HISTORY OF THE COMMISSION
In early 2007, the historic preservation area legislation was introduced to recognize the area as a heritage corridor. CHAPTER 595 (Laws of New York 2007) was signed into law on August 15, 2007 and amended the parks, recreation, and historic preservation law, to designate the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor in Buffalo as a state heritage area and established the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission.”4 The Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor is one of twenty-one Heritage Areas designated by the New York State Legislature. This legislation outlined the heritage corridor of the east side of Buffalo, located between Broadway, Eagle, Elm, and Nash to William Street, William Street (east) to Pine Street, and Pine Street (south) to Eagle. [PRHP Law 35.03(1)(t)]5
With the sponsorship of now, Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, and her procurement of a legislative grant for $75,000 in state funds following the designation of the heritage corridor area, the commission was formed and both the voting and non-voting members of the commission were appointed by the Governor. The first commission meeting was held in December 2008.
Governor Cuomo’s most recent investment in the East Side Avenues along with Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes’ continued investment and tireless advocacy of the Corridor has allowed the Commission to begin to see their long dreams and visions become realities.
Equally, US Representative Brian Higgins, NYS Senator Tim Kennedy, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Legislator Chairperson April N.M. Baskins Mayor Myron Brown, City Council President Darius Pridgen, and Empire State Development have believed in the Corridor’s significant historic and economic impact to the City of Buffalo. These individuals’ continued support of the Commission’s mission and vision allow us to serve as the connector of the past, present, and future for the historic neighborhoods within the Corridor and the overall success of our Queen City.