Buffalo Central Terminal Launches ‘Seat at the Table’ on Great Lawn

Join the Central Terminal Restoration Corp. (CTRC) at 4pm on Tuesday, October 25th at the Buffalo Central Terminal Great Lawn to celebrate the launch and ribbon cutting for Seat at the Table, a new community gathering space on the Terminal Great Lawn featuring custom creations by youth with The Foundry’s workforce development program.

Seat at the Table is the culmination of months of community engagement. We heard our neighbors call for a place to gather with friends and family at the Terminal. Inspired by this community feedback, Seat at the Table features the installation of two custom, extra-long tables with seating as well as two additional sculptural seating elements. This initiative to transform the Great Lawn from an under-utilized lawn into a lively and inviting greenspace is supported by Project for Public Spaces’ Community Placemaking Grants initiative that provided $40,000 in funding and technical assistance.

“I can’t wait to have a place to stop and sit at the Terminal on my walks around the neighborhood. I’ve lived in Broadway Fillmore for years and it’s really exciting to see the future of the Terminal taking shape,” said resident Richard Palmatier-Maynard.

Seat at the Table is an important first step toward the future of the Terminal as a Civic Commons, a year-round, regional venue for public events and activities. Early efforts to engage Civic Commons focus on outdoor, seasonal events on the Great Lawn. Seat at the Table establishes the Great Lawn as a welcoming entry to the Buffalo Central Terminal and as a place for neighbors and visitors from near and far.

The Foundry’s Making + Manufacturing Program students fabricating elements of Seat at the Table, pictured in order Sheddrickk Straker, Todd Timmons, and Nykell Jones.

The custom furniture featured in Seat at the Table was designed for the Buffalo Central Terminal by the nonprofit makerspace The Foundry and fabricated by young people in their Making + Manufacturing Program, a certification-based workforce development program for ages 18 to 25.

“I’m really grateful for the opportunity that FOUNDRYmade has given me. I started this project as a side job while working towards my education with The Foundry and Service Collaborative of WNY, and I’m so thankful for the chance to contribute towards building a piece of Buffalo’s history,” said Sheddrickk Straker, a student currently enrolled in The Foundry’s Making + Manufacturing Program.

The Making + Manufacturing Program is a direct to employment training program that introduces students to production techniques and tools in The Foundry’s makerspaces to cultivate an understanding in modern manufacturing careers. Twelve students and seven shop supervisors were employed in the fabrication of Seat at the Table, the largest project that FOUNDRYmade has taken on to date.

“Working with The Foundry on our placemaking project was a perfect fit for us. Through FOUNDRYmade we can spend our grant dollars here to bolster the skills of young people in Buffalo while making a fun and unique community space at the Terminal,” said Monica Pellegrino Faix, Executive Director of the CTRC.

The Seat at the Table launch and ribbon cutting celebration is happening concurrently with the Matt Urban Center’s Trunk-or-Treat, an annual safe trick-or-treating event for the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood with resources from local organizations.

About the Central Terminal Restoration Corp.

The historic Buffalo Central Terminal is a prominent feature of Buffalo’s East Side and the Broadway Fillmore neighborhood. The not-for-profit Central Terminal Restoration Corp. (CTRC) has been the caretaker for more than 20 years. The future of the Buffalo Central Terminal is a singular catalytic opportunity to ignite a shared vision for a new future. The community driven Master Plan re-establishes the Terminal as a hub of activity – a beacon that attracts people and investment, celebrates, and fosters community voice and connections that shape broad and equitable revitalization efforts, and contributes to the strong future of the city and region. More information and photos can be found in the CTRC Media Kit here.

About The Foundry

Established in 2013, The Foundry uses an inclusive approach to advancing individuals through hands-on learning, entrepreneurship and exposure to possibilities. The Foundry works with youth to explore various career paths, hands-on skill-building and new digital literacies by facilitating opportunities through in-school, afterschool and workforce development programs.

The Foundry believes that creating opportunities necessary for self-sufficiency and economic stability promotes a healthier community and provides budding entrepreneurs from throughout the city with affordable rental space, connections to mentoring, business classes, and connections to local support services. For more information visit www.thefoundrybuffalo.org.

About FOUNDRYmade:

FOUNDRYmade is a social enterprise at The Foundry committed to creating meaningful employment opportunities for youth ages 16-24. While making products in The Foundry’s makerspaces, youth develop a valuable toolkit of maker techniques and life skills that will equip them for the future world of work.

About the Community Placemaking Grants Initiative

The Community Placemaking Grants initiative was developed to give more people the opportunity to shape the places they use everyday. Launched in fall of 2021, this initiative connects U.S.-based nonprofit organizations and government agencies to funding to transform the public spaces they steward, as well as technical assistance and capacity building facilitated by Project for Public Spaces.

About Project for Public Spaces

Founded in 1975, Project for Public Spaces has brought some of the most successful public places in the world to life. They put community participation at the center of everything they do, from placemaking partnerships with corporations and foundations to their workshops, trainings, conferences, and more. Their interdisciplinary team has helped over 3,500 communities in 52 countries create inclusive places that change our society for the better.

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