This piece I wrote was published in the Buffalo News on 05/08/2006. It is still resonates today to me as much as it did back in 2006.
Between the typical Easter season craziness and recent revelations surrounding a plan to add an outlet store to the Broadway Market, a lot of attention has been focused on this East Side landmark over the last few weeks.
As people often do when something is in the news, many have offered thoughts and ideas as to what is either wrong with the market or what should be done with it. Some say move it downtown. Some say it needs a new facility. Some say it just isn’t the same anymore. Some say the neighborhood is its biggest obstacle.
Though the Broadway Market has its share of problems, its doors are still open serving the Broadway-Fillmore community year round. This is something that can’t be overlooked in discussing the future of the market.
Cities like Cleveland, Rochester, St. Louis and Cincinnati have transformed similar inner-city public markets into regional destinations. Is it such a stretch to think that Buffalo can do the same? There is nothing like the market in the region. It has built-in name recognition and is a piece of living history.
There is a rebirth of sorts occurring in the area. The market sits amid a rejuvenated Corpus Christi Church, a thriving St. Stanislaus Church, a Central Terminal on the rise and an emerging community being developed around the Masjid Zakariya Mosque on Sobieski Street. It ought to be an integral part of this mix.
The Broadway Market should be viewed as a catalyst to help bring more business back to the neighborhood. The market stands positioned to be the epicenter of commerce on the East Side. Every effort should be made to ensure that 999 Broadway experiences a rebirth of its own. It is not only a vital part of our past, but can be a vital part of Buffalo’s future.
Christopher M. Byrd
Co-founder, Broadway Fillmore Alive
Support the Market!!!