Revitalization: The Data Center Next Door
While the future of some high rises in the city of Buffalo are undetermined others have found secure investments in their future; Main Place Tower and Mall falls somewhere in between. The Atlantic Cities wrote an article featuring Main Place’s history and transformation to data center. Built in 1969 Main Place Mall was an attempt to bring the city out of the era of department stores and into the modern age of the mall sacrificing the Erie County Savings Bank in its wake; one of Buffalo’s most signature historic buildings.
By the mid-90’s it was clear that the mall was never to be the envisioned anchor it promised and instead garnered a strong negative reputation. The owners turned to the telecommunications industry which loved the vast amount of vacant space for server storage. Jim Kelly once had a glass enclosed restaurant in the building but now those same windows (and many more) are covered up and locked away to house the stacks of servers making the paltry mall one of the largest data centers in the region. The cost of this modern solution has been a lack of public access to the fourth largest building in the city and a central downtown location that has little meaning, purpose, or beauty to the surrounding community.
Revitalization: Recent Big City Purchases
Local real-estate development company FFZ Holdings, LLC recently purchased the Outer Harbor Elevator (pictured above) for nearly $500,000. The company is also developing properties on Seneca Street, Ohio Street, the former Bethlehem Steel site, area charter schools, and the Cobblestone District.
Other significant city purchases include the $1.3 million purchase of the historic Dun Building on Pearl, widely recognized as Buffalo’s first high rise, by locally owned Priam Enterprises; and the combined $1.3 million purchase of two locations on Elm and Delaware by one of Buffalo’s developer titans - Carl Paladino’s Ellicott Development Company. It’s important to recognize that all three of these companies are locally owned and operated making them prime examples of the city reinvesting in itself.
Photograph © Greg Meadows
Art: Misty Niagara
From the American observation deck can be seen all three waterfalls that comprise Niagara Falls; the American Falls, Bridal Falls, and Horseshoe Falls. On the American side can be seen a portion of the Cave of the Winds and Niagara Falls State Park. On the Canadian side the Maid of the Mist is preparing for another trek below the Falls while the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario towers overhead shrouded in mystical fog.
Photograph by Tom Cotter
Event: Taste of Diversity 2013
On the last Saturday of June head over to Grant Street on the West Side between Lafayette and Auburn for the 10th annual Taste of Diversity festival. Lasting from 11AM - 7PM the festival features dozens of ethnic cultural art, dance, and bountiful choice in food. Grant Street is an ideal location for this West Side festival as it has been rebuilt in a large part by a dedicated immigrant population from all across the globe that had decided to relocate to Buffalo.
Revitalization: UB Educational Opportunity Center Opens Today
Today is the scheduled opening for the University at Buffalo’s brand new $46 million Educational Opportunity Center located downtown on Ellicott Street. Currently, the center provides services for over 2,000 people on preparation and training in various industries. With this new building the center will be able to expand its services to more people. The building is also LEED Gold certified which is scored as a highly efficient building according to a rigorous sustainability rating system.
Event: Discover Amherst Street Festival
This Saturday head down to Black Rock’s historic Amherst Street for good music, plenty of food, arts and crafts, and free horse and buggy rides. Amherst Street has been seeing a resurgence in business and now the neighborhood is celebrating 200 years of peace; as it was 200 years ago during the War of 1812 that the British burned both Buffalo and Black Rock to the ground. Other celebratory events include a wiener eating contest and the widely recognized Best Pie in Black Rock contest.
Art: The day Niagara Falls ran dry
A few years ago photographs emerged that were taken in June of 1969 photographing a portion of Niagara Falls temporarily dammed off by the Army Corp of Engineers. This strange sight is compounded by the fact that the Niagara Falls have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world. Rockslides that occurred in 1931 and 1954 left an unusual amount of rubble beneath the Falls and the dam was initially put in place to see if the debris could be removed. They decided against it and reinforced other parts before blowing the dam up and allowing the Falls to flow freely once again.
Art: Niagara Falls region from above
Last week, the Albany based newspaper Times Union was able to get a helicopter ride from the U.S. Office of Air and Marine which patrols the border between the United States and Canada. Featured in this collection of high quality images are aerial scenes from Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Canada.
Art: Riverfest Park Entry
Photograph by Robert Thuerck
Revitalization: West Huron Building Restoration
The C.W. Miller Livery Stable was built almost 120 years ago as “a palace for horses;” now the building is getting a $12 million renovation. The building will now be used for retail, residential, and potentially office space. The Stable is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is eligible for historic tax credits. Located at 73-77 W. Huron Street the renovation effort is a joint venture between Mark Croce and James F. Jerge.
Event: Get the Rust Out - Judy Wicks
This week Buffalo is hosting the international BALLE Conference in Buffalo and co-founder Judy Wicks is speaking for free to the public as part of Buffalo First!’s Get the Rust Out series tomorrow at 6PM. The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies is the largest network of its kind in North America; Judy Wicks is also the founder of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia and Fair Food.
Art: Allentown Art Festival
Photograph by Robert Thuerck