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Main Food Market Gets The Message

It was back in 2006 that Steel first wrote about the potential of this building, located at the corner of Summer and Main. Then, I posted on it back in 2009, when urbanist Chuck Banas was proclaiming the benefits of Smart Codes (see here).

Earlier today I got a phone call that this beautiful corner building was getting a bit of a makeover – at least the part that really needed it… the market. I swung by moments ago to see what the hoopla was all about, and indeed there were signs that the building owner was actually doing something to benefit the building, instead of detracting from it. For years the market has suffered from windows filled with old ripped flyers and signs. It looked as if the only system in place for removing the clutter was the wind. This architectural gem had been subjected to what looked to be apathy, laziness and an uncaring owner.


Today that story looks to be changing. While I was snapping photos of the market, the owner came out to talk to me. He had a big smile on his face and looked to be excited to see me. “What do you think?” he asked. I told him that I was happy to see that the days of neglect appeared to be over, and that I commended him for finally doing the right thing. “We’ve been working on the inside of the market for a while,” he informed me. “And now it’s time for the outside.” Then he pointed at other locations on the street, and the cranes and the progress and I began to see that he was riding on the high hopes of Main Street, doing his part to add to the momentum.

I smiled back at him, pointed at the building and told him that he should be proud of his work, and that no on one likes an unkempt storefront. He saw where I was going with this and asked me if I liked the beige color, or was it too bright? I rallied back that anything was better than the drab, dingy, messy market that had been there as of late. And with that I said goodbye, with fingers crossed that this was just the beginning of the end for the former eyesore.

As for the work at hand, yes, it would be better to have unobscured windows, rather than a faux scene of stocked shopping aisles inside. I hope that the new signage-murals weather alright, and do not one day become part of the problem again. Then I think back to the old windows, covered in slime and torn paper. Yes, this is a good start, and we should be pleased that the owner is aware that the times are changing. Who would have thought that he was going to jump onboard with the Main Street milieu?

I never saw this one coming… and I’m glad that even some of the biggest contributors to blight in Buffalo are beginning to see the light.

As for Chuck and Steel, if the Green Codes were in effect, we might have seen real windows installed rather than the murals. Then again, we are also readily aware that if something costs more than the building/business owners are will to pay for, then the result is “don’t do any work to at all – why fix it if it’s not completely broke down.” As I said, this may not be perfect, but it’s a heck of a lot better than it once was.



Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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