By CAITLIN DEWEY
A slim row of vacant lots at the corner of Niagara and Hudson streets could become the site of a $10 million Hispanic cultural institute under a plan unveiled by the Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York.
The proposed institute – which could break ground as early as April, pending a successful fundraising campaign – would include a museum, a 150-seat theater and a broadcast TV and radio lab, among other amenities. The plan has already earned endorsements from Rep. Brian Higgins, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, the Buffalo Common Council and Buffalo Public Schools. HHC President Casimiro Rodriguez said the space would serve the West Side community, as well as Western New York’s 75,000 Hispanic and Latino people.
“The vision and the mission is to build a 32,000-square-foot institute at the corner of Niagara and Hudson, in the heart of our community,” Rodriguez said. “It’s going to focus on programming and enrichment, whether that be experiential learning … or arts and wellness … or cultural affirmation and expression.”