World Monuments Fund (WMF) has announced that the Central Terminal, located on Buffalo’s East Side, has been selected for the 2018 World Monument Watch List (WMWL). We bet that the Urban Land Institute (ULI) could not have predicted that? WMF focuses on identifying at-risk buildings that present “unique conservation opportunities.” While this is excellent news, because it draws additional attention to the building, it’s only a matter of course for Buffalonians who have been awaiting anxiously the day when someone would step in with a development plan.
Buffalo’s Central Terminal is one of 25 sites spanning more than 30 countries and territories, dating from prehistory to the twentieth century.
The Central Terminal came close to landing a substantial reuse when it was presented as one of the prime sites for the new Amtrak station. Instead, it lost out in the end, much to the chagrin of the Buffalo populace. Around that same time, developers Harry Stinson and Doug Swift took a swing at it, but apparently the team lost out to the incredulous decision of conducting more studies, which is why the ULI team came to town.
The Central Terminal was one of two sites in the US, as selected by the WMWL, adding even more significance to the designation. Not only did the terminal’s architectural and the historic heritage come into play, the potential of the site as a future economic and cultural catalyst was also taken into consideration.
“By building an international coalition, the World Monuments Watch protects both the sites themselves and the shared history they embody,” said Joshua David, President & CEO, WMF. “We may be best known for the excellence of our conservation practices, but the human impacts of our work ultimately mean the most. Sites like the 25 on the 2018 Watch are where we come together as citizens of the world and renew our commitments to justice, culture, peace, and understanding.”
The 2017 event season saw upwards of 40 events taking place at the terminal. Despite the lack of a development plan, there is still a relatively decent amount of activity taking place within the hulking Art Deco wonder.
“We are honored and flattered to be included on this hugely important list from the World Monuments Fund. We want to thank the WMF for honoring us and we look forward to working with them to help move our preservation projects forward,” said Jim Hycner, chairman of the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation (CTRC). “This recognition adds to the amazing momentum the Terminal is seeing right now, including strong community support, the ULI study and backing from such leaders as Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Howard Zemsky from Empire State Development. We could not be more excited for the Terminal’s future.”
Full List – 2018 Watch Sites
- Disaster Sites of the Caribbean, the Gulf, and Mexico
- Government House, St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda
- Sirius Building, Millers Point, Sydney, Australia
- Ramal Talca-Constitución, Talca Province, Chile
- Grand Theater, Prince Kung’s Mansion, Beijing, China
- Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue, Alexandria, Egypt
- Takiyyat of al-Gulshani, Cairo, Egypt
- Potager du Roi, Versailles, France
- Post-Independence Architecture of Delhi, India
- Al-Hadba’ Minaret, Mosul, Iraq
- Lifta, Jerusalem, Israel
- Amatrice, Italy
- Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium, Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan
- Jewish Quarter of Essaouira, Morocco
- Sukur Cultural Landscape, Madagali Local Government Area, Nigeria
- Historic Karachi, Pakistan
- Cerro de Oro, Cañete Valley, Peru
- Tebaida Leonesa, El Bierzo, León, Spain
- Souk of Aleppo, Aleppo, Syria
- Chao Phraya River, Bangkok, Thailand
- Blackpool Piers, Blackpool, United Kingdom
- Buffalo Central Terminal, Buffalo, New York, United States
- Alabama Civil Rights Sites, Alabama, United States
- Old City of Ta’izz, Ta’izz, Yemen
- Matobo Hills Cultural Landscape, Matobo, Matabeleland South, Zimbabwe
Lead image: CTRC