On Saturday, I Heart Central Terminal was the kick-off event for Buffalo Unscripted, a documentary produced by the National Trust for Historic Preservation about Buffalo, by Buffalo. Over the course of this week, the Unscripted team will be fanning out across town with one mission -- to have Buffalonians tell it like it is. In addition to block party meet-ups in Parkside, Allentown, Hamlin Park, Prospect Hill, and Columbus Park, their cameras will be rolling at the Grant Street location of Sweetness_7 (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday), Buffalo ReUse's ReSource (Thursday), Swannie House (Thursday), Black Rock Arts (Friday), and the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market (Saturday).
The full filming schedule can be found online here.
"As apreservationist, it's no secret that I love a lot of buildings, but there's something different about Central Terminal," says Jason Clement, Buffalo Unscripted Coordinator. "It's a powerful place, even if you have no personal history there and are walking into the Main Concourse for the very first time. I think it speaks volumes about the great challenges but immense opportunities in Buffalo. For that reason, it was the perfect launch pad for this project."
Some highlights of the day:
-- Nearly 250 people participated in I Heart Central Terminal.
-- The morning kicked off with the first shutterbug tour. Over 50 building-loving photos -- amateur and professional -- where given two and a half hours to capture the Main Concourse (including the old restaurant area), the upper mezzanine, the trolley lobby, and the sprawling grounds. On Sunday, organizers hosted another tour exploring some unseen spaces in the Larkin District, and upcoming shutterbug stops include the Darwin Martin House, "Elevator Alley" on Ohio Street, and the Richardson Olmsted Complex.
-- Three interview stations were set up for attendees to say their piece for Buffalo Unscripted. Interviewees were asked about how they feel when they walk into the concourse and about their memories in the space.
-- Painting for Preservation hosted its sixth "art-in" on the grounds and inside the Main Concourse of the Central Terminal. The group also unveiled an interactive art installation where event attendees could contribute scrapbook-style artwork to pinpoint places that matter to them on a map of Buffalo. The group plans to make the piece a fixture at upcoming art-ins leading up to the National Preservation Conference.
-- I Heart Central Terminal attendees where asked to show their Buffalove through (literally) a heart-shaped photo booth. This piece will travel around town this week, and will be retired at the Central Terminal at the end of the project.
-- Those Idiots (aka "Darlings of Dyngus Day" and "Titans of the Terminal") played a free, one-hour set featuring some of their best covers, including "Polka Face," "Welcome to Palonia," and "Don't Stop Believing Polka." The band was interrupted (right, video below) by a flash mob rendition of Beach Boys classic, "Good Vibrations." At the end of their surprise perfomance, the mob unfurled signs that read "Buffalo = Good Vibes" -- a fitting message inside a building where trains still rumble by.
-- Food was provided by Potts Deli and Lloyd Taco Truck, recent winner of Buffalo Spree's "Best of WNY" award for best tacos.
"Through our interviews on Saturday, we met a couple that shared their first kiss on the Terminal's arrival platform and someone who hadn't been in the Main Course since she saw off a family member some 40 years ago," says Clement. "We heard the building described as everything from 'inspiring' to 'frustrating' -- even as a 'beautiful old actress' who hopefully will perform again. That right there is the point of this project -- exploring the power of a place."