As the community begins Juneteenth Celebrations, Leaders unveil the Future Look of the Inspiring Landmark
Senator Tim Kennedy joined leadership from the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission (MSAAHCC), the East Side Garden Walk (ESGW) and the NFTA on Friday to share renderings of what the future holds for the beautification project of Buffalo’s Freedom Wall. The Freedom Wall, located at the corner of Michigan Avenue and East Ferry Street, is an important and moving mural that celebrates our nation’s historic and ongoing struggles for political and social equality. Never has this symbolic public artwork had more meaning for the Western New York Community in the wake of the tragedy that occurred on May 14, 2022.
Senator Kennedy is to be thanked for obtaining the $734,000 in state funding needed for the project. The improvements, set to start this summer, include:
Reconstruction of the area between the concrete wall and street curbing
Installation of LED lighting to accent the wall portraits
Replacement of worn street curbing and improvement of sidewalk accessibility
“We are so grateful to Senator Kennedy who made this important and meaningful project come to life,” said Kim Minkel, NFTA Executive Director. “Thanks to Senator Kennedy we will have the money needed to improve the curb appeal around the Freedom Wall. This moving public art project has become a major destination in Western New York, and we are proud to be part of the Freedom Wall and all it represents.”
“This enhancement project will ensure that the Freedom Wall is truly illuminated and appreciated in the way it deserves to be. From the very beginning of this process, it was important to us that we were collaborating with groups like the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission and members of the East Side Garden Walk to discuss what these improvements would look like and how they would be incorporated into this powerful piece of art,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “I’m grateful to our community leaders for continuing to have a thoughtful dialogue with the NFTA and my office, and I’m thrilled to celebrate this progress as we celebrate Juneteenth and the people featured in this iconic Buffalo mural.”
This public project will begin later this summer with a target completion date of the Fall 2022.
This initiative had a considerable amount of community input. A special community panel conducted a survey, held public meetings and provided key data and direction to ensure that the project truly reflects the desires of the community.