The Buffalo Common Council approved a new public art project featuring art glass that will make its debut on Seneca Street sometime next year. The building that will showcase it? A new firehouse.
Buffalo Fire Department Engine 25’s house was beyond the point of renovation, according to initial studies a few years ago.
So designs for a new facility were conceived in 2019. When it’s finished sometime next year, Engine 25 will feature a series of art glass panels depicting firefighters set against backdrops of flames and shattered windows.
The concept comes from Indiana artists Jules and Terry Mominee.
"We came up with the three important things that firemen do, which are that they respond to fires, they fight fires, and they rescue people,” said Jules.
The offial title for the project is "Valor: Respond, Fight, Rescue".
Jules Mominee continued to explain how they can utilize the new architecture to take advantage of the glass itself.
“A church is mostly for the light coming through to the inside to create a specialized environment. This is kind of the reverse of that it's more of a piece that is reflected to the community," Jules said. "And being up in the tower like that, it's going to be internally lit. So at night, this will be acting more like a beacon-- here is this service in our community.”
Jules Mominee said this will differ from traditional stained glass, which is usually assembled with lead came.
“This is all going to be laminated so there will not be any led dark led lines around individual pieces," Jules said. "And the fourth window, which is on the roof side, is more like a clear window, like the community looking in out of the building to these people coming to rescue and respond and fight the fires. So you get the impression of, you're inside looking out.”
Terry Mominee said her personal connection to the profession helped with visualizing some designs.
“We've had friends that have been part of volunteer fire departments in smaller towns," Terry said. "My dad when I was little was a volunteer fireman. And it's just knowing what these people deal with, when that siren goes off and what they're willing to do is just amazing, and really a little overwhelming.”
The art glass is planned to be finished by January 1 next year, before construction starts on Engine 25.