Enduring a years-long process of redesigns, stops and starts seems to be a rite of passage for virtually every project in and around Buffalo’s waterfront. It’s not different for the DL&W train shed as the NFTA and various stakeholders push to redevelop the building into something that can better complement the Cobblestone District and Canalside.
You can go back at least to 2009 to find references to the DL&W becoming a more integral part of the waterfront entertainment district. Much like the pit at the North Aud Block, or the hockey team across the street, not much has been done in the ensuing 12 years.
There has been progress, of course. The new NFTA station on the first floor is under construction. While continuous rounds of renderings can be silly, a project plan under the guidance of Sam Savarino is coming together and it appears this project has reached a critical mass. It’s all very exciting as the building’s unique layout and location makes it an incredible asset for Buffalo’s waterfront.
I took another roadie to a city with quite a bit of history and tradition this past weekend. Wouldn’t you know it, there are plenty of ideas staring you right in the face that make you wonder, “why isn’t this being done in Buffalo?”
The city I visited was Boston. I caught a Dispatch concert that absolutely kicked ass and I was able to taking the area in and around TD Garden (the USRT boys certainly know this area) and I was able to stroll many a city block taking in the history and architecture of that great city. I also hung out a Quincy Market, an ideal template for some of the questions floating around Canalside and the waterfront.
I will first say this, I understand that Boston is one of the oldest American cities with boatloads more history and tradition than Buffalo. I also am well aware that Boston dwarfs the Queen City in size. But that is ok. What I want to focus on are key cogs, not the big picture.
No beating around the bush, though. Quincy Market is EXACTLY what Buffalo needs. I mean E-X-A-C-T-L-Y. It is filled with shopping and eateries in an open market setting. There is room for kiosks – for those functional lawn fans who only want t-shirts being sold – while having, gasp, national chain retailers as well. Basically, it is like taking parts of the Galleria Mall and turning them inside out so people can enjoy the weather while they shop. By the way, the snow argument doesn’t really hold water considering Boston’s geographic location. Continue reading →