COUNCIL APPROVES PLAN TO PROTECT CENTRAL TERMINAL
November 13, 1997
by: PHIL FAIRBANKS
The looting and dismantling of one of Buffalo’s biggest and most beloved landmarks may finally stop.
The historic Central Terminal moved one step closer to revitalization Wednesday when lawmakers approved plans to secure the 16-story tower and repair its leaking roof.
The plans, approved by the Common Council, include the hiring of Giannada Construction Co. to make the building safe from vandals and looters. The company plans to install fencing around the 18-acre site and temporary roofing to prevent water damage.
The price tag for the work is about $243,000.
“There’s no landmark in this city that’s loved by more people,” said A. Scott Field, president of Central Terminal Restoration Corp., the nonprofit group that owns the terminal.
No one is ready to declare the terminal a success story, but the hiring of Giannada is seen as a positive first step in protecting the huge structure from decay and theft.
Giannada has gained recognition for its work in overseeing the restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House on Jewett Parkway.
“This is a beginning,” said Fillmore Council Member David A. Franczyk. “We’re not ignoring it, and we’re not talking about tearing it down. We’re talking about restoring it.”
To move the project forward, Field’s group formed an advisory committee that includes officeholders, preservationists and development experts. Their role is to help with long-term issues such as fund-raising and possible reuses.
Previous studies have estimated the cost for a complete refurbishment of the terminal at roughly $55 million. That amount would allow the first floor to be used for retailing and the upper floors as offices.
Since taking ownership in September, the group has monitored the site, looking for vandals and looters. One man was caught by a volunteer and later convicted on charges connected with trying to steal materials from the East Side landmark.
“It’s a new lease on life for the building,” said Thomas Hryvaniak, a member of the nonprofit group. “It’s not just an abandoned tower anymore.”
Copyright (C) 1997, The Buffalo News Record Number: 9711130110