Change of scene: land reserve for buildings in the demonstration town near the track | News, Sports, Jobs


OBSERVE Photo by MJ Stafford The Chautauqua County Land Bank is set to demolish these buildings on Main Street in Dunkirk in the near future. The site will be cleared and made “ready for development,” according to Mayor Wilfred Rosas.

The dilapidated structures on Main Street in Dunkirk will soon fall – and the site is under consideration for the proposed Amtrak station.

The Chautauqua County Land Bank owns the buildings on the east side of Main Street between Second and Third Streets. They will be torn down “probably as soon as the weather clears,” Mayor Wilfred Rosas said Thursday.

He said the structures were ready for demolition six months ago, but the land bank and the city needed to finish getting the permits and line up the contractors. City employees will assist land bank staff with dismantling.

The buildings once housed a bicycle shop, bowling alley and dry cleaners. The words “Water shortage” are spray painted on all three and they are taped and fenced. A plaque near the top of the old bowling alley indicates that it was built in 1924. All structures sat vacant for years.

After demolition, the site will be cleared and returned “Excavator ready for development,” Roses said.

Mayor Wilfred Rosas

The land sits across the tracks from a CSX-owned building that was once a passenger station, until service ended in 1971. Rosas said this week, “This is an area we hope to propose for the new Amtrak station.”

However, he added, other sites will be under consideration, and the decision on where to place a station ultimately rests with Amtrak.

Dunkirk’s quest for passenger rail service, recently renewed after a failure in the 1990s, has only just begun. The Municipal Council has just approved on Tuesday a feasibility study for a new station.

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