It wasn’t that long ago that a coalition of Buffalo activists got together to promote an idea that would see the installation of windows on the front of Terminal Station B, located at 996 Busti Avenue. Now, with all of the recent developments along Niagara Street, this substantial building has now come front and center – it’s owner, National Grid, has announced that the building’s giant window arches will soon be graced by a series of “letters” that will spell out Niagara Street.
For decades the National Grid-owned building, which dates to 1906, had been among the first facilities in the region used to transmit electricity from Niagara Falls to Buffalo.
Earlier today, National Grid announced that it has commissioned a local artist to “pay homage to city’s electric generation, transmission and distribution history” by treating the surfaces of window coverings facing Niagara Street. A team of artists from Buffalo-based Pine Apple Co. will be getting to work, to add life to the building.
Artist Yames Moffitt will begin to paint the mural as early as today. The work is anticipated to be complete by September 2.
The building, which is 264 feet long, will soon boast some distinct artistic lettering that will act as a calling card for the street.
The building is located within the Tesla Heritage Corridor, a 14-block section that stretches from Busti Avenue to Vulcan Street.
“We’re creating a public art project on a building that tells the story of Buffalo, Tesla and electricity generation and distribution,” said National Grid regional director Ken Kujawa. “The mural is sure to become a prominent, iconic landmark that will welcome people to the revitalized Niagara Street corridor.”
The concept behind the work is attributed to Pine Apple Co. co-founders Moffitt, Mickey Harmon, and Sarah Liddell. The design was approved by National Grid and Vision Niagara, as a way to bolster the renaissance of Niagara Street and the West Side.
Buffalo’s rich history includes being among the first American cities to install electric street lighting. Also, in 1886, a Tesla-designed hydroelectric station located on the Niagara River bolstered Buffalo’s status as a major industrial hub.
“This is an exciting project that will help us continue the beautification of Buffalo’s West Side,” said Assemblyman Sean Ryan. “The mural will be a perfect complement to the development already happening in our neighborhood and will help us continue to the momentum we’ve been seeing on the West Side. This mural will help us welcome new visitors to Niagara Street while highlighting Buffalo’s past as a hub of industrial innovation.”
“Niagara Street is a robust collective of neighbors, business owners and commuters who all add to the vibrance and life of the area,” said Moffitt. “With our new mural we hope to encourage people to slow down and take in all the sights of Niagara Street. The artwork pays homage to the splendor and power of the Niagara River and all the people who have helped Buffalo thrive thanks to it. We are thrilled to be part of this project and can’t wait to leave our mark on this beautiful community.”