Fosdick Field Gains Vision, Support

by / Jun. 30, 2015 12pm EST

The plan to restore Fosdick Park marches forward. Officials met with community members and supporters on Tuesday, June 30 to announce their latest developments regarding the plan. After years of talks with the current owners of the land, the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, the City Honors/Fosdick-Masten Park Foundation finally feels ready to show off what they’ve been working on.

A year-long “schematic design planning project” was the first to be announced by Principal Dr. William Kresse during the meeting. The City Honors/Fosdick-Masten Park Foundation proudly displayed the renderings of their architectural plans. Kresse announced that 75% of the architectural project has been completed, and the renderings were there to prove just that. The design plans were all inspired by the original look of the field, designed in 1885 by Frederick Law Olmsted. The design developments were completed by GLS Architecture, along with Optima Design, Frandina Engineering & Survey and Baer & Associates.

“The Foundation’s investment in this predevelopment process has greatly increased our readiness to begin construction,” co-chair of the Committee to Restore Fodsick Field, Jason Yots, said.

In addition to the large field that will be used for athletics and physical education for City Honors, the renderings show a few outer walkways and paths, a tunnel leading to the school’s locker rooms, and a scoreboard.

This fall, Kresse announced, the Foundation will begin a capital campaign to bring in private funds to support the public funds they have already received. Organizations such as PUSH Buffalo, The City of Buffalo Preservation Board, Buffalo Olmsted Parks, and many others have already pledged their support and endorsement.

Beyond the organizations, Mayor Byron Brown has also pledged that the city “remains supportive of this initiative.” The city is committed, Mayor Brown said, to providing some of the funding for this project.

The word “greenspace,” along with the phrase “green is good” came up multiple times throughout the meeting. The speakers were adamant about getting the idea across that an open space for the public is necessary. County Legislator Barbara-Miller Williams, said that the resurgence of Buffalo cannot be done without valuable greenspace.

The Foundation believes that, since this project is for educational and historical purposes, they have a strong platform for reclaiming the field.

Meetings with the BMHA have been ongoing for many years, according to Principal Kresse. Recently, Kresse said, the BMHA have been responding positively about the reclaiming of the park, which now occupies valuable real estate adjacent to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Kresse does note, however, that the BMHA does have their own requirements and costs to cover under the Federal Housing Agency.