(Buffalo, N.Y.) The Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission’s (MSAAHCC), Executive Director, Terry Alford, proudly announces the purchase of the Corridor’s first property acquisitions at 136 – 146 Broadway Avenue and adjoining properties in Buffalo, New York. The purchase price for the building and adjoining parking lot was $1.95 million dollars and will serve as the Heritage Designation’s new headquarters and visitor center.
“This is an exciting growth step! Our strategic plan recommended the purchase of a headquarters and location for visitors to arrive and begin their Michigan Street experience. We are proud of the growth! It’s a vision that has come full circle,” stated Terry Alford, Executive Director, of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission.
Alford adds, “We are thankful for the many visionaries, community leaders and Empire State Development for embracing our goal of establishing a headquarters and visitors center by granting the Commission funds to acquire the properties.”
“Empire State Development has made another important investment in Buffalo’s East Side by providing a $2.3 million grant to fund the future home of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor’s new visitor center,” said ESD President, CEO, and Commissioner Hope Knight. “The visitor center is just one of the many initiatives Governor Hochul has initiated to support the Corridor’s anchor institutions and attract visitors to learn more about the region’s rich African American history.”
Lillie Wiley-Upshaw, Chair of the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission Board adds, “There’s more to come! We ask the community to watch the growth as we continue to develop a heritage experience for Buffalo and national visitors.”
The mixed-use purchase totaling 20,433 square feet consists of three properties: commercial, residential, with an adjoining parking lot.
Currently, the plan for the building will include a headquarters for the Commission and office space for the four cultural anchors. The other focus for the building is to transform a portion of it into a Visitors Center, which would include public restrooms and a gift shop. The three residential apartments will remain.
The parking lot will serve more than parking needs for the Commission residents and visitors. Plans also include the Commission and the 4 cultural anchors hosting events and activities, that may include a weekly Farmers' Market, Food Truck events, small concerts, and fundraising activities.
The Michigan Street African American Heritage Commission plans to commission a mural on the east side wall of the building which faces Michigan Ave.
The Commission plans to issue an RFP to identify an architectural and engineering firm that will assist the Commission with the renovations and transformation of the building and parking lot.
There will be a formal ribbon cutting once all renovations and the move are completed.
ABOUT The Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor (MSAAHC): The Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor (MSAAHCC), a national African American Heritage Designation, includes 4 historic buildings and museums that tell the stories of a neighborhood that became the heart of the African American experience in Buffalo. A neighborhood that included leaders who contributed to a culture of activism and musical culture and who created a historic footprint that impacted the African American experience in America. It’s an American story of advocacy, freedom, and creativity.
The Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission focus is to integrate the African American cultural significance and impact on Buffalo and American history through public engagement and community education that encourage cultural appreciation, preservation, and community development. Learn More: www.michiganstreetbuffalo.org