by Kevin F. Yost
First, there should be private museums and historical and cultural attractions there. These could include the proposed new “Fandemoneum” sports museum, Great Lakes/Erie Canal Museum, aquarium, indoor water park, 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 US and local Buffalo sports history. The currently fledgling maritime museum should be tied in with the possible Great Lakes/Erie Canal Museum. As well, a bicycle museum in Canalside, to succeed the one that closed in Orchard Park, should be tied in with the Maritime Museum and/or the Buffalo Transportation/Pierce Arrow Museum.
Also, the rewatered canals there should connect with the Buffalo River, which, along with other Buffalo waterways, should cleaned up in similar ways that Syracuse is cleaning theirs, while other Buffalo waterways need to be removed from underground tunnels. A new man-made waterfall could also go there and be like the one in the Rochester exurb of Rush. Remaining space at HSBC Arena could be home to one or more of the museums, as could the DL&W Terminal, with the ticket halls rebuilt. Also, either the Central Wharf or the DL&W Terminal could be used for a farmer’s market, similar to Boston’s Faneuil Hall or Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market. The fallow space that NFTA currently owns could also be home to such a market or a museum.
Moreover, there should be no parking garages built in Canalside. Instead, a trolley loop should also be in Canalside, Cobblestone, and Old First Ward, in addition to extending MetroRail in different direction into South Buffalo and the Southtowns, including the steel museum and the new railroad museum, as well as a line along Lake Erie and the Niagara River that should also loop around the metro area and suburbs. Furthermore, there should also be new bridges for Michigan Avenue, Erie Street, as well as one to connect Fuhrmann Blvd., Main St, Pearl St., Franklin Street, Elmwood Ave, and Delaware Ave. all to replace the Skyway, which should be taken down, so long as the promenade along Erie Street remains. Also, an intermodal transit center for high-speed Amtrak rail, MetroRail, and Metro bus should also be built and take over the maintenance and storage of MetroRail for NFTA.
If an aquarium is decided to go to Canalside, it must not conflict with the one in Niagara Falls. In fact, Niagara Falls and the H. H. Richardson complex in North Buffalo could be possible alternative locations for the weather museum, wintergarden, and indoor water park, as the sister organizations Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. and USA Niagara Development Corp. need to work together and the two tourism and convention agencies in the two cities need to merge and have the one in Buffalo live up to its name “Buffalo-Niagara.” (Such areas in Niagara Falls could include the rest of the Rainbow Center and the vacant Niagara Falls Redevelopment Corp. land that could be taken by their city and/or USA Niagara. Likewise, an indoor or outdoor water park could also go on Seneca Nation land, such as the former Niagara Splash site.) The Richardson complex could also be an alternative site for the architecture museum.
Furthermore, amenities at Canalside should also not be duplicated from other not-too-distant areas. For example, there already exist a Native American museum in Salamanca a children’s museum, in Rochester, butterfly gardens there and in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Moreover, as for the idea of “lacrosse museum” having been suggested, the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and Museum already exists in Baltimore. As well, the Pierce-Arrow Museum should also display how the windshield wiper was invented in Buffalo and how the automobile and many auto parts were invented in Rochester and the traffic signal was invented in Syracuse and the idea of a “beer museum” is also better off being in Rochester as well.
New businesses, such as Urban Outfitters, Wegmans, and the new smaller urban format of Walmart Supercenter and countless others, chains or single location, should be few in Canalside and would be better off along Main Street in “Buffalo Place,” including in the largely vacant Main Place Mall. Moreover, Canalside should learn from the ongoing developments of Rochester’s Corn Hill Landing, Brooks Landing, and High Falls developments. As well, Canalside, and the ongoing efforts of the cities of Rochester and Syracuse to develop their respective Charlotte Harbor, where the Genesee River empties into Lake Ontario, and the Inner Harbor, where Onondaga Creek empties into Onondaga Lake, should also work in tandem with each other in the new Cuomo administration, all with the help of Empire State Development.
Kevin F. Yost, Henrietta
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