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The Northland Pattern Wall: City of Past and Future Craft

The Northland Workforce Training Center (NWTC) is now home to a 40 foot by 17 foot decorative pattern wall mural that has been constructed by Society for the Advancement of Construction Related Arts (SACRA) students. The wall, titled The Northland Pattern Wall: City of Past and Future Craft, acts as a proud reminder of where we have come from, and where we are heading when it comes to Buffalo’s skilled labor force. 

The Northland Pattern Wall finds a perfect home at the Northland Workforce Training Center – a facility that was constructed to provide training, internships, apprenticeships, and permanent employment for Buffalonians seeking to enter into careers in the trades.

“This is an amazing mural for the Northland Workforce Training Center, created by our City’s young people, and a great complement to a much larger project that will soon result in the positive transformation of this East Side neighborhood,’” said Mayor Brown, Chair of the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation. “I thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for his strong support of this game-changing project along the Northland Corridor as we continue to work together to transform the entire 35 acre site into a vibrant campus – the next step in continuing toward a better, stronger, more vibrant City.”

Howard Zemsky, President, CEO and Commissioner of Empire State Development said, “This magnificent mural is ideal for Northland because it was created with old tool-making components found at the former manufacturing site and will welcome the students who represent manufacturing’s future.”

Of course this artisan wall would never have reached the scale that it did, without the steadfast direction of Dennis Maher from Assembly House 150. The wall is a composition of original wood pattern molds from the former Niagara Machine and Tool Works, which happens to be the site of the 3D mural.

Students took part in a 15-week career training program and learned valuable skills in carpentry and woodworking. The completed mural was celebrated at a special dedication ceremony at the Northland WTC.

The Northland Pattern Wall combines wood components crafted by SACRA students with the original wood pattern molds from the former Niagara Machine and Tool Works, the site of the wall’s installation. The project offers a meditation on the past and future of skilled labor in Buffalo, while producing an imaginary map of the city. The mural project, a dedication to skilled labor in Buffalo, was coordinated by Assembly House 150/SACRA, under the direction of Dennis Maher. 

Dennis Maher, Assembly House 150/ Society for the Advancement of Construction Related Arts (SACRA) stated, “The most enjoyable part of this experience was seeing students engaged and proud of their work. It has been so rewarding seeing them use designed artifacts and historic wooden patterns to construct an exciting imaginary cityscape that celebrates and re-imagines Buffalo’s legacy of craftsmanship while projecting toward its future through a new generation of builders and dreamers.”

The training facility opened in August; the first training class began in early September.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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