When you think about Grant Street, what do you think about? Depending on who you talk to, the responses will vary greatly. Some people will tell you about the success stories on the street, including Sweet_ness 7, Gypsy Parlor, and Guercio’s. Others will mention the vacant lots, jacked up storefronts, and the missed potential. Overall, we should be pretty happy about the direction of the street, but there’s a long, long way to go, to get to where the street needs to be.
And where does the street need to be? That’s the question that Preservation Buffalo Niagara (PBN) is asking the community. Thanks to a a $12000 grant from AARP’s Community Challenge Grant and a $1500 grant from the City of Buffalo Love Your Block fund, PBN is embarking upon a placemaking initiative for Grant Street that will help to procure and distribute the following:
- Public garbage receptacles (34 garbage receptacles will be distributed on Grant Street or on adjacent intersecting commercial streets such as West Ferry)
- Flags for property owners (flags of their choice to display the pride for their country of origin or cultural identity)
- Multilingual wayfinding signs (in time for the holiday shopping season, highlighting businesses and area landmarks)
To sign up for a free flag, or garbage receptacle, click here.
“We are so grateful that the AARP and City of Buffalo Love Your Block program chose to support Grant Street as this important historic corridor works to recover from the impacts of COVID 19 and retain its status as a vibrant commercial hub for the West Side of Buffalo. We are excited to work with business owners and community members on needed signage and beautification projects.” said Jessie Fisher, Executive Director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara. “Our sincere thanks to AARP and the City of Buffalo Love Your Block Program for the generous support that made this project possible to help make this community a great place for all ages.”
“I am very pleased to hear about this grant. Grant Street is a place that needs development and I have prioritized it for streetscaping and other improvements.” said Councilmember Rivera. “These grants will help achieve some of those necessary upgrades.”
While it’s all well and good to see these types of beautification and wayfinding tools coming to the street, it’s also important to understand the larger picture. When asked about longterm changes along the commercial district, area residents said that a priority should be to take into account “diversity and affordability.”
“We are incredibly excited to support Preservation Buffalo Niagara as they work to make immediate improvements in Buffalo, encourage promising ideas and jumpstart long-term change,” shared Beth Finkel AARP NY State Director. “Our goal at AARP NY is to support the efforts of our communities to be great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities and the coronavirus pandemic has only underscored the importance of this work.”
Once building and business owners have reserved their flags, signage, and garbage receptacles, any leftover funds will be directed towards the advancement of small placemaking projects such as installing or repairing planter boxes, repairing awnings, or purchasing maintenance tools – interested parties can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
“On behalf of the Westside Business and Taxpayers Association, I would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation. We know this grant will make a big difference in our community and have a lasting effect on the quality of life in our community,” said Elaine Grisanti, President of the Westside Business and Taxpayers Association. “We thank Preservation Buffalo Niagara and extend our hand in helping with any future projects. Good things happen when we all work together!”
“Connecting old Buffalo to new arrivers, from refugees and immigrants to students at Buffalo State, Grant Street fuses the best of Buffalo,” said Justin Booth, executive director of GObike. “These placemaking investments will enhance the established Grant Street district identity and augment the streetscape improvements we’re planning for the corridor. We thank the AARP and the Love Your Block programs for their investments.”