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From: "jdent1 AT optonline DOT net" jdent1 AT optonline DOT net
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 11:14:11 -0400
Subject: Buffalo, NY
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From the Bufflao News via the EL list=2E=2E

The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad station at the foot of Main
Street in Buffalo is being eyed as the future home of a new $20 million
Harborfront Heritage Center
The Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society is behind the proposal and is

seeking $1 million in federal transportation dollars to conduct a
feasibility study=2E William Seiner, the historical society's executive
director, said the goal is to reuse the train station as a center to
interpret the historic significance of the Erie Canal, as well as Buffalo'
role as a key transportation link between east-west transportation routes

"The DL&W site is right in the heart of all those developments in our loca
history, so it feels like the right fit for what we want to accomplish,"
Seiner said
The project would highlight all of the transportation modes and methods
located at the site, including passenger rail, commercial and passenger
shipping, Buffalo's Erie Canal history and the industrialization of the
city=2E It also would incorporate closely related topics such as immigrati
and U=2ES=2E-Canada relationships
Preliminary plans for the center call for acquisition of a grain elevator
and a Great Lakes grain boat, as well as historic railroad cars and
The center also is viewed as a complement to proposed on-site glimpses of
actual canal structures at the nearby Erie Canal Harbor site, which is
moving into its final design stages
Rep=2E Jack Quinn, R-Hamburg, is supporting the historical society's $1
million request to advance the project=2E That request is now under review
along with a slate of other local transportation-related projects, in the
House Transportation Committee
Seiner said he first envisioned reusing the circa 1916 train station as a
Harborfront Heritage Center last year after visiting an industrial museum
in Manchester, England, that was located in a former train station
"Being in that building set off a lot of parallels in my mind," Seiner
said=2E "The space inside the DL&W is just so terrific=2E Not only does it

offer wonderful exhibit space, you can imagine having a terrace restaurant

overlooking the river, and there's space outside for activities=2E"
While the proposed heritage center is expected to hold interest for area
residents, it also would be positioned as a cultural tourism destination,
and as part of a statewide effort to create a series of interpretive venue
to tell the story of the Erie Canal
William P=2E Condo, coordinator of the Western Erie Canal Heritage Corrido
Planning Commission, said his group has had discussions with Seiner about
the DL&W terminal proposal=2E Condo said it fits with his group's effort t
establish seven canal interpretive centers across the state
"We're very aware of the project and support the concept," Condo said=2E "
fact, if it all gels, it should be a great center in a great building=2E"

Condo noted that while the canal heritage group is pushing for the
interpretive center, the panel is leaving it up to the various localities
to decide on specific sites=2E He said if the DL&W site does not work out,

there are several other Buffalo locations that would fit the bill
One of the key hurdles standing in the way of the heritage center is that
the historical society has no claim on the terminal building=2E The Niagar
Frontier Transportation Authority owns the DL&W site and uses the first
floor as its Metro Rail storage and maintenance shop
NFTA representatives said that they are aware of the historical society's
interest in the building but that no talks have taken place
The terminal currently is on the radar screen of Bos Group, the designated

developer of the Erie Canal Harbor Entertainment District
The DL&W is part of the group's master plan for the neighborhood, which
also includes the mothballed Memorial Auditorium, the vacant Webster Block

and the Donovan State Office Building=2E That master plan is expected to b
unveiled in early May

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