Public Art in Buffalo - Table of Contents

Ferry Street Corridor Project
East Ferry Street, north side, between Main Street and at Michigan Avenue, Buffalo, NY

TEXT Beneath Illustrations

Main at Ferry

Photos taken in August of 2015.

Main Street on the left of photo    ...   Ferry Street at the right of the photo

Details below:


Right: Mark Goldman    ...   Read about his role inthe Coirridor Project below

Main at Michigan

Photos below were taken in July of 2015.  In August of 2015 the display walls were empty.

Some of the project photos are illustrated below:

New:Original photos by Milton Rogovin

Willie Evans

Offermann Stadium: Located on the block bounded by East Ferry Street, Masten Avenue, Woodlawn Avenue and Michigan Avenue

Offermann Stadium

August 17, 1960
(Research by Richard Szczepaniec)


Humboldt parkway

Ferry Street Project Will Tell a Story of Buffalo
By Colin Dabkowski

The Buffalo News
October 24, 2014

Main Street in Buffalo is acknowledged as both an actual and an inadvertent divide in the city, between east and west, struggling and vibrant, black and white.

Then there are the streets that intersect the city's center, such as Ferry Street, which runs from the Niagara River to Bailey Avenue and truly reflects that divide.

Mark Goldman knows that street tells a story. And he hopes he can get people to hear it.

Goldman and his group Friends of the Buffalo Story have chosen it for an ambitious public art and theater project. The City of Buffalo is co-sponsoring the project, which is funded by a $100,000 matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The idea is to use the "Ferry Street Corridor" as a storytelling device about the city in an effort to put residents in touch with the city's history and inspire them to change its future.

"I really believe that one of the great building blocks of citizenship is knowing your heritage and knowing your stories. I think if we can get people to know more about where they live, that converts into an economic development strategy," said Goldman, a Buffalo historian and restaurateur.

The project will begin next week when 30 students from Lafayette High School and the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts collect stories from throughout the neighborhoods along the street. The stories will be shaped into theater performances and public art pieces of a size and scope yet to be determined. Students from SUNY Buffalo State's Anne Frank Project also will be involved in the project, which is being directed by Goldman's collaborator Marissa Lehner.

One goal of the project is to honor the history and legacy of the East Side, which has been left out of recent conversations about the city's cultural and economic revival, Goldman said.

"The East Side has been kind of off the radar screen in many, many ways, particularly in terms of getting their heritage out," he said.

He noted that he wants to focus special attention on the intersection of Jefferson and Ferry, which has four businesses that date to 1960-61, owned by the same families: Gigi's Restaurant, Doris Records, Dexter Leader Drugs and Hargrave New York News.

Ferry Street was an obvious choice for the incipient project, Goldman said. As one of the longest east-west corridors in the city, it is essentially a cross-section of the city's cultures and neighborhoods. It cuts through the historically Italian West Side into the heart of the Grant-Ferry business district, which is becoming a thriving nexus for the city's growing immigrant and refugee populations. From there, it slices across one of the city's most affluent neighborhoods before arriving at Main Street, the symbolic divide between Buffalo's segregated east and west sides.

Beyond Main Street, East Ferry is a veritable string of historical and cultural pearls, from the popular New Skateland rink near Michigan Avenue along the southern boundary of the historic Hamlin Park neighborhood

For Goldman, who has led a wide range of community-focused art and theater projects including a collection of murals on Allen Street and a theater production about the history of the waterfront, the Ferry Street program represents a chance for him to leave his mark on the city.

"I figure I have 10 good years left, and this is the kind of work I want to do," he said. "This is not about putting yarn-bombing on a tree on the corner. It's not that. It's much larger.

[Bold lettering added for emphasis.]
and across the Kensington Expressway, a widely disparaged example of mid-century urban renewal which was built over Frederick Law Olmsted's elm-lined Humboldt Parkway.


The Ferry Street Corridor: An 'Our Town' Public Art Recipient
By Queenseyes

Buffalo Rising
July 18, 2014

West Ferry Street will soon see a splash of public art. Thanks goes to The Friends of the Buffalo Story, the group that pushed for the funding. Buffalo was awarded one of 66 "Our Town" grants that were allocated nationally by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). 275 applications were submitted to the NEA - $5,000,000 in funds are being disbursed.

"The Ferry Street corridor project, by uncovering peoples' stories and then realizing those stories in public art projects, will create a boulevard of brotherhood across Main Street that will inspire the whole community," said [Mark] Goldman, who heads up The Friends of the Buffalo Story. We are thrilled to be working with Mayor Brown on this most significant creative placemaking project."

Buffalo is the recipient of one of the larger grants to be handed out, totaling $100,000. The goal of the initiative is to create a sense of place known as "The Ferry Street Corridor" -  Public art, personal stories and public history: The power of creative placemaking and the transformation of neighborhoods.

Some of the Ferry Street Corridor Project photos were copied and mounted on the Ferry Street elevation of the Buffalo Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts School in 2021

See also:  The 2017 Freedom Wall, at Main and Michigan (replaced the Ferry Street Corridor Project)

Photos and their arrangement 2015 Chuck LaChiusa
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