Here's What You Do
by Kevin Yost
The new plans for the Rainbow Centre and state lands in Niagara Falls, NY are excellent. However, I would like to suggest that the state parks offices move into the Turtle Building and that the proposed “Wonderfalls” contain what was to be in the scrapped “Aquafalls” amenity as well as a new, energy efficient wintergarden in addition to an indoor waterpark, similar to Splash Lagoon outside Erie, PA, something sorely needed since the closing of the former Niagara Splash. As well, if the Niagara Falls Redevelopment land is not used for either a new Bills stadium or new indoor entertainment venue, then perhaps a museum of weather and climate or the often-discussed Niagara Experience Center could go there instead. Moreover, the mostly-vacant Summit Park Mall should be demolished and the proposed Wizard of Oz themepark should be built on that site. Also, the Medina Historic Railroad should also be extended to Niagara Falls to the west and to the High Falls district in Rochester to the east along the former New York Central Falls Branch right-of-way and have scenic stops at the waterfalls in Lockport, Medina, and Albion.
Meanwhile, on the Buffalo Outer Harbor, there should be private museums and historical and cultural attractions there. These could include a new location for Buffalo Fire Museum that was rejected from Canalside in favor of the Explore and More Children’s Museum. Also on this space should be the proposed and shelved new Great Lakes/Erie Canal Museum and proposed North American Museum of Sport and Culture by The Strong Museum of Rochester to contain what was in the short-lived Sports Museum of America in Manhattan, plus some of Canada’s sports memorabilia. “Fandemoneum” sports museum, Cheerio’s Museum, bicycle museum, and architecture museum. “Fandemonium” should also take over the stored items of the bankrupt Sports Museum of America in New York City (while the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame should go to Rochester) and also include Canada’s sports history as well as U.S. and local Buffalo sports history. As well, a museum for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 5, which was also earlier turned down from the waterfront, should go there with alternative locations at the harborfronts of Rochester, Oswego, or Syracuse. The existing maritime museum should be tied in with the possible Great Lakes/Erie Canal Museum. There should also be a new terminal for a new ferry to Canada on the same route as the former Canadiana in addition. This could be an area similar to Cleveland’s lakefront, but without any stadiums. (A new Bills stadium also makes no sense with 130 million dollars just spent to renovate the existing Ralph Wilson Stadium).
As well, the Buffalo History Museum could have exhibits and displays for local Buffalo sports history, local grain mills, U.S. Presidents Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland. Local sports history could alternatively be in the Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in the First Niagara Center. Moreover, the proposed architecture museum should be in the Richardson Complex, while the proposed weather museum could either go there or the Outer Harbor. General Mills could also have a visitor’s center and give tours devoted to the manufacture of Cheerios, similar to what Eastman Kodak did for many years to show the making of film at Kodak Park in Rochester, Corning does with glass making, and the pretzel and chocolate plants in the Pennsylvania Dutch country do.
> KEVIN YOST, HENRIETTA
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