She doesn't have a business card yet, but Monica Pellegrino Faix is the new executive director of the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation.
Faix is only the second executive director in the corporation's history, which has relied mostly on volunteers to return the East Side's Central Terminal to its original glory. She spent more than a decade leading the $102 million redevelopment of Buffalo's Richardson Olmsted Complex and, most recently, as a city planner in Nome, Alaska.
Now, she has come back home to Western New York to carry out her passion for historic preservation.
"I just think the potential for this building and the neighborhood and to be part of this initiative on the East Side that the state and local foundations are funding is an amazing opportunity for all of us, including me, so I was happy to join and be part of it," she said.
"We are extremely lucky to be able to bring on someone with so much experience, expertise and passion, said corporation Chair Jim Hycner. "The reuse of the Richardson Olmsted Campus was a game-changer for Buffalo and there are so many parallels between that landmark project and ours at the Central Terminal. Monica's leadership will be crucial as we continue to move forward with the restoration and renovation of the terminal."
"There's some key components now that are all coming together," Faix said, "so I think now we know as a community that focusing on historic buildings means focusing on places and people and it's part of our future."
Faix sees her charge as implementing the recommendations of the Urban Land Institute's recent study, as partner CJS Architects work on restoring the terminal's concourse, making it a year-round destination for events. "The rest," she said, will be setting up a process for developing "good uses" that will be right for the building and the neighborhood.
"Part of my job from the get-go is to make neighborhood connections, so we can better communicate what is happening and what's needed," Faix said, "and the other piece is these things take time, so we're gonnas put in a good process so we have a good product in the end, and that will involve the board, the neighborhood, the elected officials, the stakeholders."