A New Community Gathering Space Featuring Custom Furniture Crafted by Buffalo Youth
The Central Terminal Restoration Corp. (CTRC) is preparing to unveil its Seat at the Table project on Tuesday, October 25 (4pm). At that time, a ribbon cutting will be held, as a way to introduce a new community gathering place on the Terminal Great Lawn. The various custom components of Seat at the Table have been made possible thanks in part to youth working with The Foundry’s workforce development program.
Seat at the Table is the culmination of plenty of input from the neighborhood, which has called for places to sit and gather along the sprawling Great Lawn of the Central Terminal. The project consists of two custom, extra-long tables with seating, as well as two additional sculptural seating elements. The endeavor was 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 just one component of a broader scope plant to transition the Central Terminal into a Civic Commons, which will help to anchor the neighborhood as a year-round, regional venue for public events and activities. This process begins with activating the Great Lawn, which bridges the neighborhood to the building complex. The Great Lawn will also be a draw for people from all over the region, who will engage with the grounds of the Central Terminal, and the building itself, in ways that they have hoped and imagined for decades.
The custom furniture designs for Seat at the Table were made possible via 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.
Ultimately, the Making + Manufacturing Program is a training program for youth, that provides the education tools that they need to enter into the modern manufacturing workforce. Altogether, twelve students and seven shop supervisors were employed throughout the course of this project… a project that is considered the largest to date for FOUNDRYmade (dedicated to youth ages 16-24).
“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 ribbon cutting for the Seat at the Table project will coincide with Matt Urban Center’s Trunk-or-Treat, an annual safe trick-or-treating event for the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood with resources from local organizations.
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