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A Plan For Everything, Everywhere, All At Once

Tourism and historical tourism are important to the future economies of the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, as well as Rochester.

First, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., Buffalo Place, Richardson Complex Corp., and maybe also the and USA Niagara Development Corp. need to be consolidated under the regional branch of Empire State Development. Also, this new entity or a stand-alone USA Niagara needs to take over property owned by the absentee Niagara Falls Redevelopment. Also, Niagara Falls Tourism should also fold into Visit Buffalo-Niagara. The Buffalo-Niagara Sports Commission and Monroe County Sports Commission in Rochester should also work in tandem for the region as well.

Moreover, the proposed “Story of Buffalo” amenity should include what was to be in the also-proposed Great Lakes/Erie Canal Museum. As well, this Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society Museum, Jefferson Avenue Gallery, and Iron Island Museum, as well as suburban historical society museums should all have a working relationship with one another. (The various local history museums in the city of Rochester don’t talk to each other, nor the disability support agencies, for the most part). Furthermore, a bidder for the “children’s ‘experience’ museum” could and should be The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester.

It was also suggested that there be a “Cheerio’s Museum” on the Buffalo Harbor. General Mills should do this in one of the vacant grain elevators there and this should be similar to how Eastman Kodak in Rochester gave tours of their film making factory and processes there until the late 1980s. As well, the contents of the former bicycle museum that closed in Orchard Park should go in with the Buffalo Transportation/Pierce Arrow Museum, which should also tell the story of the invention of the automobile and other auto parts in Rochester, the invention of the windshield wiper here, and the traffic signal in Syracuse, as well as automotive manufacturing in all three cities. What was to be in the Great Lakes/Erie Canal Museum could also possibly be part of the existing Maritime Museum at the Francis G. Ward Pumping Station.

The proposed weather and architecture museums and a reopened Niagara Aerospace Museum could go to either the Buffalo Inner or Outer harbors, the Richardson Complex, or two sites in Niagara Falls, namely the remainder of the Rainbow Centre, the NFR land, and any other place in the USA Niagara Development territory. Moreover, the proposed Niagara Experience Center, which should the plans for the failed “Aquafalls” museum. Also, the Medina Historic Railroad should also be extended to Niagara Falls to the west and High Falls in Rochester to the east along the former New York Central Falls Branch right-of-way and should have scenic stops at the waterfalls in Lockport, Medina, and Albion as well.

Meanwhile, a museum for Presidents Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland could go in either of those three Buffalo locations. The DL&W Terminal, with the ticket halls rebuilt, could be home to one or more of the museums as well as other vacant industrial or warehouse structures on the Buffalo waterfront. Furthermore, the Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame should include all of what was to be in “Fandemoneum” museum that did not see the light of day, as well as the closed Sports Museum of America, whose contents are in a locker in New Jersey and some of Canada’s sports memorabilia, and be part of a “trail’ of sports museums and halls of fame in and just beyond NYS. This could be located in either expanded space in the First Niagara Arena or elsewhere in Buffalo’s downtown or Inner Harbor area. Also, the International Sports Hall of Fame that was in the Sports Museum of America, should go to Rochester, along with a new National Soccer Hall of Fame that closed two years ago and whose contents are now across the country and part of US Soccer. These can also be in this “trail” as well.

> Kevin F. Yost, Henrietta

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