When you think of great cities, one of the the things that come to mid is their centrally located parks, such as Bryant Park in NYC. These types of parks allow people to take a break from the monotony of the daily grind. Plus, these urban parks are prime attractors for people/businesses that want to live/operate near the green attractions. Just think of the values of properties surrounding strategically centered urban parks.
Now, local developer Rocco Termini has proposed that the site of Buffalo’s Convention Center be completely rethought. Termini feels that the if/when the Convention Center moves to another sector of downtown, the site of the current Convention Center should be converted into a central park. For example, see Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, Bryant Park in NYC, and Grant Park in Chicago. In order to show how this sort of plan might fit with the current context of Downtown Buffalo, BMS Design Studio has overlayed the Convention Center site with Bryant Park in NYC and Grant Park in Chicago, to give people a sense of scope and scale.
According to Ben Siegel at BMS, “Both plans also call for the restoration of Mohawk Street, which would then form a connection from Niagara Street to Ellicott Street.”
Termini feels that the new park would be the injection of life that downtown needs – this coming from a developer that understands that nature of urban dynamics. The new park would be the perfect place to host the Canalside concert series once Canalside is infilled with buildings and other attractions – an amphitheater should be built at the site. The completion of the park would also bring some of downtown’s greatest historic building facades into focus, which have been obscured by the brutal architectural aspects of the Convention Center.
Buffalo’s downtown central ‘green spaces’ are currently no more than isolated islands, surrounded by automobile traffic, such as Niagara Square, Lafayette Square, and Fireman’s Park. The new Downtown park would be a regional attraction, where people could exercise, congregate, relax, and simply enjoy the outdoors. Plus, the park would tie into the nearby squares, to “form a ‘string of pearls’ along Court Street.”
It’s time that downtown Buffalo is reimagined and reinvented, and not simply infused with incremental development projects. A project of this magnitude would elevate Buffalo to an entirely different level.