Grand Island Dusk
Photograph © David Niedbala

Grand Island Dusk

Photograph © David Niedbala

Biggest ethnic group of Buffalo area? German, and it is Oktoberfest
50,000 people or more attend the annual Italian Festival, St. Paddy’s Day Parade, or Dyngus Day’s events but Buffalo’s Oktoberfest celebrations are not as widely attended. The Buffalo News finds this surprising due to the fact that the Buffalo-Niagara region primarily consists of German descendants. The article explores several Oktoberfests in the area and determined that German cultural celebrations are “making a comeback.”

Biggest ethnic group of Buffalo area? German, and it is Oktoberfest

50,000 people or more attend the annual Italian Festival, St. Paddy’s Day Parade, or Dyngus Day’s events but Buffalo’s Oktoberfest celebrations are not as widely attended. The Buffalo News finds this surprising due to the fact that the Buffalo-Niagara region primarily consists of German descendants. The article explores several Oktoberfests in the area and determined that German cultural celebrations are “making a comeback.”

2014 Buffalo Gardens

1. Johnson Pk.

2. Carolina St.

3. Prospect Ave.

4. Prospect Ave.

5. Carolina St.

Photography by Linda DiDomizio

Creative Commons License

2014 Buffalo Bills #ItEndsAt14

Since the announcement of Pegula’s purchase of the Bills a weight of uncertainty has been lifted from the city. Buffalo’s most beloved franchise had its fate hanging in the balance when the original owner of the team for 59 years, Ralph Wilson, passed away earlier this year. Terry Pegula, already known for saving the Sabres, building HarborCenter, and perhaps soon-to-be purchasing the Seneca Tower, has embodied the Buffalo spirit.

Donn Esmonde even went as far as calling the “Buffalo curse" over. The Buffalo Bills have symbolized the city’s Icarian fate and now holds the record for the team with the longest playoff drought. But now that the future of the Bills location has been solidified it will be up to the team to start a new chapter in the history of greatness in Buffalo sports.

A warm evening in Buffalo, NY
Photograph by Emil Stefanov

Benchmark chosen to take over Market Arcade Cinema

The Benchmark Group of Amherst is pairing up with AMC Theatres and investing $9 million of private money into the Market Arcade Building. Benchmark beat out local developers Rocco Termini, known for saving the Hotel Lafayette, and Nick Sinatra, who recently purchased the Phoenix Brewery. Inside will be an eight screen “world-class” theater with reclining seats and plans to open in the Summer of 2016. In addition to the recent purchase of the Market Arcade the Benchmark Group is also constructing a three-story mixed-use building on Elmwood.

Photography by Aneurysm9

Creative Commons License

WO DER  READ
Photograph © Greg Meadows
Buffalo City Mission Expansion
After attempting to relocate to several locations, including an announced $42 million expansion on Swan St., the Buffalo City Mission had no other option to but to build onto their existing facility on E. Tupper. According to Executive Director Stuart Harper claimed, “No one else wanted us in their neighborhood.” The expansion will only cost about half as much as the Swan St. plan at $26 million. Despite the location troubles the expanded facility is a key component to a 10-year plan by the Homeless Alliance of Western New York to eliminate homelessness from Buffalo by 2020.

Buffalo City Mission Expansion

After attempting to relocate to several locations, including an announced $42 million expansion on Swan St., the Buffalo City Mission had no other option to but to build onto their existing facility on E. Tupper. According to Executive Director Stuart Harper claimed, “No one else wanted us in their neighborhood.” The expansion will only cost about half as much as the Swan St. plan at $26 million. Despite the location troubles the expanded facility is a key component to a 10-year plan by the Homeless Alliance of Western New York to eliminate homelessness from Buffalo by 2020.

Castle Inn (1908) - Former Home of President Millard Fillmore
Terry Pegula reaches agreement to buy Buffalo Bills
Terry Pegula, owner of the Buffalo Sabres, has bought the Buffalo Bills for a record $1.4 billion. Outbidding both Donald Trump and a Toronto-based group led by Bon Jovi that was keen on relocating the team the Pegulas have solidified their Buffalo dynasty in steel and rock. When original Bills owner Ralph Wilson died earlier this year Buffalo held its collective breath as to whether the new purchaser would keep the team in what had become one of the smallest market teams in the NFL.
The previous record holder for the most expensive purchase of a team in the NFL went to the 2009 Miami Dolphins for $1.1 billion, which included a stadium. Pegula is also aware that the Bills are going to need a new stadium and with the construction of HarborCenter, a continental hockey mecca, it could be anybody’s guess on what he’ll decide to create for the Bills. Purchasing the Sabres for $189 million and constructing the HarborCenter for $172 million Pegula has now personally invested nearly $2 billion into the city. An anonymous source close to the deal could say one thing: “It’s historic for the city of Buffalo.”
Photograph by Matthew D. Britt

Terry Pegula reaches agreement to buy Buffalo Bills

Terry Pegula, owner of the Buffalo Sabres, has bought the Buffalo Bills for a record $1.4 billion. Outbidding both Donald Trump and a Toronto-based group led by Bon Jovi that was keen on relocating the team the Pegulas have solidified their Buffalo dynasty in steel and rock. When original Bills owner Ralph Wilson died earlier this year Buffalo held its collective breath as to whether the new purchaser would keep the team in what had become one of the smallest market teams in the NFL.

The previous record holder for the most expensive purchase of a team in the NFL went to the 2009 Miami Dolphins for $1.1 billion, which included a stadium. Pegula is also aware that the Bills are going to need a new stadium and with the construction of HarborCenter, a continental hockey mecca, it could be anybody’s guess on what he’ll decide to create for the Bills. Purchasing the Sabres for $189 million and constructing the HarborCenter for $172 million Pegula has now personally invested nearly $2 billion into the city. An anonymous source close to the deal could say one thing: It’s historic for the city of Buffalo.

Photograph by Matthew D. Britt

Creative Commons License

Genesee Gateway Streetscape Project Expected to Start Next Spring
Near the city’s downtown core Seneca St., Niagara St., Ohio St., and Main St. are all receiving extensive makeovers; next year Genesee St. will join the list. The project has recently been expanded to Elm St., located another block east and where the brand new $46 million Catholic Health headquarters stands. An additional $42 million of investment is expected along the corridor that stretches along just south of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
Spanning out from the Electric Tower the Genesee Gateway is one of the most central avenues taken to access downtown. New businesses include Dog e Style, Tappo Restaurant, Oshun Seafood Restaurant, Genesee Gateway, LLC, 112 Genesee, Big Ditch Brewing Company, and The Planing Mill,  The street remodel will follow work that is similarly being done along the 700 block of Main St. including “landscaping, sidewalks, lighting, bump-outs, street resurfacing, and green infrastructure enhancements.”

Genesee Gateway Streetscape Project Expected to Start Next Spring

Near the city’s downtown core Seneca St., Niagara St., Ohio St., and Main St. are all receiving extensive makeovers; next year Genesee St. will join the list. The project has recently been expanded to Elm St., located another block east and where the brand new $46 million Catholic Health headquarters stands. An additional $42 million of investment is expected along the corridor that stretches along just south of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Spanning out from the Electric Tower the Genesee Gateway is one of the most central avenues taken to access downtown. New businesses include Dog e Style, Tappo Restaurant, Oshun Seafood Restaurant, Genesee Gateway, LLC, 112 Genesee, Big Ditch Brewing Company, and The Planing Mill,  The street remodel will follow work that is similarly being done along the 700 block of Main St. including “landscaping, sidewalks, lighting, bump-outs, street resurfacing, and green infrastructure enhancements.”

ONE ROQ Vodka “Loganberry is Coming”

A fledgling spirits culture has been emerging in Buffalo after years of dormancy with the city’s first distillery since prohibition, Lockhouse Distillery, opening just last year. Now ONE ROQ Vodka, a premium American vodka sold in 9 states and based out of Buffalo, is coming out with a loganberry flavored vodka to celebrate local culture. Nowhere in America has embraced the loganberry, a cross between the raspberry and blackberry, quite like Western New Yorkers. The love for loganberry finds its roots in Crystal Beach, a now defunct Canadian amusement park along Lake Erie, that drew in Buffalonians in droves during the 20th century. To this day the Western New York is the only place in America where you can still find and drink Aunt Rosie’s famous uncarbonated juice. Founder and CEO of ONE ROQ, Garret Green, created the flavor as a tribute to his hometown city:

“My aim was to establish a commemorative and iconic label for the local and regional market, a gift to the area to embrace and share, generation after generation. Loganberry was an obvious opportunity, as it has an incredibly long standing history in the area. Today, the flavor is literally an icon of Buffalo and to many a fond childhood memory carried by those that grew up in the era of the Crystal Beach Amusement Park, one of the largest in the world in it’s day,”

Repurposing Old Rail Stations in the Rust Belt: What Buffalo, Detroit, and Cincinnati can tell us about adaptive reuse
Buffalo’s Central Terminal is one of three rail stations featured in this extensive Belt Magazine article on adaptive reuse across the Rust Belt. The Buffalo Central Terminal was built in 1929 for $15 million opening only months before the tragic stock market crash of that same year. By the 1950s suburban sprawl and segregation were crystallizing in Buffalo and the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood, where the Central Terminal resides, was economically disintegrating. Just 50 years after it was built the Central Terminal was closed in 1979 and sold for $75,000. Nearly two decades later it sold for just $1.
Today, the challenges facing the restoration of the Buffalo Central Terminal are very real with at least $65 million in work still needed. Other challenges include its distant location from downtown and the poverty-stricken Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood with an unemployment and poverty rate that averages about 10% higher than the rest of the city. Yet there have been successes, the biggest of which was the roof stabilization over the concourse. Next the Central Terminal Restoration Organization plans to install 200 solar panels and follow the successful model of Larkinville.

Repurposing Old Rail Stations in the Rust Belt: What Buffalo, Detroit, and Cincinnati can tell us about adaptive reuse

Buffalo’s Central Terminal is one of three rail stations featured in this extensive Belt Magazine article on adaptive reuse across the Rust Belt. The Buffalo Central Terminal was built in 1929 for $15 million opening only months before the tragic stock market crash of that same year. By the 1950s suburban sprawl and segregation were crystallizing in Buffalo and the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood, where the Central Terminal resides, was economically disintegrating. Just 50 years after it was built the Central Terminal was closed in 1979 and sold for $75,000. Nearly two decades later it sold for just $1.

Today, the challenges facing the restoration of the Buffalo Central Terminal are very real with at least $65 million in work still needed. Other challenges include its distant location from downtown and the poverty-stricken Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood with an unemployment and poverty rate that averages about 10% higher than the rest of the city. Yet there have been successes, the biggest of which was the roof stabilization over the concourse. Next the Central Terminal Restoration Organization plans to install 200 solar panels and follow the successful model of Larkinville.

Homesteading the city with Fox News: final cut

The Buffalo Urban Homestead Program has been featured nationally this summer by major publications such as the Los Angeles Times and now Fox News. Buffalo has the most historic city core in the nation with more houses built before WWII than any other city. However, some of these homes have become abandoned and instead of demolishing these one-of-a-kind houses the Buffalo Urban Homestead Program offers some of these classic homes for only $1.

All three of the homes featured in the segment are located in a historic neighborhood of Buffalo’s struggling East Side - Hamlin Park. The Buffalo Urban Homestead Program is part of a multifaceted approach at combating the vacancy vortex and revitalizing the city. The East Side has slowly been coming back on line after years of neglect thanks to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, the Larkin District, Highland Park, strategic purchases by the city, and individual homeowners like these.

Bookworm Bait
Photograph by Matt Johnson

Bookworm Bait

Photograph by Matt Johnson