BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — When we last checked in October of 2020, The Hispanic Heritage Council was hoping to have the groundbreaking done by now, but as the pandemic continued, so did the delays. So we got an updated timeline.
“The majority of Hispanics live here in the downtown area, the West Side area," said Esmeralda Sierra, President of the Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY, Inc.
And that community is growing.
"More and more people are identifying as Hispanic, so that need to go back to your culture, your heritage, to know about your history is there," said Sierra.
That’s why they want to build the Hispanic Heritage Cultural Institute on the corner of Niagara and Hudson streets in Buffalo. The plans for the $10 million project were announced back in 2019, but then came the pandemic.
"That pretty much slowed our progress, but we took that time to reassess and sharpen our pencils," said Casamiro Rodriguez, Project Chair of the Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY, Inc.
They’ve been working on planning and conducting studies, now they have a new timeline.
"We expect to ground-break in 2023 and open the facility in 2024," said Rodriguez.
They plan to re-ignite their capital campaign this fall and continue raising money for the project.
"We look forward to welcoming everyone, I look forward to this institute being a beacon of light for not just the Hispanic community, but for all the minority or multicultural communities here in WNY," said Sierra.
It'll be a place to host future Hispanic Heritage Month events. This year, they'll take place all around WNY, with more than 25 things to do in the next few months to celebrate including a concert with the BPO at Kleinhan's, Folk art Fridays, a day at the Botanical Gardens and so much more.
The official kickoff of Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 at 12pm at the Central Library Downtown.