Connecting both sides of Main Street

I've been interested in connecting both parts of Buffalo since I started blogging in 2004. I wrote about the transformational quality of the decision to re-locate Performing Arts High School along East Ferry Street. Here, I imagine arts and education to be the link between an emerging arts and educational community on the City's near East Side and the more popular and frequented West Side commercial neighborhoods along Elmwood Avenue.
I've heard that there's a plan ready to go that will extend Allen Street across Main Street and place the east end of Allen somewhere crossing Washington and bisecting Ellicott street. So, earlier in the week I went to take a closer look at the Metro stop that would be radically transformed by the new street design.

Here's a snap looking east on Allen towards the subway stop. The Roswell Park campus is in the background. And two close up views.
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This was the first time I've had the opportunity to walk through this pedestrian tunnel. This public poetry pannel is easy to miss if you are driving, which I find myself doing less of every month. Click on the series to see this public poetry. And if anyone knows who's responsible for this creation, kindly let me know.

Public Poetry Panel #1 Public Poetry Panel #2 Public Poetry Panel #3
Public Poetry Panel #4 Public Poetry Panel #5 Public Poetry Panel #6
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When you look east through the pedestrian tunnel - which sort of lines up with Allen Street- (google map), you'll see some really cool houses that have been converted to medical offices on Washington Street. Very slightly to the left there's a parking lot and looking a bit further there's a path that winds between another parking lot and a house that's even more impressive than these two brick houses on Ellicott.

Making the connection toboth halves of Buffalo, East and West, is important.  Yet the proposals flying around have included taking down these houses to make room for a "straight" road. Please, this is Allen town. If the street isn't straight and curves somewhat, does it really matter?
Allen & Main - from the east DSCN2472 DSCN2473 DSCN2474
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If a right of way can't be negotiated with the property owner at 937 Washington, perhaps a more pedestrian and urban friendly subway stop, as in an underground one with retail redesigned on the street level is approriate for this connection to the City's East side. Maybe a well designed and smaller street connecting to Washington and a pedestrian zone to Ellicott is inorder here.

With the Preservation Coalition recently taking up residence in the Red Jacket Building on the corner of Main and Allen look for more creative designs and urban friendly planning in this East and West Side connector. It's hard to imagine a demolition of 19th century Buffalo residential property right on their door step.
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1 comment:

Celia said...

As far as I recall, this poetry mural was part of a residency by a visiting Latino poet, likely arranged through just buffalo literary center. If you're very curious, contact them: 832-5400.