May 24 2017 – As part of National Public Works Week recognition in Buffalo, Mayor Byron W. Brown announced that the $2.6 million Martin Luther King, Jr. Park Casino upgrade is entering the final stages of completion. The project, which is being completed in three-phases, will provide the Fillmore Avenue area with another community venue for public gatherings and concession stands for summer and winter activities.
“This project adds to the major investment my Administration has made in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Park area,” said Mayor Brown, noting the $4.5 million MLK Park Water Attraction and the $2.2 million Fillmore Avenue Streetscape. “The Martin Luther King, Jr. Park Casino will be a huge benefit to the new community programming that is taking place at the park. This key investment will further improve the quality of life for residents in the immediate area and those who visit this historic Olmsted Park.”
In Phase one of the project, the exterior of the building was reconstructed; including a new insulated roof system, exterior brickwork, and the restoration of all of the existing wood windows to their original 1926 appearance to maintain their historical design. New exterior wood doors were also installed on the east side of the building facing the splash pad. Environmental abatement was completed removing asbestos and lead paint. Phase two utilized New York State Dormitory funds to create usable space for new programming, a community gathering space, a storage room for ice-skating in the MLK splash pad, two offices, a conference room, a restroom, and an ADA ramp was installed as well.
With support from the New York State Historic Preservation Office, as well as the Buffalo Preservation Board, the building was returned to its original 1926 appearance anywhere applicable. In the final phase of redevelopment, a new doorway is being installed on the southwest corner of the building, matching the original wood doorway. A new brick and stone stairway, matching the original 1926 stairway that was previously demolished, will be built. Additionally, wood windows, reminiscent of the original 1926 windows, are now being installed along the west façade of the second floor. New additions to the facility will include an elevator and a concession stand on the first floor.
Today’s announcement comes as Mayor Brown and the City of Buffalo continue to celebrate National Public Works Week in Buffalo. Throughout the week, “Fun Facts” about the DPW will be posted each day on the City of Buffalo website, and various social media platforms and Government Channel 22. The top of City Hall will also be lit ‘orange’ throughout the week - in recognition of National Public Works Week.
Since 1960, the American Public Works Association (APWA) has sponsored National Public Works Week. Across North America, more than 28,000 members in the US and Canada use this week to energize and educate the public on the importance of the contribution of public works to their daily lives: planning, building, managing and operating the heart of our local communities and building the quality of life.To learn more about National Public Works Week please visit: www.city-buffalo.com.