If you’re noticing that Fireman’s Park in Downtown Buffalo is looking a bit cleaner today, you can thank the efforts of Erie Community College’s women’s basketball team. BRO’s Toronto correspondent Lorne Opler has been following the progress of the park ever since he was waylaid at the bus terminal earlier this year. Fireman’s Park has been the subject of controversy for years due to the overall disheveled state of the property. Recent efforts by Erie Community College have helped to spruce up the park, by focusing on greening the area around the focal point of the grounds – the fountain.
“This unique park structure is dedicated to the memory of Buffalo’s firemen, and features such vocation specific items as a fire helmet positioned on top of the flagpole (facing the fire station on South Division Street) and Maltese Cross-designed pathways symbolizing protection, as well as the Erie Community College-constructed fountain garden, installed by students, faculty and volunteers in 2012. In cooperation with the City of Buffalo and Buffalo Place, many of ECC’s student-athletes have been active in cleaning and maintaining the park—located between Washington and Ellicott streets, and North and South Division streets—over the past three years.” – Michael Farrell (ECC News)
At this point in time, The City is looking closely at the future of Fireman’s Park. Bounding North and South Division Streets will be downgraded to narrower roadways – three lanes instead of four. Hopefully planners will see that downgrading to two lanes each way, with bike lanes, would be the best choice for the future of the roadway, parks and the surrounding neighborhood.
Buffalo Rising will be posting on University at Buffalo architecture and planning students’ efforts to showcase the best case scenarios for the area formerly known as Shelton Square. What was once an architectural focal point of the city has become an urban wasteland. The City has the ability to rectify many of the past wrongdoings, but without insightful guidance, we will be subjected to lackluster visions again and again.
We have the opportunity to do great things, by paying homage to the history of Shelton Square. Unfortunately City planners might not see it that way, as they are mired in efforts to appease the scale of car culture over our needs and wants for walkability and aesthetic grandeur.