WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman

Future of the Central Terminal?

"There's no substitute to its eventual complete restoration."

April 21, 2019 - 11:40 pm

BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - The Dyngus Day party at the Central Terminal, the largest in the country, is back Monday evening.

This party consistently ranks as one of the most popular events that the terminal hosts every year, but it does host an assortment of other events as well.

"There are train shows, car shows, Oktoberfests, ghost hunts," said Fillmore District Councilman David Franczyk. "They actually do very well with ghost hunters going in there, though I haven't seen any ghosts myself, but maybe somebody did."

Franczyk is looking forward to a bright future of development at the Central Terminal, and while it will eventually take a multi-million dollar investment, the state is chipping in $5 million to make sure that the ongoing restoration of the terminal is continued.

"(We want to) tighten up the building as a whole but specifically the main concourse," said Mark Lewandowski, Director of Central Terminal Restoration Corporation. "All of the huge arched windows and things like that. It's going to be a concourse redevelopment."

Lewandowski added that the goal is to restore the concourse back to its original 1929 look.

Franczyk says that the building is essentially doing what it's able to do for the time being - holding community events, such as the Dyngus Day celebration, but the end goal should be to find a more permanent and stable development use for the site.

"They're using it as an event venue space, but ultimately something like that would ideally be used for offices, a hotel, apartments," he said. "But keeping the concourse open for public access is very important."

Now, the goal is to simply find an investor with a plausible idea who also possesses the necessary funds to work on a re-development project of this magnitude.

"It has long been one of the biggest projects in Buffalo and certainly one of the most beloved buildings in the City of Buffalo," said Franczyk. "People have tremendous memories about it, and there's no substitute to its eventual complete restoration."

Listen to the entire conversation with Franczyk below:

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