I’ll start off by stating my #1 wish for the 2018. Buffalo still has a good fighting chance to snag the Louis Kahn Floating Concert Hall (with below-deck gallery and theater, along with accommodations for 16 artists/musicians). The futuristic-looking concert barge was built for the American Wind Symphony Orchestra to play.
A dedicated citizen-driven committee (Kahn 4 Buffalo – K4B) has been working on the project since July – we were mere hours from getting the barge towed to the Buffalo River from Ottawa, IL this past fall. We were so close! At that point, we had identified funding from a number of sources, including foundations and private entities. In fact, we raised upwards of half the money that we needed. We also had the perfect spot on the Buffalo River, where the Point Counterpoint II would be moored permanently. We had an operator, a caretaker, and everything else in place that we needed, including wide-ranging support from local architects, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Robby Takac from the GooGoo Dolls/Music is Art, and the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning. We also had a plan (with private funding in hand) to create a concert park, on land, adjacent to the barge’s home. Everything was working according to plan, when suddenly the plan unravelled.
Another entity swooped in and made an offer that was accepted by the owner of the barge. It was a heartbreaking moment, knowing that we had come so close.
Then, a couple of months later, we were informed that the group that had purchased the architecturally significant craft was interested in talking to Buffalo about a purchase. That was just a couple of weeks ago, before the holidays set in. Right away, the committee got back on track working on a private-public partnership, and now we’re hoping to raise further interest in the project, while searching for new potential funding channels, and additional inspirational programming partners. There is also a singular, fantastic opportunity to secure naming rights for internationally renowned architect Louis Kahn’s last completed project. It is our opportunity to add a mid-century icon to Buffalo’s architectural tourism portfolio – there’s nothing else remotely like the Point Counterpoint II on the planet. Plus, it represents three of this city’s driving recovery forces – architecture, waterfront, and culture.
We can do this Buffalo.
Private corporations, foundations, philanthropists, hoteliers, etc., if you want to learn more about helping to bring Point Counterpoint II to Buffalo, please send an email to Newell@BuffaloRising.com.