Bricks for Buffalo
Bricks for Buffalo is a civic project initiated by Working For Downtown and project manager Gloria Brennan in 2001. The project covers over 8,000 square feet on the waterfront behind HSBC arena and consists of 2 walkways, the Plaza Walkway and the Women's Walkway. The walkways contain personalized cobblestones bricks, granite stones and benches purchased by current and former Western New York residents. At this time, over 700 inscribed bricks have been installed in the walkways.
The Women's Walkway was a joint project which was implemented by the Women's Pavilion Pan Am 2001 and Working For Downtown for the celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the Pan American Exhibition. One hundred women, now deceased, were chosen for their profound contributions to Western New York, and each is honored with a commemorative granite stone and description in the Women's Walkway brochure. The Women's Walkway also contains cobblestone bricks and granite benches which may be purchased to honor the women in our lives.
Bricks for Buffalo offers a way to create a permanent legacy on a scenic venue where people can visit and pause to remember the people who inspired the commemoration. Many personal stories lie behind the purchase and inscription of the bricks. One woman bought bricks for the friends who helped her during her medical treatments, and they in turn purchased an adjoining brick for her. One man proposed to his girlfriend by way of the inscription on the brick. Another brick honors a Bricks for Buffalo committee member who continued her many hours of work on the project up until her death. Another woman purchases surrounding bricks on the Women's Walkway as a legacy for each female member of her family.
Three contests, "Get Your Name in Stone" have been held for school children who competed by writing essays on "Why Western New York is a Great Place to Live". For the Fourth Grade Class contest, 25 schools were awarded bricks with each brick inscribed with the school's name, classroom and school year. 26 Individual students in the high school contest, and 52 individual students in the middle school contest, were awarded bricks inscribed with their names, classes and schools.
Bricks for Buffalo provides a great opportunity for individuals and groups to pay tribute to friends, associates, and members of their families who make a positive difference in their lives and in our community.
NFTA, M & T Bank, the John R. Oishei Foundation, the City of Buffalo, the Women's Pavilion Pan Am 2001, and Working For Downtown have provided funding for various parts of the project. Special thanks go to the Clinton Brown Company Architecture and the Buffalo News for their assistance.