Skip to Content

Press Releases

Congressman Higgins is Supporting Historic Designation for DL&W Terminal

Status Opens Up Eligibility for Historic Tax Credits, Advances Viability of Redevelopment Project

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is urging the National Park Service (NPS) to approve the listing of Buffalo’s DL&W Terminal on the National Register of Historic Places. The historic designation by the National Park Service and the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) would make the DL&W project eligible for Historic Tax Credits. The program provides a 20% federal tax credit as well as a matching 20% state tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic, income-producing properties. 


Higgins expressed his support of historic status for DL&W in remarks on the House floor, saying in part, “Positioned along the Buffalo River at the foot of Main Street in Downtown Buffalo, the massive structure is undergoing a transformation including construction of a new metro rail station on the ground floor. Historic designation will make planned private sector development of the second floor eligible for federal and state Historic Tax Credits. I urge the National Park Service to support the submission of the DL&W Terminal, advancing a critical lynchpin to the revitalization of Buffalo’s downtown waterfront.”  

In a letter to the National Park Service, Higgins writes,” It will expand access to transit and foster robust transit-oriented development. Given the significance of this monument to early 20th century US transportation progress, the site poses unique challenges and development costs, and will remain half-vacant, inaccessible and endangered if the resources of the Historic Revitalization Tax Credit Program are not brought to bear.”

In a 2015 report, Higgins identified DL&W Terminal as a key component of Buffalo’s waterfront future. The following year, Higgins endorsed and encouraged the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) to pursue an option to extend Metro Rail into the DL&W building, a plan the authority executed.  In 2022, Higgins joined Senators Schumer & Gillibrand in announcing $2 million in federal funding for a skybridge connecting the second floor of the DL&W terminal to the KeyBank Center, plus an additional $1 million for improvements to the Riverwalk trail which runs between the Terminal and the Buffalo River. Higgins also worked closely with Governor Hochul to fast-track several projects along the Buffalo waterfront, including an $87 million investment in the DL&W terminal.

The NFTA metro station component adds a light rail stop on the first floor of the terminal building. Separately, Savarino Companies was selected as the preferred developer for the DL&W’s massive second floor which includes a 40,000 square foot open-air deck overlooking the Buffalo River.

Built originally in 1917 to accommodate freight and passenger rail, the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (DL&W) Terminal has been used by the NFTA as a train shed but has not seen active public use since the 1960s when it was abandoned by the railroad. The building sits at the center of activity, surrounded by other public and private investments at Canalside, the Cobblestone District, Main Street, Ohio Street and the Buffalo River. 

Congressman Higgins is a major supporter of the federal Historic Tax Credit program recently introducing the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act, a bipartisan bill to expand eligibility and grow the program’s success. In 2019 Higgins highlighted how Historic Tax Credits have helped to support nearly $1.3 billion in development investments in Western New York.

The New York State Board of Historic Preservation nominated the DL&W terminal for placement on the State and National Registers of Historic Preservation in early June. The nomination is now under review by the National Parks Service.