Western New York Heritage

New York Central Terminal Passenger Concourse - 1929

The passenger concourse of the New York Central Terminal a few days before it opened on June 22, 1929.

The concourse, 225 feet long, 66 feet wide, and 58.5 feet from floor to vaulted ceiling, was the most spectacular public space yet built in Buffalo. It was designed to smoothly handle 3500 passengers per hour. The architects designed the information booth and clock in the center to give the vastness a human scale. Atop the cast-iron clock was a light which, when switched on by the booth attendant, glowed green as a summons to the New York Central Police for assistance.

Over the years, the information booth evolved into a nearly square form and finally into a large three-tier magazine and miscellany sales kiosk. When the station downsized in the 70's, the kiosk was dismantled entirely, leaving only the clock.

In the mid-1990's, under the terminal's second private owner, the clock was removed and sold, leaving only the radiators (seen here in 2004).

The clock was located in a Chicago architectural salvage store and, after a successful local fundraising, the restored clock was re-installed in its proper place in May 2005.