PAU and Hargreaves Jones release new design for Niagara Falls Heritage Gateways

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New York Construction Report staff writer

Preliminary designs were released in December for the $12 million Niagara Heritage Gateways Project, the first phase of a broader Downtown Niagara Falls Heritage Walk concept that aims to strengthen connections between the downtown and Niagara Falls State Park.

Phase one includes Hydraulic Power Plaza and Niagara Gorge Gateway Park which will create a multi-use public space that serves as a landscaped connection between the Niagara Falls State Park and downtown Niagara Falls.

Plans were also released for a tree walk along the Riverway near the Niagara River Upper Rapids. The Riverway Tree Walk—which can be accessed from Buffalo Avenue and Niagara Falls State Park via existing stairs—includes construction of a platform that emerges from a wooded embankment and extends towards the river.

“These placemaking projects are the next step in rebuilding Downtown Niagara Falls,” said USA Niagara President Anthony Vilardo. “Our aim with these designs is to tell the story of our city, and create beautiful, functional public spaces that set the stage for additional economic development in the years to come.”

New York-based studio Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) and landscape architect firm Hargreaves Jones provided details about the designs and gave the public opportunity to weigh in with input on the project—which is expected to break ground in 2024.

The Niagara Falls Heritage Gateways project is funded by the state through Buffalo Billion II and through the Regional Revitalization Partnership.

“These Heritage Gateways are interesting ways to provide open green space downtown and also engage locals and tourists to rediscover points of interest in our downtown,” said Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino.

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