More Than Blight On Main Street | News
BUFFALO, NY - 2 On Your Side recently investigated the blight on the 500 block of Main Street in downtown Buffalo. We focused on the high number of abandoned and dilapidated storefronts and buildings and asked city leaders why many of the landlords of those buildings have not been fined or held accountable for their property.
After the investigation, some residents said we didn't show the positive force behind Main Street. Even though we did highlight some new projects happening there, we're now showing you more.
"We've had some press lately that we have a blighted block and we've really wanted to showcase the positive on the block," said Erica Eichelkraut, owner of Main Street Studios
Eichelkraut and company are trying to change the perception down there. She says they have energy and passion and they're using some of that to create art. Art which is custom made for the neighborhood.
"Those are all going to get hung in the empty abandoned storefronts on Main Street," she said.
They will be hung to hide the empty windows and vacant rooms. Eichelkraut says it's a continuation of a grassroots effort to really change things in the neighborhood.
Nicole Lamour didn't plan to stop by the art studio Wednesday night. But when she passed by and saw what was going on, she couldn't say no.
"I think that a city should have never abandoned their downtown and we kind of need to bring it back and bring people back," said Nicole Lamour.
The people here aren't wearing rose colored glasses. They understand what has happened here and know the perception it sometimes has.
"There are landlords in buildings that need to be hunted down and of course it would benefit everybody, especially us, as tenants on the block to see improvements," Eichelkraut said.
But for now, they're the ones doing the improving themselves, people like Eichelkraut. They're taking matters into their own hands to help change a place they hope will transform into a neighborhood more people will want to be part of.
Eichelkraut says there are big plans for the 500 block of Main Street.
To be fair, there have been plans before that never came to fruition. But Eichelkraut is optimistic. She says the time and energy spent focusing on this area is worth it. She told 2 On Your Side, how's it going to change if no one gives it a shot?