Monday, March 20, 2017

The abandoned Buffalo Central Terminal

Buffalo Central Terminal opened on June 22, 1929 with a grand celebration attended by 2,200 invited guests. The new train station of Buffalo, New York had been built by New York Central Railroad to replace the several other train stations that served the city. 

Designed by architects Fellheimer & Wagner in art deco style and build in Buffalo's Broadway/Fillmore district, the station had been considered too huge even from its early days. The 17-story building consists of several structures some of which are connected, while others were formerly interconnected. The main concourse is 225 feet (69 m) long, 66 feet (21 m) wide, and 58.5 feet (17.8 m) tall. t (21 m) wide, and 58.5 feet (17.8 m) tall. The concourse included various rental spaces, a restaurant with a dining room, lunch room, and coffee shop, a Western Union telegraph office; and a soda fountain, along with standard station necessities. The train concourse is 450 feet (140 m) long and includes 14 high-level platforms. 

Although at first Buffalo Central Terminal served 200 trains daily, the Great Depression which began shortly after the terminal opened, as well as the rise in use of automobile, hurt passenger levels. World War II brought an increase in traffic but the decline continued after the war. In 1966, some secondary buildings of the terminal were demolished due to the decrease of passenger revenues. Amtrak tried to add new routes in the late 1970's but soon services moved to the smaller Buffalo–Exchange Street station as the Central Terminal was too expensive for the financially strapped passenger carrier. The last train departed the terminal at 4:10 am on October 28, 1979. 

On the same year the building was sold for $75,000 to a local builder with plans to convert it into a 150-room hotel named Central Terminal Plaza but he could not find investors for the project. He finally only created an apartment for himself and lived there until 1986 when he declared bankruptcy. Following that, the terminal changed numerous owners and fell into disrepair. Vandals destroyed whatever could not be stolen as the building wasn't guarded. A volunteer organization bought the terminal in 1997 for $1 and the assumption of approximately $70,000 in back taxes. Since then it has hosted multiple fundraisers and has been able to restore some small parts of the terminal.

SEE ALSO: More abandoned railway stations around the world // More abandoned places in the state of New York // More abandoned places in the United States // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES
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