It’s that time of year again to point at the big blue wall found at the corner of Main and Delavan. I believe that it was Steel who first wrote about the eyesore a few years back. Since that time, the wall has not changed, but much has changed around the wall. Bits and pieces of Main Street are coming back to life, signaling to others to get on-board with additional aesthetic improvements. Of course Main Street has a long way to go, but with UB and Canisius helping to lead the way, the districts along Main will continue to improve.
I spoke to John Hurley, now President of Canisius College, a while back who told me that at one point there was a beautification project proposed for the big blue wall. We discussed different ideas at the time that would transform the sweeping corner from an eyesore to a dramatic ‘welcome sign’ for Canisius. It’s bad enough that passersby can’t see the school’s athletic teams playing, as should be the case. It would be a major undertaking to change the elevated level back down to at-grade street level. It wouldn’t be such a tremendous undertaking to add a stone facade to the wall, with flowers and an attractive Canisius sign. A project like that could transform the entire look of that intersection.
In the end, as Canisius continues to attract students (and their parents) to the neighborhood, then the aesthetic improvement could be chalked up to a marketing job for the college. Until that time, the big blue wall will represent many of the problems that have existed on Main Street for far too long.