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Buffalo Central Terminal

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Buffalo Central Terminal

Bruce Fingerhood (CC BY 2.0); Wikimedia Commons

Location

495 Paderewski Drive, Buffalo, NY 14212
Google Bird's Eye View
Fillmore Council District
SBL: 112.09-1-1.1
Erie County Property Info
County Tax Map (loads GIS page)
City of Buffalo Parcel Viewer

Adjacent to the Belt Line.

Owner

Central Terminal Restoration Corporation

Physical Description

The building is in an Art Deco style with a Roman-inspired interior. The office tower is 271 feet high. The concourse measures 225′x66′ and is 58.5′ high through the center vault, and 63.5 feet at the domed ends. The building's footprint is 523,000 square feet.

Current Condition

The office tower and main concourse are secure and being renovated through various fundraising initiatives by the non-profit owners. The baggage building is still exposed to the elements, and the train platforms have been severed from the building and are under separate ownership.

History

  • 1925 – New York Central Railroad, The City and Grade Crossing, and the Terminal Station Commission signed an agreement to allow Buffalo Central Terminal (BCT) to be built at its present location, 2.5 miles from Buffalo's downtown business district.
  • 1927 – Construction begins on the 17 floor office tower and terminal. All iron work done by Premier Fireproofing.
  • 1929 - The Buffalo Central Terminal was built by the New York Central Railroad. It opened on June 22, 1929. It was designed by Fellheimer & Wagner.
  • 1956 – Due to loss of revenue and decline in train use by the general public, the BCT is put on the market for $1,000,000 (1/14th of its original cost) Does not sell.
  • 1966 - Pullman Service Building, Coach Shop, Ice House, and Power House are demolished to reduce taxes and maintenance.
  • 1971 - Amtrak is created. Amtrak takes over majority of the intercity passage service in the US. Uses BCT as its Buffalo Terminal.
  • 1976 - Penn Central RR, Lehigh Valley RR, Erie-Lackawanna RR, Lehigh & Hudson River RR merge to form Conrail. Conrail now owns BCT.
  • 1979 - Amtrak abandons BCT on October 28, in favor of using its new Dick Rd. Station in Cheektowaga, and the reopened downtown exchange station. Last train leaves BCT on October 28, 1979.
  • 1979 - Anthony Fedele & Galesi Realty purchase BCT for $75,000.
  • 1981 – Pedestrian bridge from terminal to train concourse is demolished to allow passage of taller freight cars on the Belt Line. Property is subdivided.
  • 1984 - BCT is placed on State and National Registers of Historical Places.
  • 1986 – Anthony Fedele defaults on taxes and US Bankruptcy Court Judge John W. Creahan orders foreclosure sale, the City puts BCT up for auction. Thomas Telesco buys the terminal for $100,000. He is the only bidder. He begins selling off the architectural artifacts and stripping anything of value.
  • 1990 - Complex sold to Bernie Tuchman. The building continues to be neglected and exposed to vandalism.
  • 1997 - Purchased by the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation (CTRC) for restoration.
Most of the History section courtesy Central Terminal Restoration Corporation website

Recent Events and Actions Taken

  • The Central Terminal Restoration Corporation was founded in 1997 to oversee the stabilization and restoration of the Central Terminal. Local preservationist Scott Field acquired the 18-acre site, including concourse, tower, and four story baggage building along Curtiss Street, from Samuel Tuchman and B.C.T Inc. for $1 plus the assumption of back taxes owed to the City of Buffalo.
  • 1997 – (August) BCT property transferred to Central Terminal Restoration Corporation. After almost 20 years of neglect and abuse, efforts begin to preserve this landmark.
  • 1999 – $1,000,000 in Erie County money set aside to rehab tower. Tower clocks re-lit Oct. 1st.
  • 2003 – After removal of 350 tons of debris, asbestos abatement in the main concourse, roof repairs, and enclosure of 4,000 windows, terminal is re-opened for tours
  • 2004 – Buffalo Central Terminal turns 75 – with a big celebration. The CTRC receives $101,000 from the City of Buffalo for rehab of the building. Campaign to return the original concourse clock begins.
  • 2005 – May – The concourse clock returns to Buffalo and is installed for the 2005 season in the concourse.
  • 2007 – The "new" CTRC celebrates its 10th anniversary. Dyngus Day returns to Central Terminal.
  • 2013 - Partial replacement of roof, installation of solar panels, and repairs to Guastavino tile in main concourse.
Most of the Recent Actions section courtesy Central Terminal Restoration Corporation website

Other Pertinent Facts

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

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Added 2013-01-02 • Last changed 2016-05-12