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Peace Bridge, Skyway, Waterfront: 1989's Issues Still Linger

On May 1, 1989, The Walden Galleria opened it's doors for the first time, welcoming shoppers to what remain's the region's largest mall.  And while the face of retail, and the economy in WNY has certainly changed, a lot of the issues being discussed around town that year-- are ones that would be familiar now 25 years later.

 Waterfront development and eventual tearing down of the skyway was a hot topic around City Hall water coolers.

And The Peace Bridge Authority began to think about someday building a second bridge, that still has yet to be built.

"Buffalo unfortunately  because of the demographics, because of finances, because of the lack of Fortune 500 companies in Buffalo, you know, sometimes things take us longer."  

    - Anthony Masiello

A NYS Senator in 1989, who would become Mayor of Buffalo four years later, and now sits on The Peace Bridge Authority Board.

Despite the 25 year deja-vu, Masiello doesn't buy the premise that there hasn't been any progress in the year's since.

"The inner harbor has investment every day. The Medical campus is certainly on fire with developers buying properties. You have UB's Medical School coming down to the campus. You have housing values in many of our neighborhoods skyrocketing. Even the Peace Bridge, there are $70 million investments taking place on the American side," he says.

The 1989 population of Erie and Niagara Counties was approx. 1.88 million, compared to today's 1.5 million.

at The Bottom Of This Page
Compared to 25 years ago, things in Buffalo and WNY are?
Much better!
( 14% )
About the same.
( 26% )
( 60% )

Kids born in 1989 have seen- and embraced- a record amount of technological change, and experienced some pop culture milestones that still resonate 25 years later

"When you think about it, for little kids, there wasn't internet in their households. They weren't using DVRs. They were probably even buying cassette tapes. And then CDs went away when they were replaced by IPods. Really, people who grew up in the late 80s are the only ones that have seen that change,"
       - Tim O'Shei
founder of "LIVE Starring" a Buffalo based pop culture site driven by youth performances and user developed content.

In 1989, Michael Keaton portrayed "Batman"  and "Indiana Jones," Ghostbusters" and "Back To The Future" all released sequels. "There you have characters that really have withstood the test of time, and have even been carried on, " O Shei says.

Both "Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons" premiered in prime time TV.  "What's interesting about "Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons" is that people who weren't born until years later will still understand Simpsons references, of course because it is still on
In sports.... Pete Rose got a lifetime ban from Baseball and Clint Malarchuk needed 300 stitches after a skate blade sliced his jugular vein during a Sabres game.

And Lady Gaga fans would be interested to note that the  number one song on the Billboard pop charts on April 29, 1989 was   Madonna's "Like A Prayer" in it's third week at the top.

"The late 80s was when Madonna was at her most controversial point."Like A Prayer" was Madonna really, really pushing the envelope... She pushed cultural moires," O'Shei says.

President George H.W. Bush took office in 1989. 

In April 1989,  Congress was debating a minimum wage hike and talking about the violence (against Lebanon) in Syria.
  HEADLINE: "Buffalo Belies Snowy Image for 3rd Straight Winter. 59.5 inch Total Falls far Below Normal Level, not to Mention the Blizzard of '77"  
- The Buffalo News April 29, 1989

Your Wallet in 1989.....

A postage stamp cost $.25, a dozen eggs was $.96.
  On the WBEN Liveline
CBS Business Analyst Jill Schlesinger
 The average national cost of a new home was $148,000, a gallon of milk cost $2.34 and the national average for a gallon of gasoline was $1.13

 The Dow Jones Industrial Average high for the year was 2,971 and unemployment stood at 5.5 percent.


Filed Under :  
Locations : Buffalo
People : BushClint MalarchukLucille BallMichael KeatonPete RoseTaylor Swift
04/28/2014 8:01AM
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