Buffalo Metro Rail
The Buffalo Metro Rail is the public transit rail system in Buffalo, New York, United States. The system consists of a single, 6.4-mile long light rail line that runs for most of the length of Main Street in the City of Buffalo, from KeyBank Center in Downtown Buffalo to the south campus of the University at Buffalo in the northeast corner of the city. The first section of the line opened in October 1984. Construction on the initial Metro Rail line began in 1979 and opened in stages: the surface portion opened on October 9, 1984 while the subway opened as far as Amherst Street Station on May 20, 1985, following an opening ceremony on May 18; the line was further extended to University Station, serving the University at Buffalo, on November 10, 1986 due to construction issues at LaSalle Station. At the time of the start of construction, the line was intended to be the first line for an extensive heavy rail system that would spread throughout the city and suburbs. However, during the construction of the line and afterward, Buffalo's population declined by 55% from around 580,000 in 1950 to about 261,000 in 2010 and the new line's ridership was much lower than anticipated.
The cost of the urban section was so high that no funding was available to extend the lines into the suburbs, including the Amherst campus of the University at Buffalo. Efforts to obtain funding for feeder lines have been met with little to no success. Although a centerpiece of the original line, the downtown transit mall did not live up to expectations; because of poor traffic patterns on Downtown Buffalo's Main Street, some business groups called for the removal of the transit system so that they can return to normal vehicle traffic and curbside parking on Main Street, hoping that this measure would recreate the prosperous days of the past. In 2008, Buffalo began a project to reintroduce cars to Main Street; the project in question involved creating a shared trackbed/roadway with curbside parking, as well as the permanent closure of the Theater Station, which occurred on February 18, 2013. The closure of Theater Station meant that Fountain Plaza Station, located 546 feet south in the 500 block of Main Street, now serves as the beginning and ending of the Free Fare Zone.
On January 23, 2015, after less than two years of construction, traffic was reintroduced to the 600 block of Main Street, between Tupper and Chippewa Streets, in the Theater District. On December 15, 2015, traffic was reintroduced to the 500 block of Main Street, between Chippewa and Mohawk Streets, in the Central Business District. On January 9, 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in his State of the State address that funding would be secured for the Amherst and Cobblestone line extensions. If successful, this would be the first extension in the service's history. Funding for an environmental review into the Amherst extension was approved in 2018; the study is expected to take between 30 months. Metro Rail is a light rail transit system as characterized by the American Public Transportation Association although it shares many characteristics with "heavy rail" metro systems and could be considered a "light metro." 80% of its track is an underground subway with high-level platforms. This section has eight stations that are spaced widely apart, comparable to subway systems elsewhere.
This section is cut-and-cover from Allen/Medical Campus to Utica deep-bored from Delavan/Canisius College to University. The remaining 20% of its track are on the surface on Main Street in downtown Buffalo. On the surface section, trains interact with automobile traffic from the theater district where it emerges from the tunnel until Mohawk Street where it reverts to a transit mall and at cross streets, where movements are governed by traffic signals. Catenary poles are spaced every 130 feet to support the overhead electrical lines. Metro Rail operates electric multiple-unit light rail vehicles in two-to-four car trains with power drawn from an overhead catenary system. Three-car trains are limited to rush hour and special events and four-car trains to special events; the Buffalo trains and SEPTA's light rail cars in Philadelphia are the only modern non-articulated LRVs operating in the United States. Fares are collected through a proof-of-payment system enforced by ticket inspectors. Travel is free on the above ground portion of the system.
Regular fare is $2. All stations have ticket machines. Metro Rail runs as follows: Monday-Friday from 5:10am–12:50am, Saturdays from 7:05am–12:50am, Sundays and holidays from 8:00am–11:50pm. Trains run as as once every ten minutes at rush hour and no less than once every twenty minutes. In July 2008, the NFTA reported that the passenger count "eclipsed the previous year's tally by 23%." As a result of this, in September 2008, the NFTA began an earlier starting time to the weekday schedule in response to an 11% increase in ridership over eight months of growth. Numbers are from the Federal Transit Administration's National Transit Database, which contains statistics from 1996–2011: Buffalo Metro Rail is ranked 25th in the nation in light rail daily ridership service as of 2013, with 5,058,300 passengers. However, it is noted that the line lacks extended branches to the suburbs, being confined to the city limits of Buffalo. One group, the Citizens Regional Transit Corporation, advocates for expansion.
As indicated in its statement, the CRTC seeks to educate the public, public off
Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is a New York State public-benefit corporation responsible for the public transportation oversight of Erie and Niagara counties in the state of New York. The NFTA, as an authority, oversees a number of subsidiaries, including the NFTA Metro bus and rail system, the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, the Niagara Falls International Airport and NFTA Small Boat Harbor; the NFTA Metro bus and rail system is a multi-modal agency, utilizing various vehicle modes, using the brand names: NFTA Metro Bus, NFTA Metro Rail, NFTA Metrolink and NFTA PAL. In addition, the NFTA owns and manages a number of properties, including the Buffalo Metropolitan Transportation Center in Downtown Buffalo. Of note, many of the bus loops have been in continuous operation since the days of the International Railway Company, a predecessor to the NFTA. Agency-wide, the NFTA employs 1,500 part-time employees. There are three business centers that operate as the NFTA organization: Surface Transportation, which handles ground transportation throughout Erie and Niagara counties, which handles air related business at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport and Niagara Falls International Airport and Property Risk/Management, which operates the NFTA-Boat Harbor and handles other properties that are owned and/or operated by the NFTA.
Before the creation of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, the first bus operations in Buffalo dates back to 1923 under the private operator International Bus Company. The International Railway Company operated the vast network of streetcar routes in Erie and Niagara counties. In 1947, the proposed Niagara Frontier Rapid Transit Commission received ownership of the International Railway Company, gave way to the creation of the Niagara Frontier Transit System, Incorporated in 1950; the Niagara Frontier Transit System was replaced by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Corp. in 1967, as part of New York State's efforts in the late 1960s and early 1970s at creating public agencies that would oversee the development and continuation of public transportation in a number of key urban areas of the state. In 1974, the NFTA purchased the street transportation rights from a number of other agencies, starting with the Niagara Falls Municipal Transit System on September 8, 1974, D&F Transit on September 15, T-NT Transit on October 7, Lockport Bus Lines on March 15, 1975 and Grand Island Transit on April 20, 1975.
Administrative offices and buses were housed in the former Niagara Frontier Transit Buildings at 855 Main Street until 1977. The NFTA's operations are overseen by a 12-member Board of Commissioners that the Executive Director reports to; the members are nominated by the Governor of the State of New York, with two chosen by the Erie County Executive. Most appointments are for five year terms, but some commissioners have been appointed part-way into a term, replacing a previous commissioner; the current executive director is Kimberley A. Minkel, who served as the Director of Health and Environmental Quality. Minkel will carry the recognition as the NFTA's first female executive director. In 2017, the NFTA had operating expenses of $253.57 million, an outstanding debt of $133.57 million, a staffing level of 1,714 people. NFTA's Metro system serves the urbanized areas of Erie and Niagara counties with service throughout the day and selected suburban and rural areas of Erie and Niagara counties; the cities receiving service include Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Lackawanna and North Tonawanda.
Service to less populated areas during prime ridership hours extend to Alden, Boston, Grand Island, Lancaster, Evans, Orchard Park, East Aurora and West Seneca in Erie County. The NFTA inherited a large number of General Motors New Look buses from the private carriers that were absorbed into the agency. In addition, a small fleet of Highway Products' Twin Coaches and Mack buses that were nearing the end of their life span were added to the fleet; the first major purchase of new buses by the NFTA began in 1975 with AM General's "Metropolitan" series buses. These buses were withdrawn from service in 1987 due to severe structural issues. To address this immediate shortage of buses, the NFTA purchased a number of mothballed GMC buses from the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system, Flxible buses from Rochester's Regional Transit Service and General Motors New Looks from Broome County Transit of Binghamton; this temporary arrangement filled most of the gap left by the removal of the AM General buses. The next major purchase of new buses came in their RTS-II Series.
These buses were purchased between 1978 and 1983. As mentioned earlier, in 1987, due to the premature retirement of the AM General buses, the NFTA purchased a number of used, earlier series RTS series buses from Dallas' DART system; these buses provided comfortable padded seats not seen on standard NFTA transit coaches. These bus
Canalside known as Canal Side and Erie Canal Harbor, is a master-planned neighborhood and festival marketplace within the inner harbor of Buffalo, New York. Envisioned as a recreation of the western terminus of the Erie Canal, Canalside is situated on the Buffalo River, where the area was home to the Seneca people. In the early 20th century, the predominantly Italian area known as Dante Place and Canal Street was subjected to the forces of urban renewal, the canals were filled in and dense neighborhoods were razed; the Buffalo Skyway, Buffalo Memorial Auditorium and Niagara Thruway took its place, with parking lots interspersed. With the completion of Marine Midland Arena in 1996, the Memorial Auditorium stood vacant. Empire State Development Corporation created a master plan for an Erie Canal Harbor redevelopment project in 1999, which addressed developing parcels of land underneath the Buffalo Skyway. In 2004, a new plan was created, centered around the creation of historically-aligned canals and mixed-use development.
Several delays and controversies surrounding the planning and construction of the district drew reaction from the public, notably the inclusion of a flagship Bass Pro Shops store in 2007, scrapped. The Memorial Auditorium was demolished by July 2009, the land it occupied was subdivided into the aligned parcels from the 19th century, now known as the North and South Aud Block. Since 2010, the district has seen an uptick in construction projects and touring concerts and events. Projects completed or underway in the vicinity include HarborCenter adjacent to Main Street and Explore & More Children's Museum on the South Aud Block. Built in Buffalo, New York in 1825 as the "portal to the west," the Erie Canal Harbor served as the terminus for the passage of goods and passengers from the East Coast across the Great Lakes for much of the 19th century. More for Buffalo, the commercial activity fueled by the harbor helped transform the city into a thriving metropolis. Buffalo's notorious Canal Street was a short distance from the canal terminus.
The area had been the site of the original Village of Buffalo, near a Seneca Indian village on Buffalo Creek. The city expanded outward from the waterfront location; the Canal, completed in 1825, opened up the western United States to travelers and trade from the east coast. With it came a tremendous increase in Great Lakes freighter traffic at Buffalo harbor, with that an influx of canal and freighter crewmen who were paid off in Buffalo and spent in the bars and brothels that sprang up in the district, known variously as "Canal Street", "Five Points" "the Flats" and "the Hooks". There were 93 saloons, 15 concert-hall dives, hundreds of dance-hall girls; the song "Buffalo Gals" was written by John Hodges in 1844 and refers to the women who lived in the canal district. In the early 20th century, after the Erie Canal was deepened and shortened in 1895 and as the canal traffic moved to the railroads the district became the home of Italian immigrants Sicilian. Canal Street's name was changed to Dante Place and the neighborhood became known as Dante Place or "Little Italy."
Most of the bars and brothels gave way to three- and four-story brick tenements, each housing multiple families. By the late 1920s, the Canal had been filled in by New York State who saw the stagnant and polluted canal waters as a public health risk. Throughout its existence, the neighborhood suffered numerous fires and other disasters; the most notable occurred on January 1, 1936 early in the morning. Joseph Lopresti at 40 LeCouteulx just across the street from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church came home from Mass, lit a candle, went into his tenement basement to get some wine, he was outside accessing the basement doors. This brought national attention to slum areas and new legislation was passed by New York State that allowed cities the right to condemn and demolish "unsafe and unsanitary" buildings; that began the urban renewal process leading to the beginning of the demolition of the tenements of Dante Place and by 1937, over 160 buildings had been demolished. By 1948, only 90 families remained in the area.
In 1938 there were plans to build new housing in the area dubbed "Fairhaven Village" which called for accommodations for 962 families with a total of 2,942 rooms at $17.50 a room including utilities with a 500 car underground garage. The effects of the Great Depression and World War II limited the construction funds needed to make the project a reality. Around the same time, Buffalo city officials used Works Progress Administration funds to build the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium on the former northeastern portion of the neighborhood; the last remnants of the former Canal Street/Dante Place neighborhood were demolished in 1950. The "Fairhaven Village" project was revived as the Dante Place Projects. Now known as the Marine Drive Apartments, they were completed in 1952; the New York State Thruway and the Skyway was built in 1955. The Commercial Slip was a remnant of Little Buffalo Creek, which flowed into the Buffalo River just before the larger stream entered Lake Erie; the Commercial Slip formed one boundary of Buffalo's infamous Canal District, was filled in when the district was marked for urban renewal in the 1950s.
By that time, the New York State Thruway and the Skyway and Buffalo Memorial Auditorium had been built over the Canal district, the Commercial Slip was buried and forgotten. In the late 1990s, public authorities began showing an interest in reviving Buffalo's Erie Canal heritage. Plans called for re-creating some buried elements of the Canal; however a public outcry, with pressure from citizens' groups and the local media, convi
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second largest city in the U. S. state of New York and the largest city in Western New York. As of 2017, the population was 258,612; the city is the county seat of Erie County and a major gateway for commerce and travel across the Canada–United States border, forming part of the bi-national Buffalo Niagara Region. The Buffalo area was inhabited before the 17th century by the Native American Iroquois tribe and by French settlers; the city grew in the 19th and 20th centuries as a result of immigration, the construction of the Erie Canal and rail transportation, its close proximity to Lake Erie. This growth provided an abundance of fresh water and an ample trade route to the Midwestern United States while grooming its economy for the grain and automobile industries that dominated the city's economy in the 20th century. Since the city's economy relied on manufacturing, deindustrialization in the latter half of the 20th century led to a steady decline in population. While some manufacturing activity remains, Buffalo's economy has transitioned to service industries with a greater emphasis on healthcare and higher education, which emerged following the Great Recession.
Buffalo is on the eastern shore of Lake Erie, at the head of the Niagara River, 16 miles south of Niagara Falls. Its early embrace of electric power led to the nickname "The City of Light"; the city is famous for its urban planning and layout by Joseph Ellicott, an extensive system of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, as well as significant architectural works. Its culture blends Northeastern and Midwestern traditions, with annual festivals including Taste of Buffalo and Allentown Art Festival, two professional sports teams, a music and arts scene; the city of Buffalo received its name from a nearby creek called Buffalo Creek. British military engineer Captain John Montresor made reference to "Buffalo Creek" in his 1764 journal, which may be the earliest recorded appearance of the name. There are several theories regarding. While it is possible its name originated from French fur traders and Native Americans calling the creek Beau Fleuve, it is possible Buffalo Creek was named after the American buffalo, whose historical range may have extended into western New York.
The first inhabitants of the State of New York are believed to have been nomadic Paleo-Indians, who migrated after the disappearance of Pleistocene glaciers during or before 7000 BCE. Around 1000 CE, 1,000 years ago, the Woodland period began, marked by the rise of the Iroquois Confederacy and its tribes throughout the state. During French exploration of the region in 1620, the region was occupied by the agrarian Erie people, a tribe outside of the Five Nations of the Iroquois southwest of Buffalo Creek, the Wenro people or Wenrohronon, an Iroquoian-speaking tribal offshoot of the large Neutral Nation who lived along the inland south shore of Lake Ontario and at the east end of Lake Erie and a bit of its northern shore. For trading, the Neutral people made a living by growing tobacco and hemp to trade with the Iroquois, utilizing animal paths or warpaths to travel and move goods across the state; these paths were paved, now function as major roads. During the Beaver Wars of the 1640s-1650s, the combined warriors of the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy conquered the populous Neutrals and their peninsular territory, while the Senecas alone took out the Wenro and their territory, c.
1651–1653. Soon after, the Erie nation and territory was destroyed by the Iroquois over their assistance to Huron people during the Beaver Wars, it was Louis Hennepin and Sieur de La Salle who made the earliest European discoveries of the upper Niagara and Ontario regions in the late 1600s. On August 7, 1679, La Salle launched a vessel, Le Griffon, that became the first full-sized ship to sail across the Great Lakes disappearing in Green Bay, Wisconsin. After the American Revolution, the colony of New York—now a state—began westward expansion, looking for habitable land by following trends of the Iroquois. Land near fresh water was of considerable importance. New York and Massachusetts were fighting for the territory Buffalo lies on, Massachusetts had the right to purchase all but a one-mile wide portion of land; the rights to the Massachusetts' territories were sold to Robert Morris in 1791, two years to the Holland Land Company. As a result of the war, in which the Iroquois tribe sided with the British Army, Iroquois territory was whittled away in the mid-to-late-1700s by white settlers through successive treaties statewide, such as the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, the First Treaty of Buffalo Creek, the Treaty of Geneseo.
The Iroquois were corralled onto reservations, including Buffalo Creek. By the end of the 18th century, only 338 square miles of reservation territory remained. Early settlers along the mouth of Buffalo Creek were former slave Joseph "Black Joe" Hodges, Cornelius Winney, a Dutch trader from Albany who arrived in 1789; the first white settlers along the creek were prisoners captured during the Revolutionary War. The first resident and landowner of Buffalo with a permanent presence was Captain William Johnston, a white Iroquois interpreter, present in the area since the days after the Revolutionary War and was granted creekside land by the Senecas as a gift of appreciation, his house was built at present-day Seneca streets. On July 20, 1793, the Holland Land Purchase was completed, containing the land of present-day Buffalo, brokered by Dutch investors from Holland; the Treaty of Big Tree removed Iroquois title to lan
USS Little Rock (LCS-9)
USS Little Rock is a Freedom-class littoral combat ship of the United States Navy. She is the second ship named after the capital city of Arkansas; the ship's estimated construction costs are between $300 million and $350 million The keel laying ceremony for Little Rock was on 27 June 2013. The mast stepping ceremony took place on 23 April 2015, followed by the christening ceremony on 18 July 2015. On 25 August 2017, Little Rock, the fifth Freedom-variant LCS built by Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine, completed acceptance trials on Lake Michigan with the highest score of any Freedom-variant LCS to date, earning the right to fly brooms atop her mast signifying a clean sweep of the ship's sea trials; the ship was delivered to the United States Navy on 25 September 2017. The ship was commissioned alongside the earlier Galveston-class cruiser USS Little Rock at Buffalo, New York on 16 December 2017; the commissioning ceremony marked the first time a U. S. Navy ship has commissioned next to her namesake.
After commissioning in Buffalo, New York, she headed to home port at Mayport Naval Station, Florida where she is assigned to Littoral Combat Ship Squadron Two. However, harsh winter conditions caused delays preventing her from leaving St. Lawrence Seaway and she was stuck in ice at the port in Montreal. Little Rock remained there until 31 March 2018. From 23–29 May 2018, Little Rock participated in New York City's annual Fleet Week celebrations, she was open to public tours during the time. This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U. S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here. Official website
United States Army Air Forces
The United States Army Air Forces, informally known as the Air Force,or United States Army Air Force, was the aerial warfare service component of the United States Army during and after World War II, successor to the previous United States Army Air Corps and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force of today, one of the five uniformed military services. The AAF was a component of the United States Army, which in 1942 was divided functionally by executive order into three autonomous forces: the Army Ground Forces, the Services of Supply, the Army Air Forces; each of these forces had a commanding general. The AAF administered all parts of military aviation distributed among the Air Corps, General Headquarters Air Force, the ground forces' corps area commanders, thus became the first air organization of the U. S. Army to control its own installations and support personnel; the peak size of the AAF during the Second World War was over 2.4 million men and women in service and nearly 80,000 aircraft by 1944, 783 domestic bases in December 1943.
By "V-E Day", the Army Air Forces had 1.25 million men stationed overseas and operated from more than 1,600 airfields worldwide. The Army Air Forces was created in June 1941 to provide the air arm a greater autonomy in which to expand more efficiently, to provide a structure for the additional command echelons required by a vastly increased force, to end an divisive administrative battle within the Army over control of aviation doctrine and organization, ongoing since the creation of an aviation section within the U. S. Army Signal Corps in 1914; the AAF succeeded both the Air Corps, the statutory military aviation branch since 1926, the GHQ Air Force, activated in 1935 to quiet the demands of airmen for an independent Air Force similar to the Royal Air Force, established in the United Kingdom / Great Britain. Although other nations had separate air forces independent of their army or navy, the AAF remained a part of the Army until a defense reorganization in the post-war period resulted in the passage by the United States Congress of the National Security Act of 1947 with the creation of an independent United States Air Force in September 1947.
In its expansion and conduct of the war, the AAF became more than just an arm of the greater organization. By the end of World War II, the Army Air Forces had become an independent service. By regulation and executive order, it was a subordinate agency of the United States Department of War tasked only with organizing and equipping combat units, limited in responsibility to the continental United States. In reality, Headquarters AAF controlled the conduct of all aspects of the air war in every part of the world, determining air policy and issuing orders without transmitting them through the Army Chief of Staff; this "contrast between theory and fact is...fundamental to an understanding of the AAF." The roots of the Army Air Forces arose in the formulation of theories of strategic bombing at the Air Corps Tactical School that gave new impetus to arguments for an independent air force, beginning with those espoused by Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell that led to his court-martial. Despite a perception of resistance and obstruction by the bureaucracy in the War Department General Staff, much of, attributable to lack of funds, the Air Corps made great strides in the 1930s, both organizationally and in doctrine.
A strategy stressing precision bombing of industrial targets by armed, long-range bombers emerged, formulated by the men who would become its leaders. A major step toward a separate air force came in March 1935, when command of all combat air units within the Continental United States was centralized under a single organization called the "General Headquarters Air Force". Since 1920, control of aviation units had resided with commanders of the corps areas, following the model established by commanding General John J. Pershing during World War I. In 1924, the General Staff planned for a wartime activation of an Army general headquarters, similar to the American Expeditionary Forces model of World War I, with a GHQ Air Force as a subordinate component. Both were created in 1933 when a small conflict with Cuba seemed possible following a coup d'état, but were not activated. Activation of GHQ Air Force represented a compromise between strategic airpower advocates and ground force commanders who demanded that the Air Corps mission remain tied to that of the land forces.
Airpower advocates achieved a centralized control of air units under an air commander, while the WDGS divided authority within the air arm and assured a continuing policy of support of ground operations as its primary role. GHQ Air Force organized combat groups administratively into a strike force of three wings deployed to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts but was small in comparison to European air forces. Lines of authority were difficult, at best, since GHQ Air Force controlled only operations of its combat units while the Air Corps was still responsible for doctrine, acquisition of aircraft, training. Corps area commanders continued to exercise control over airfields and administration of personnel, in the overseas departments, operational control of units as well. Between March 1935 and September 1938, the commanders of GHQ Air Force and the Air Corps, Major Generals Frank M. Andrews and Oscar Westover clash
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library is located on Lafayette Square, New York. The current facility, designed by Kideney Architects and built in 1964, replaced the original Cyrus Eidlitz Buffalo Public Library Building dedicated in February 1887; the first Buffalo Public Library, in turn, replaced the Erie County, New York courthouse, which occupied the parcel from 1816-1876. Founded ca. 1835 as the Young Men's Association, prominent members included Samuel Clemens, the editor of the Buffalo Express from 1869-1871. The Young Men's Association was a private subscription library, meaning that paid membership was required in order to borrow books. In 1883, the Association began a fund-raising campaign for a new building and held an architectural competition, which culminated in Eidlitz's 1887 design. Upon completion, the Association turned over its collections to the citizens of Buffalo and the Buffalo Public Library was born, with no requirement for dues or membership. Significant library collections include the original, hand-written manuscript of Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which Twain donated to the library in 1885.
The Institutional Services Division provides library services in three Erie County institutions. Home Branch Library: First begun in 1956 with only a few books, this library at the Erie County Home has evolved dramatically. Users can now enjoy typical branch services as well as use the program room for coffee hour, old-time radio programs, read-alouds and travel club programs. Magnifying bars, book supports, tape-players, slides and electronic magnifiers are available for those needing special accommodations. Collections such as large print and audio cassettes create a warm place to find information or just sit and talk to a friend. For those unable to come to this library, room-to-room cart service to residents is provided. Correctional Facility Library: This library located within the Erie County Correctional Facility contains both a law library and a general public library. Constructed in 1986, this 7,500-square-foot library was the first to be built as a core or focal point of a Correctional Facility.
Its general collection contains over 8,000 books for inmates' educational and recreational purposes, 1,000 square feet of the library is set aside to house a legal collection of over 4,000 volumes. Computers are available to inmates for their legal work. Holding Center Library: Begun in 1969 as cart service to cells, this library has grown to encompass a new facility with both a legal collection and a general library. Residents can borrow all types of materials from adventure fiction to religious non-fiction and use a large legal collection while awaiting trial; the Center for Afro-American History and Research: The Center for Afro-American History and Research is the largest resource center in Western New York for information on African-American history and is located at Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Library; the reference collection includes books and pictures with its emphasis on primary source material related to African-American history in Western New York. The "Buffalo Afro-American Collection" is a microfilmed collection, which contains the records of many local organizations as well as the personal papers of community leaders.
Records include Urban League, BUILD papers, Bethel A. M. E. Church, First Shiloh, Raphael DuBard's papers and more. Collection for Persons with Disabilities: For individuals with visual impairments, radio receivers, talking books, print-braille books, descriptive videos and large print books are in circulation. A personal reader and electronic magnifier are available for public use with training on the equipment provided. For individuals with hearing impairment, telecaption decoders and assistive listening devices circulate and a TTY 24-hour Reference Access line is available at 842-0051. Grosvenor Room: This department of Central Library, opened in 1994 as the Special Collections Department, brings together the library's extensive genealogy and local history materials; the Grosvenor Room includes family histories. In 1995, the Department became the home of the collection of the Western New York Genealogical Society, the region's oldest and largest genealogy organization. Materials from most Grosvenor Room collections can not be borrowed.
Mark Twain Room: This special exhibition room at the Central Library is the home of Twain's original handwritten manuscript, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain was a a member of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library's predecessor, the Young Men's Association, donated the manuscript of what is considered by many to be the greatest American novel. In 1885, Twain sent the second half of Huckleberry Finn, believing the first half had been lost by a printer. In 1991, the missing portion of the manuscript turned up in a small steamer trunk in a Los Angeles attic, it was among the possessions of descendents of James Fraser Gluck, a curator of the Buffalo Library who had requested the manuscript from Twain a century earlier. Twain mailed the missing half of the manuscript to Gluck, but Gluck, who took it to have it bound, died with it among his belongings in 1897. After gaining possession, the B&ECPL united the manuscript in 1992 for the first time in over a century; this priceless literary