We love to hear from our readers, especially when they present ideas that can take a good project to an en excellent one. Many of these ideas come from attempting to turn lemons into lemonade. Say, for example, the Buffalo Maritime Center loses its home out at the Outer Harbor (it just did)… and at the same time various other waterfront advancements are moving forward right around the corner… opportunity knocks? The following submitted by C. Andrle:
“The recent news about the re-opening of the Buffalo Lighthouse next year included information that the Coast Guard will be releasing 4.6 acres around the lighthouse for public use as well as “consolidating/demolishing” several buildings.
“The Buffalo Maritime Center, recently evicted from their waterfront space by the NFTA and now in temporary (landlocked) rental space, has previously proposed that the abandoned Coast Guard buildings be reused by the Maritime Center for their boat shop and historic watercraft museum and other programs. The combination of the historic site, lighthouse, and other historic exhibits and signage already on the property would create a critical mass so badly needed on the outer harbor.
“I would like to see an article on Buffalo Maritime Center’s proposal for the reuse of the soon to be abandoned Coast Guard buildings.”
Response from John Montague at The Buffalo Maritime Center:
Yes, the Coast Guard site would be great for the Maritime Center and could be linked by our water taxis to Canalside. When I saw that the idea that the Coast Guard might leave I immediately sent an e-mail to Brian Higgins’ office and resubmitted (now the third time), a proposal for the site (rendering and site concept shown here) I first drew up in 1995. The plan was designed to use the existing structures to minimize cost and to create a dynamic relationship/view with the Hatch site across the water. I have not yet heard back from Higgins but I’m trying to get a meeting with him to at least discuss it. I mentioned to Higgins the irony of having The Pier restaurant torn down (at a cost $500,000 I heard) when that building could have been used by the Maritime Center. It would be a shame now to demolish any of the buildings on the Lighthouse site before the possibilities of their reuse are explored.