Currently, historian Mark Goldman is busy scavenging the city for obscure photos and documents that will help to tell stories of the East Side. His work is part of a social experiment that will culminate in a public art project this summer.
Goldman has already identified a number of exterior building walls along East Ferry, where the images will be shown. The project has the support of a number of partners, including Mayor Brown, the Community Foundation, The Baird Foundation, Councilmembers Smith and Pridgen, and the Hamlin Park Tax Payers Association.
According to Goldman, “Great details emerge all the time, from the research that I am doing, that the community would love. For example, how a visit to some Buffalo music clubs written in 1935 by a reporter for an African-American newspaper in Pittsburgh?”
There are plenty of stories that need to be told, about various neighborhoods and the people that lived there. The stories will help to cast a new light on the East Side – where it has been and where it is going. From the Brown Bombers Cab Company to photos of Offermann Stadium, there are numerous stories that will unfold in coming weeks, one image at a time.
The project is scheduled to be launched on June 23, 2015. There will be events surrounding the initiative – details to come.
From Friends of the Buffalo Story:
Lost photographs from a long-lost photography studio form the basis of what will soon become a large, outdoor exhibition on the long and large set of walls that line E. Ferry Street across from the Buffalo Academy of Performing Arts.
Found in the archives of the Buffalo History Museum, many of these photos were taken during what appears to be the 1920s, by one William Westhphal in his studio at 160 Broadway. There are other images in the mix, taken by additional photographers of the time, that help to tell the story of a place and people that were instrumental in building Buffalo. The images offer our generation a unique way of looking at and learning about the African-Americans who lived in that neighborhood at that time.
Because there is no information available about who any of the people in these photographs are, it falls to us, the viewers in this generation, to ask the kinds of questions that might lead us to the truth.
Think about the questions that we are asking and then, if you are so inclined, respond with what you think the answers might be.
This project is brought to you by the Friends of the Buffalo Story.