36in36 Blog Details

Welcome to our detailed blog page, where each entry dives deeper into the fascinating world of 36in36. Here, you'll find in-depth discussions, thoughtful analyses, and personal narratives that offer a closer look at our innovative projects, the people behind them, and the impact they aim to achieve. Join us as we explore the intricacies of entrepreneurship, collaborative creativity, and the transformative journey of turning bold ideas into reality.

My Journey with 469 Franklin

As a high school junior, my world was largely confined to the baseball diamond, where I played for the Troop I American Legion team. Little did I know, a summer of baseball in the city would plant the seeds for a journey that would lead me to a historic building in the heart of Buffalo.

A Summer to Remember

That summer, our team won the WNY region, and I found myself frequently traveling into the city, an experience that was previously limited to Sabres' games. The culmination of our season was an awards banquet on Franklin Street, attended by Mayor Griffin, team families, and hall members. The warmth and camaraderie of that night left a lasting impression on me.

Rediscovery at the Allentown Art Festival

Fast forward nearly a decade, and I found myself wandering the streets of the Allentown Art Festival. It was there, amidst the vibrant displays of art and culture, that I stumbled upon a familiar sight – the Troop I building. Flooded with nostalgia, I was drawn to the historic charm of the neighborhood, particularly to a building at 469 Franklin Street, once the esteemed Sisti Art Gallery. As I admired the structure, my eyes were drawn to large signs announcing an impending auction at the end of the month. The possibility of owning a piece of the city's history suddenly became a tangible reality.

A Neighborhood in Transition

At the time of my discovery, the area was going through a rough patch financially. Many properties were boarded up, and the neighborhood's future seemed uncertain. However, I saw potential in its central location. I believed that if the city were to experience a resurgence, this spot would be near the heart of it.

A Leap of Faith

Despite not having a concrete financial plan, the sight of those auction signs ignited a spark within me. I was compelled to purchase the building – a decision that, in hindsight, was one of the more reckless things I've ever done. Working as a contract software developer at National Fuel, I envisioned a life where I could reside in a small section of the building while gradually restoring its former glory.

A Decade of Transformation

Over the past ten years, 469 Franklin has undergone a remarkable transformation. The front of the property has been developed into short-term rentals, offering a unique stay in a historic setting. This not only revitalized the space but also brought a diverse array of visitors to the heart of Buffalo.

The Birth of the Mini-Maker Space

In the back of the building, the former studio space of the Sisti Art Gallery has been organized into what we fondly call the 'mini-maker space.' It's a hub of creativity and innovation, a place where ideas and craftsmanship converge.

A Global Invitation

Our vision for the mini-maker space is not just local but global. We aim to draw people from around the world to contribute to the 36 projects of the 36in36 initiative. The idea is to create a symbiotic environment where guests can stay on the property while actively participating in groundbreaking projects.

Bringing Projects to Buffalo

Our goal extends beyond just hosting these innovators. We aspire to bring entire projects to Buffalo, turning the city into a cradle of innovation and development. Here, we will not only build these projects but also support their operation, creating a sustainable ecosystem of innovation and growth.


As I reflect on the journey from a high school baseball player to a contributor to Buffalo's narrative, I am filled with hope and excitement for what the future holds. 469 Franklin is more than a building; it's a symbol of community, innovation, and the enduring spirit of Buffalo.

Marshall Rhinehart

Marshall has helped put together the 36in36 project.