Introducing: The Broadway Market Exhibit at Explore & More!

By Will Kawalec, Cultural Program Educator 

I am taking this months Culture Corner as an opportunity to discuss an exciting change to Explore & More. Some may have heard the news that the Being Good Neighbors exhibit, (made up of the Hispanic Heritage House, Puppet Theater, and West Side Bazaar), is undergoing a major makeover. This transformation will change this exhibit space to an exhibit modeled after a Buffalo landmark, The Broadway Market.

Revitalize the Market

With gracious funding from the City of Buffalo, the team at Explore & More is excited to be creating a space that not only honors the history of the Broadway Market, but also introduces a whole new generation of Western New Yorkers to the historic community space. In conjunction with the City of Buffalo, and the Broadway Market itself, we hope this exhibit works to revitalize the market and captures the imagination of children and their families who visit Explore & More. This exhibit transition has been a long time coming, and here at Explore & More, we are exceptionally excited to share these changes with you.

The Broadway Market was established in 1888 by Polish immigrants, looking to create a meeting place and marketplace that was reminiscent of their homeland of Eastern Europe. Broadway Avenue on the Eastside of the city was the site selected for this new public space. The Eastside during the late 19th century was an area that was predominately occupied by Polish immigrants, and with the creation of this market, a cultural meeting place was established that became a cornerstone of the Buffalo community.

The Market Today

Today the market is still a cultural pillar, and is reflective of the eastside neighborhood, though where the neighborhood was once predominantly Polish, it is now one of the most diverse areas in the Western New York region and the market reflects this demographic changes. You can still buy your butter lamb, and pierogis, though you can get soul food favorites, South Asian cuisine, and enough desserts to satisfy any sweet tooth.

The Broadway Market has seen its fair share of changes since its organic origins in 1888. Over the next century and a half, the market would undergo several changes including its location, and storefront. The market is currently in its third iteration, and there are plans for major renovations in the near future.

As we approach the sesquicentennial of the founding of the original market, both the Broadway Market and Explore & More’s version will combine to usher in the next hundred and fifty years of commerce, culture, and community. So in the very near future, please join Explore & More in the opening of a revitalized exhibit space, the Broadway Market!

Explore & More will be closed Sunday, May 26-Tuesday, May 28. We will be open for play again on Wednesday, May 29!