s Heritage Sponsor.
I’m looking forward to this. I will watch the bikers as they pass the Lockport Locks.
Are you interested in an education based on World Heritage and its impact on today’s world? If you are you might want to take a look at these three institutions of higher education. As the world’s population and economy expands the focus is becoming more and more about the future. Growing numbers of people are becoming disinterred in the past and global heritage. Some one has to lead the struggle to save our heritage.
It has been 5 years since the USA released its list. No change to USA UNESCO World Heritage Site nominations. As far as is known, Western New York elected official on the local, state, national level and the public seem uninterested in supporting a nomination for the Erie Canal or Buffalo’s Frank Lloyd Wright “Darwin Martin House.”
About one year ago I even posted the idea on Linkedin.com to the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise groups under the heading “An effort to have the Erie Canal designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site might lead to business development.” Received only one like from its 1000 group members.
Here is the list of USA nominated locations.
Last Revision: 1/30/2008
I don’t have any political connections. No one has responded to me these past 2 years. If you do, send the official you know this form. It will download to you as an MS Word document.:
This is the link to the official UNESCO World Heritage Site Operational Guidelines
Summer is nearly upon us! With numerous events scheduled throughout the Canalway Corridor each week, it’s a great time of year to enjoy the tremendous heritage and recreational appeal of our waterway and trails. We especially want to call your attention to the BIG FOUR corridor-wide events happening this year.
Please also refer to full 2013 schedule of events at: www.canals.ny.gov/news/events/calendar/index.html.
Beth Sciumeca, Director
Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor
Some interesting facts about the Erie Canal include the fact it impacted America and America did not construct it.
1. President Thomas Jefferson ( of Virginia) would not aid in the construction of the canal and called it nothing short of madness.
2. President James Monroe (of Virginia) vetoed legislation that would help in the construction of the canal saying it was unconstitutional.
3. When the Erie Canal opened in 1825 it cost $7,000,000 to construct (about $4,000,000,000 today) and was paid off in less than 10 years.
4. The United States paid $7,200,000 for the 586,000 sq. miles that is Alaska in 1867.
5. Dirt and Rubble removed during the construction of the canal was used as land fill around New York City.
6. At the end of its first full year of operation, 13000 canal boats transported 40,000 settlers westward from Albany.
7. At the end of its first full year of operation – 562,000 bushels of wheat – 221,000 bushels of flour – 435,000 gallons of whiskey – 32 million board feet of lumber – totally about 185,000 tons of cargo moved eastward towards Albany on the Canal.
8. The terminus of the Erie Canal in Buffalo was called the Erie Basin. The terminus of the Erie Canal in Red Hook Brooklyn was a man-made harbor for canal boats called the Erie Basin.
9. By the time tolls were removed from the canal in 1882, $121 million dollars in revenue went to the New York State treasury.
10. Dewitt Clinton, father of the Erie Canal, died in 1828. He left his family in financial trouble. He managed Erie Canal finances extremely well and he was unable to match that astuteness in his personal life.
Incidentally, the Erie Canal, renamed the New York State Barge Canal, is the only major inland waterway in the United States that has never been maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the taxpayers of the United States.
Finally, according to the 2007 Internal Revenue Services spending statistics, the Commonwealth of Virginia is the beneficiary of more U.S. government spending than 46 U.S. states. But, why hold a 200 year old grudge?
I work for Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises during the summer tourist season . Yesterday’s Memorial Day tourist season kickoff saw a large group of tourists arrive from South America to take the cruise. Last year I had the opportunity to be with groups that came from Puerto Rico, Colombia and Spain.
This large group of tourists included a number of families with young children. Sadly I don’t speak Spanish. A few of them spoke English, including their guide. What a super friendly and pleasant group of people. They appeared to be enjoying their visit. Unfortunately, they all arrived by bus from NYC where their vacation began. Too bad there is not much of an effort to entice the big tour operators to begin their foreign visitor tours via the Buffalo or Niagara Falls’ airports, heading to NYC from here instead of vice-versa. If tourist groups could be enticed to spend just one extra day in the area it would be a big plus for the local economy.
The Buffalo Skyway can be adapted for non-vehicular re-use, all we need do is look for alternatives to demolition. The bridge is a familiar sight to anyone one who lives in or has visited the city. An observer on a boat on Lake Erie, the Niagara River or standing on the Fort Erie, Canada waterfront is treated to a signature view.
The Skyway was designer and lead engineer was Edward P. Lupfer, He had a similar role in the construction of the International Peace Bridge in the late 1920s. The Skyway came to life in October 1955 as a route between the heavy steel and cargo industries on the Buffalo Outer Harbor and City of Lackawanna.
It was constructed 7,000 feet long to allow for a water clearing elevation of 193 ft over the Buffalo Ship Canal and 215 ft over the Buffalo River. This made it possible for the ships of the various Great Lakes fleets access the Buffalo River inner harbor cereal, grain storage, chemical, steel, warehousing and other industries that lined a 5 mile segment of the river.
Today, the heavy industry of the lake and river waterfronts are gone. River traffic is probably down to less than 25 ships per year instead of 25+ ships per day. It has been reported that it keeps some 30 acres of prime waterfront from being developed. The New York State Department of Transportation has labeled the structure as a “deficient” bridge. The U.S. Dept. of Transportation is even more harsh calling the Skyway :”fracture critical.” That means it could suffer a structure catastrophe.
It will cost $100 million to demolish the structure or over the coming years $125 million to keep it from failing. People hear that number and automatically say, “that is an awful lot of money!” If you put it in perspective number really is not that great. An F-22 Raptor costs $150 million each. ;-)
i was in favor of demolition for a long time. But, I made a 180 degree turn when, a couple of days ago, I stumble upon a Ran Webber presentation from 4 years ago. He has an idea that provides an adaptive reuse of the Skyway at a public-private cost of $285 million, two F-22 Raptor’s. It is daring. It is creative. It is entirely unique. It is an opportunity for the community to really make a statement. Unfortunately, it looks like there is very little political or community interest.
BUFFALO CENTRAL TERMINAL WILL SPORT BRIGHTER LOOK FOLLOWING RESTORATION WORK THIS WEEK
Refurbished floors and replaced sconces will be unveiled at Hard Hat Tours in May
BUFFALO, NY – May 13, 2013 – A brighter look will greet visitors to the former rail terminal following a couple of projects planned for this week.
The terrazzo floors of Buffalo’s Central Terminal will shine once again courtesy of a local facility services company.
Pro2 Facility Services will thoroughly clean the 90 year old floor in the main concourse and apply a special restorative process to one section that will return Pro the shine that hasn’t been seen in decades.
“The 30,000 square foot terminal’s terrazzo will be machine cleaned, which will uncover the unique design lost over the years due to oxidation,” states Ken Casseri, CEO of Pro2, “the floor’s brass caning will be highlighted while the aggregate colors that once glistened will re-appear . What will really be dramatic, though, is the visitors’
entrance, where we will apply a product that will completely make the floor come back to its Roaring ‘20’s splendor!”
Casseri’s company is donating the services to the Buffalo Central Terminal Restoration Corporation, caretaker, owner and restorer of the iconic building.
Coinciding with the floor rejuvenation will be the installation of six new replication sconces. Sheet Metal Workers Union Local 71 Retirees have been working on the lighting fixtures that were removed fromthe building during its devastating abandonment in the 1990’s.
“These same men were nominated by Buffalo’s Young Preservationists and will be honored with a Preservation Award for their skill and work on these fixtures on May 31st at Kleinhans Music Hall. We will install the sconces Saturday, May 18th and hope to have them lit in time for our inaugural Hard Hat Tours starting Sunday, May 19th,” explains Terminal Corporation Executive Director Marilyn Rodgers. “Between the Main Concourse terrazzo being cleaned and groomed, the entrance lobby terrazzo reconditioned by Pro Squared, the Sheet Metal Workers Union Local 71 Retirees replication of six additional Main Concourse sconces, and our Building Committee installing the sconces, visitors will witness even more of what travelers from the 30’s saw when they stepped foot inside our beloved Terminal,” concludes Ms. Rodgers.
Buffalo Central Terminal Hard Hat Tours are scheduled on May 19, June 2, June 9, July 14, and September 15 and last about one hour with overlapping tours between 11am– 4pm each day. Hard Hat Tours will vary from date to date and the visitor will be able to view behind-the-scenes renovations and work as it progresses throughout the season. All visitors must wear hard hats in the building during these tours andmay wear their own Hard Hats if desired. Hard Hats were donated by Emedco and Allied Building Supplies. If the visitor desires to purchase their hard hat at the end of the tour for $25 they will receive a 100% tax deductible donation of $25. Hard Hat Tour Tickets may be purchased in advance by going to http://hardhattours.bpt.me/.
Pro2 Facility Services is headquartered at 1780 Wehrle Drive, Suite 102 in Williamsville, NY. Their phone number is (716) 810-0200. Their website is www.prosquaredfacilityservices.com