Posts Tagged ‘High-Speed Rail’

I’m obsessed with the  the Buffalo Central Terminal. If you’re unfamiliar with the Central Terminal, check out its history. The building is only eighty-one years old, but looking at it you’d think the building had been through a major war or ruins from the middle ages. The Central Terminal is a true testament on how we our society simply gives up on things we don’t like anymore. All this talk about high-speed rail in New York has brought a surge in discussion about restoring the central terminal to its old glory. Hypothetically, that would be great. It saddens me to see such a, once, prodominent structure simply rotting into the ground. Realistically though, the Central Terminal will not become a hub for hi-speed rail. That isn’t meant to be a dig at the great people and organizations trying to restore the structure, but its the sad truth.

Our neighborhoods, especially around the Central Terminal area, have been so neglected that there is no infrastructure in place to support it. Central Terminal now sits in the middle of a depressed residential neighborhood with one gas station and the occasional bodega. The streets are littered with pot-holes, homes are boarded up and the American dream abandoned. It’s easy for us to say that we can simply, with unlimited government funding, restore the Central Terminal and the surrounding area. Is it an achievable dream or just an idea that we’re floating around. The Central Terminal was being dismantled in the late 1960’s to save on cost, and in the 1980’s the terminal was placed on the State and National Historic Places registry, thus disallowing it to be torn down. So with all that, the Central Terminal sit.

While it seems unforeseeable that the terminal will see active rail transportation again, I think we should allow nature to continue to overtake the grounds. The Central Terminal now is a nesting place for several species of migrating birds and other small animals. Because humans have built and neglected magnificence, nature has found a way and embraced our poor decisions.

Here’s an example of what has become of the Central Terminal:

I feel that we had our chance to enjoy what we built. Our leaders in the past made a choice to allow this magnificent structure enter an era of decay. We allowed them to let it rot, much like other aspects of our society that we hand over to our leaders to ruin. While we can try to restore what we neglected, nature stepped in for us and is embracing our urban ruins. I think because nature found a way, we should allow it to thrive and perhaps that can be a model for tourism. The Central Terminal Urban Forest could be a future tourist attraction that the terminals governing body could capitalize on. I think because we live in a neglect, teardown and rebuild society, we over look opportunities to use what we have.

I, of course, hope for brighter days for the Central Terminal. Would it be glorious to see the terminal once again used for its original intention? Yes. But, unfortunately politics and hope for change and high-speed rail will plague the Central Terminal area as long as it’s being printed in the papers. Thus, we should embrace the terminal as is as a monument for our society, and perhaps a reminder to not let our treasures suffer the same fate.


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