Buffalo Central Terminal was a great example of art deco architecture when it was completed in 1929. The main concourse is 225 feet long, 66 feet wide and 58.5 feet tall. The attached office tower is 15 stories in height or 271 feet. It’s history includes many scene’s of the separation and re-uniting of WNY families and their loved ones.
Many were off to war an on their way to NYC and beyond. Between 1941 and 1944 railroads carried 98% of all military personnel. Between 1040 and 1945, revenue for passenger miles increased from 23 billion miles to 95 billion! Unfortunately, the reason for their success would also contribute to their downfall. The rationing which occurred on all fronts, gas, machinery, etc.; led to an overwhelming demand for rail services.
The railroads could not accommodate the demand, their equipment could not withstand the heavy usage and their inability to replace equipment because of the war effort, led to many unhappy customers. Once the war ended and people had their cars back, passenger rail service began it’s quick and a unavoidable decent.
NY Central Railroad was the original owner of the terminal. Penn Central Railroad took over in 1968 to be followed by Amtrak in 1971. The terminal ceased operations in 1979. In 1997 the Central Terminal Restoration Corp. took possession and began addressing many years of neglect and disrepair.
In 2009 a master plan emerged. The effort to preserve and enhance the physical plant is in place. Over 20 fundraising activities are hosted each year. Dyngus Day and Oktoberfest among the most popular. Plans allow for events, even weddings. There are thoughts of a future rail museum, commerce and light rail/high speed rail expansion in the future.
Upcoming October events include Halloween Ghost Hunts and Candlelight tours.
Visit www.buffalocentralterminal.org for more event info. Oh yeah, and buy the damn picture! (you can get it and other Buffalo, NY architecture prints at HighPeaksPhotography.com)