The NFTA has given the go ahead to move forward with DL&W’s ‘Plan B’, which will see the first floor of the terminal built out as a passenger station, and the second floor converted into commercial development that would include restaurants and shops. The second floor would also be connected to the First Niagara Center, which would enhance the project for game/concert access and parking.
The Buffalo News has the details on the $42 million plan, which still needs to undergo an environmental impact study. The project is also contingent upon raising the federal funds for the conversion, but the timing is right due to the number of other development projects underway at Canalside, which means that this project is sure to attract the funds that it requires. Key words: waterfront and transportation.
The conversion of the DL&W Terminal would be yet another power play for Canalside. The terminal would quickly become the epicenter for pedestrian traffic. Metro Rail passengers would disembark on the first floor, and have immediate access to all of the second floor amenities – 140,000 square feet indoor and outdoor. That’s a lot of space to work with, and would hopefully, eventually, take on similar characteristics as the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto.
It’s unfortunate that the DL&W’s passenger station never made it to witness this bright new day. Looking back at photos of the building, with the Great Hall – it must have been something to catch a train at this location back in the day.
Not many people realize that there was a significant historic building that once stood at the site. While we are lucky to have the extensive terminal to play with, can you imagine what it would have been like to have retained the magnificent structure seen in the postcard above?
As for the terminal, hopefully some of the structure’s raw character will be incorporated into the buildout. The interior is still impressive and commands attention.
To see some powerful historic images of the terminal, and to follow news on the future of the DL&W, check out this Facebook page.