WBFO got wind of it and I was then interviewed for a story about streets named after women. Davidson, Mark and Kevin Ward. Given what is going on these days, we are featuring streets named after our Black brothers and sisters this month here on Discovering Buffalo, One Street at a Time. The building suffered from a fire, one of the worst in Oberlin history, where many structures were damaged. As we’ve looked at in our previous posts about the Ellicott Mall and the Talbert Mall, the housing projects created by Urban Renewal programs were often not successful. “Housing Authority Honors Three”. This is the highest award of the NAACP, given for “the highest or noblest achievement by a living American Negro during the preceding year or years”. The newspaper went on to say that she fought to save the Frederick Douglass Home and that Buffalonians should not stand by and lose her own house. July 2008. The house was one of the oldest in the city and in the 1920s, it was close to 100 years old. Who’s Who of the Colored Race: A General Biographical Dictionary of Men and Women of African Descent, Volume 1. Her story will be divided into three parts. Douglass Towers Plan Reviewed. The portion near Main Street wasn’t even grass yet (Pegula donated the sod to fill in the grass there). Gladys Holmes Blvd shown in. Twenty-nine blocks of the neighborhood were demolished between 1958 and 1961, displacing 2,219 families and 250 businesses. That year was also the centennial anniversary of the Niagara Movement so it was a fitting time for Mary to be recognized. In 1920, when she spoke in Cincinnati, advertisements described her as “Our Greatest Woman! William Luther Gaiter was born in 1927 in Alabama in a small town outside of Selma. I hope you all have been enjoying my current series about streets named after African Americans. After his death, Mrs. Burnett moved to Buffalo to live with Mary. Part of the difficulty in researching more contemporary subjects is that they’re not yet written about in history books! “William L. Gaiter”  Uncrowned Community Builders. In the 1960s, novelist James Baldwin called Urban Renewal “Negro Removal”, after the way that the programs targeted neighborhoods primarily lived in by Blacks. Payerchin, Richard. To learn more about Mary’s legacy and the legacy of the Talbert Mall apartments, you can read Part 3. Due to the vacancy, the buildings in the Talbert Mall/Douglass Towers began closing in the early 70s. As Donn Esmonde reported in the Buffalo News in 2000, someone had thought that we needed to have a housing project named after an abolitionist, and didn’t even realize that we already had named it after a prominent civil rights advocate! Razing of Douglass Towers Heralds Redevelopment of Housing Complex. In 1915, Mary was a part of the NAACP Conference, called the “Amenia Conference” in Amenia, New York (near Poughkeepsie) at Joel Spingarn’s estate, Troutbeck. While serving as Acting Mayor, Mr. Peterson issued a proclamation to designate August 24, 1956 as “Luke Easter – Joe Caffie Night” in Buffalo. U.S. dollar 100 648.45. He began his public service when he was elected to the Erie County Board of Supervisors, representing the old Fifth Ward in the City of Buffalo. "Talking Proud" is her anthem. William Street was widened at this time to its current configuration. High-rise towers often saw an increase in crime. He developed a student Exchange Program that allowed 500 American students to study the Senegalese Culture. People, places and planning around the world by bicycle. Opening of William Gaiter Parkway also allowed vacant or underutilized brownfield land along the rail corridor to be put back to use. Under Council rules, when the Mayor and Council President were out of town, the President Pro Tem serves as Acting Mayor. It was very special to me. Acting Mayor Peterson with Luke Easter (on the left), Dick Fisher and Joe Caffie. Sometimes, I’ll bring a blanket to sit and read while listening to kids play in the playground and (during non-pandemic times) on the ballfields, basketball court, pool, and tennis court. During planning for the roadway, it was referred to as the Northeast Parkway, but was quickly named after William (Bill) Gaiter. A public meeting was held to discuss the issue. The Ellicott Neighborhood where these streets are located was historically a mix of Jewish, Italian, and Black families. He taught a course on Social and Political Organizing at the Cora P. Maloney College at the State University of New York in Buffalo. Depending on when you order your gift card, it may take 1–2 business days (Mon-Fri) … Exploring the fun and frustrations of nonprofit work, An anagram. “Mrs. Part 4 is about King Peterson Road. After the Civil Rights Era in the 1960s, Juneteenth celebrations began to spread across the country. Mayor Sedita responded through the creation of a Black Squad of police officers to patrol the neighborhood from 8pm to 4am nightly. Mrs. Thomas also founded the Food Bank of Western New York in 1980. On the day her obituary ran in the paper, the Buffalo Times also ran an editorial calling for the house to be made a national shrine, saying that “no member of the Negro race ought to knowingly pass it without feeling a deep and solemn sense of gratitude emanating from a reverent heart, for one of the grandest figures in the annals of Negro History in America”. He was also appointed International Representative of the United Auto Workers (UAW). The average household size of households relocated by the government was 3.14 people. In 1939, Mary McLeod Bethune, another influential Black woman like Mary Talbert, gave a talk at the Michigan Street Baptist Church and inspired a group of local civic, fraternal, political and church organizations to pledge financial support to reclaim and save the house. Luke Easter and Joe Caffie were two black baseball players on the Buffalo Bisons. The house was one of the oldest in the city. Mark Poloncarz was still just our trusty County Comptroller, but was about to be elected County Executive in the fall. They hoped to give their family a better opportunity and education in hopes of a better life up North. 2021 will be my 10th year of blogging, can you believe it! His portrait is represented on the Freedom Wall at Michigan and Ferry Streets. 25 acres were set aside for the $1.5 Million ($13 Million in 2020) Elliott District Recreation Center, which became JFK Park. The act also provided grants to cover up to two-thirds of the city’s costs. It was one of the first hotels in Oberlin. Buffalo Courier. Some believe this story began because of the confusion when she received her second degree from Oberlin. The organization convinced the Buffalo Board of Education to establish the BUILD Academy in the public schools. They were introduced to each other by Mary’s sister Henrietta, who married Will’s brother Robert. “Mrs. He was Field Operations Coordinator for Arthur Eve’s mayoral campaign in 1977. We’ll have to do something special to celebrate ten years next summer. Posted in East Side, Ellicott | 2 Comments ». She spent her childhood in the Grosvenor Room at the downtown library and the Buffalo History Museum. Let me know in the comments! Buffalo Exchange has close to 50 stores across the US. The Construction was just wrapping up at the old Dulski Federal Building – now the The Avant/Embassy Suites. Part 3 looks at Ora Wrighter and can be found here. Today, we’re continuing our series looking at Mary B. Talbert Boulevard and the Talbert Mall. William L. Gaiter Parkway was a newer street relative to many of Buffalo’s streets. Mary Talbert became one of the first black women to join the Women International League for Peace and Freedom. I hope they’re reading this now.) In May 2000, demolition of the towers began. Mrs. Talbert was an acquaintance of both Booker T. Washington and WEB DuBois. Buffalo was preparing to be the location of the National Trust Preservation Conference in the fall. You can also follow the blog on facebook. I spent the summer knee-deep in the history of the neighborhood surrounding the park, researching for the blog. She attended community meetings to fight for the poor. It was planned for 3,612 people to live at the Talbert Mall site. Judge Verplanck was also an officer of the Buffalo Club. After his death, the Genesee County Bar association also passed a resolution to honor Judge Verplanck as he had played such an important role there. Buffalo News. For more information and to contact Angela, please see the about me tab at the top of the page. She worked as a Staff Assistant and Manager a the Buffalo Urban League for 23 years before retiring in the 1990s. Tan, Sandra. This meant that the worst, most crowded housing was often all that Blacks moving to the North during the Great Migration could afford, mostly the housing that was being left behind by those moving into the newer neighborhoods. This degree was granted at this time to many Oberlin students who had previously earned an S.P. “Mary Morris Talbert Burnett”. You can also follow the blog on facebook. History of Blacks in Buffalo. The YMCA recruited these women to work with the 400,000 black soldiers stationed in Europe. Sixteen Black women went to Europe to support the YMCA’s war efforts. Canalside was just the property south of Marine Drive and west of Main Street. Cornelius Burnett was born to free parents in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 1816. Will was born while the family was in California. I have written about the Ellicott Mall on one end, and the Talbert Mall on the other. Buffalo News. He remained a part of the struggle to increase opportunities for minorities – in 1996, he made sure that Roswell Park Hospital gave contracts to minorities as the Affirmative Action/EEO Officer for Roswell’s Remodernization Project. Nicholls became Governor of New Netherlands. Stay tuned, we may be doing a Part 4 at some point. It is often said that the Niagara Movement held its first event in Erie Beach Hotel in Fort Erie, Ontario because hotels in Buffalo would not allow them. Most of the housing authorities found that new housing alone was not enough to remove the slums and provide urban redevelopment. None of them wanted to be displaced. And Sin No More: Social Policy and Unwed Mothers in Cleveland 1855-1990. At the time, 321 of the units were occupied. The other Gladys Holmes was the first Black woman to give birth in Children’s Hospital in Buffalo. The Club created programs and strategies to advance Buffalo’s Black Community. Let me know what streets you want to learn about this coming year! A peaceful park might have been a whole neighborhood that no longer exists. As a lawyer, Mr. Verplanck was said to be one of the fairest, most logical and most learned jurists ever to preside in a local court. William Talbert. October 30, 1954, pg. He served on the board of NAACP for more than 25 years, as Chairman of from 1913-1919 and President from 1930 until his death in 1939. The idea became that we need urban renewal- including housing, zoning, schools, enforcement of health standards, transportation, and minimization of racial restrictions. If you enjoy the blog, please be sure to share it with your friends. 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