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Press Release 2010

HERITAGE DISCOVERY CENTER PLANS UNVEILED

         BUFFALO, NEW YORK - 10/6/2010. Amid displays of Buffalo's glorious industrial past, including a steam locomotive that symbolized the power of the railroads, various local and state elected officials and business and community leaders, including Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Chris Collins, as well as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Abby Snyder, the Western New York Railway Historical Society and Steel Plant Museum, gathered at the former Buffalo Color Corporation site to announce plans to open the Heritage Discovery Center.

         The Center will be home to the Western New York Railway Historical Society's railroad museum and the new permanent home of the Steel Plant Museum, which is currently located in Lackawanna. The Center will have other uses, including public space for local community groups and organizations.

         "The Heritage Discovery Center is about preserving our industrial heritage," said Ed Patton, director of museum development for the Western New York Railway Historical Society. "For the railroad and steel plant museums, it represents the dedication of so many peopled committed to preserving the importance of the railroad and steelmaking heritage of our region. While these industries are now a past memory, the Heritage Discovery Center will preserve them for future generations."

         In April 2010, the Railway Society reached an agreement to acquire approximately 35 acres of the former Buffalo Color site located in South Buffalo along the Buffalo River bounded by Elk Street, South Park Avenue and Lee Street. The site was used to manufacture dye products for the food and clothing industries.

         The first phase of remediation will not be finished until the fall of 2011. In early 2012 other phases of the project are expected to be completed. The DEC also must certify the completion of the remediation of the site.

         "We are extremely grateful to South Buffalo Development, the New York State DEC and Honeywell for working together to remediate this site which will help us preserve and display important works of Buffalo's industrial heritage and architecture," said Joseph Kocsis, President of the Railway Society. "We are confident that the Heritage Discovery Center will become a cultural attraction that will make our region proud of its industrial heritage and the significant impact it has had on our community."

         "The Heritage Discovery Center has provided the Steel Plant Museum of WNY a long awaited opportunity to expand its mission of preserving the history of the steel industry and to tell the stories of the people who worked in and around the mills," said Jim Carey, president, Steel Plant Museum of Western New York

         "The City of Buffalo has one of the greatest legacies of industrial innovation in our nation and the Heritage Discovery Center will present that proud history for the public to see and understand in this location on the former Buffalo Color site," said Mayor Brown. "It is fitting that this former industrial site will be remediated and put to a new use that will celebrate our past while presenting new opportunities for the future. I commend all of the partners that have come together to make this project succeed."

         "As our community continues to attract tourists interested in Western New York's history and culture, the Heritage Discovery Center will be another top destination highlighting our community's industrial past, including our steel manufacturing and railroad legacies," said Erie County Executive Chris Collins. "In addition, this is a great use of a brownfield site and another positive step in the re-birth of Buffalo and Erie County."

         "New York State is committed to seeing brownfield sites cleaned-up and reestablished as economic and environmental assets to their communities," said DEC Regional Director Abby Snyder. "Revitalization of this site will transform a once blighted property into what will become a community asset, and reflects the positive impact that effective and collaborative partnerships can foster."

         "While we have come a long way in remediating this site, there is still a lot of work to be done," said Jon Williams, President of South Buffalo Development. "We are confident that through continued collaboration this public and private sector initiative will become a reality. I want to recognize in particular Honeywell for all of their efforts in this historic initiative."

         Also attending the announcement were officials from Honeywell, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, New York State Senator William Stachowski, Assemblyman Mark Schroeder, Erie County Legislator Tim Kennedy and local business and community leaders.

Business First Article - 10/6/10

Forgotten Buffalo Article - 10/6/10

October 2010

          The Western New York Railway Historical Society, Inc. is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with South Buffalo Development LLC to acquire 35+ acres of the former Buffalo Color Corp site located in South Buffalo along the Buffalo River bounded by Elk St, South Park Ave and Lee St. The site was the former home of the National Aniline Company which manufactured dye products for the food and clothing industries.

          The Site Plan above gives you a detailed look at how the DiscoveRY Center will be laid out when complete. The total track on the property will be 15,600 feet with 5,650 feet of display under cover and 600 feet under cover for repairs and maintenance. 25,000 sq. feet of building space will be used for shop, construction and storage. Total museum floor space will be 56,000 sq. feet. and 24,000 sq. feet can be used for large group or banquet facilities. There will be parking for 420 cars, 12 for handicap vehicles, 8 spaces for tour buses and 30 for staff parking.

         The site is divided into four major areas as indicated on the aerial view. The Society will be acquiring each of the separate areas as the environmental remediation is completed and certified by the NYSDEC. Area E and Area C marked in yellow on the aerial view are on schedule to be completed by the end of this year and the Society will take over those properties at that time. The remediation work required in Areas A & B is scheduled to be completed by early 2012.
Since this is an enormous ongoing project, we are still developing
the overall site usage plan and will be updating the website regularly.

Contact Us: Orchard Park - 716-662-7002       Williamsville - 716-633-7002
WNYRHS Inc., PO Box 416, Buffalo, New York  14231-0416
All Donations to the Heritage Discovery Center are Tax-Deductable!

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This page was last updated: January 22nd, 2017

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The WNYHDC, Inc. P.O. Box 416, Buffalo, NY. 14231-0416 is an independent organization and has no affiliation with any other local or national group.
The Society is a fully qualified organization under 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and all donations to the Society are tax deductible.
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