Buying back Buffalo’s past
blog by S.J. Velasquez • November 29, 2012 @ 11:06am
While Western New Yorkers string up strands of twinkling holiday lights, supporters of Buffalo’s Central Terminal revitalization efforts have a special light fixture on their minds.
One of the Central Terminal’s original light fixtures is currently up for sale in Toronto, and the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation is trying to raise enough money to bring the piece of Buffalo history back to its original home at the former train station on the city’s east side.
The antique dealer selling the light fixture, Roberto Navarro, originally asked $9,000 for the item but offered to reduce the price to $3,000 only if the fixture made its way back to the terminal, according to a Facebook post shared by the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation.
Organizers from Broadway Fillmore Alive have taken over efforts to return the light fixture, stripped from the terminal’s main concourse, to its home in the City of Lights by raising approximately $3,000 needed to purchase it. According to a blog post, Broadway Fillmore Alive has until Dec. 24 to raise the necessary funds. After that, the Toronto antique dealer will not hold the item for the Buffalo restoration group.
The fixture is one of approximately 30 that once lined the terminal’s main concourse, Broadway Fillmore Alive’s Chris Byrd said, adding that the lights can be seen in the film “The Natural,” shot in Buffalo. A few identical fixtures have already been retrieved by terminal restoration buffs, but the fixture in Toronto is in exceptional condition, Byrd said. This one could potentially be used as a model for replicas.
“I definitely feel we will meet and exceed the goal, and any additional funds will go straight to the terminal as well,” Byrd said, though he’s aware that cash-strapped potential donors are particularly frugal with donation dollars this time of year.
To make a donation to the effort to buy back the light fixture, click here.
Navarro’s website describes the fixture designed by Alfred Fellheimer and Steward Wagner as “light faceted as crystal.”