Preliminary designs for the Niagara Heritage Gateways Project were unveiled by the USA Niagara Development Corporation (USAN) and the City of Niagara Falls during a public information session today. Held at the Niagara Falls Convention Center, the session provided information about the first phase of the Downtown Niagara Falls Heritage Walk project.
Announced by Governor Kathy Hochul last year, the $12 million project intends to forge stronger links between downtown Niagara Falls and the Niagara Falls State Park. This phase includes plans for a Hydraulic Power Plaza and the Niagara Gorge Gateway Park, aimed at developing a landscaped, multi-use public area linking the downtown and the park.
Additional plans were shared for a Tree Walk to be located along the Riverway, close to the Niagara River Upper Rapids. This feature is set to include a platform that extends towards the river, offering expansive views of Goat Island and the Upper Rapids.
According to USA Niagara President Anthony Vilardo, these developments form part of Governor Hochul's vision and represent the next phase in revitalising Downtown Niagara Falls. The project aims to celebrate the city's heritage, provide appealing public spaces, and lay the groundwork for future economic development.
Robert Restaino, Mayor of Niagara Falls, believes these heritage gateways provide innovative methods to introduce open green spaces to the downtown area while promoting the exploration of the city's highlights by both locals and visitors.
USAN executives were joined at the session by representatives from Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), Hargreaves Jones, and the City of Niagara Falls to provide further project details and collect public feedback. Groundbreaking on the project, which is state-funded through Buffalo Billion II and the Regional Revitalization Partnership, is scheduled for 2024.