Of all the magnificent train stations built in Buffalo at the height of the railroad era (when it was second only to Chicago as a railway hub), the Central Terminal was the grandest — and today it's the only one left standing. The Central Terminal opened for business a few months before the stock market crash of 1929 and served as the gateway to Buffalo for passengers on the New York Central Railroad (and, later, Amtrak) until 1979, when it was shuttered as a cost-cutting measure. The building spent the next twenty years being passed from owner to owner; by 1997, the year the '''Central Terminal Restoration Corporation''' acquired it for $1 plus back taxes, the Terminal had fallen victim to the ravages of vandalism and more than a few harsh Buffalo winters. Despite all that, it's still one of the architectural wonders of Buffalo: an Art Deco masterpiece designed by the New York City firm of Fellheimer & Wagner, the same ones who designed Grand Central Station in Manhattan sixteen years previously, with a tower that rises 272 feet (83 meters) over old Polonia, the tallest building in Buffalo outside of downtown. Today, despite the overwhelming scale of the task at hand, the CTRC has made a good deal of headway in stabilizing and renovating the building. The best way to see the inside of the Central Terminal is on one of the docent-led historical tours (which cover various areas of the passenger concourse and tower, depending on the status of the renovations) that occur once a month from May to September. But if you're not in town for one of those, there are occasional special events held inside the concourse that are open to the public (including a train show and an annual Oktoberfest celebration), and "ghost tours" in the two weeks or so leading up to Halloween are also a hit.
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New York Central Terminal
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