Friday, May 29, 2009

Buffalo, New York: Central Terminal

The Central Terminal and Buffalo have had an odd relationship over the years.

The structure was built in the late 1920's, and is one of the youngest of the grand old railroad terminals, relatively speaking. The art deco style remains a classic. The terminal was quite busy in the Thirties, as Buffalo was second only to Chicago in rail traffic.

The problem, of course, is that airplanes were on their way in. And railroads thought they were in the railroad business, when they were actually in the transportation business. A slow decline in the business took place after World War II, and eventually the facility closed in the late 1970's.

That left Buffalo with a grand old building that no one knew what to do with. Over the years, practically everything of value has been stripped from the building by vandals. However, the structure remains, waiting for a chance at rebirth. In 2009 there was talk of high-speed rail between Buffalo and Albany, with the Central Terminal a focal point for redevelopment.

We'll see. In the meantime, it still looks good.

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