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April 26, 2021

Niagara Falls State Park in the US to construct new visitor centre

Niagara Falls State Park in New York, US, is set to construct a new 28,000ft² visitor centre along the Niagara River Corridor.

Niagara Falls State Park in New York, US, is set to construct a new 28,000ft² visitor centre along the Niagara River Corridor.

Designed by GWWO, the $46m Welcome Center is a signature project of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s NY Parks 100 initiative that will focus on creating places to recreate locally, relieving overcrowded parks.

Construction on the new visitor centre is expected to begin this year, with completion set to take place during the 2023 tourism season.

The Niagara Falls State Park Welcome Center will receive $8m in funding from the not-for-profit Ralph C Wilson Jr Foundation for the project.

A 35-year-old structure that is no longer capable of hosting the nine million visitors annually received by the park will be demolished to build the new facility.

Designed to complement nature, the glass, steel and concrete facility will include a rooftop solar array, green roof elements and a separate restroom building.

Expanded space and areas for ticketing, interpretation, dining and retail operations are also part of the facility.

New accessible paths, plantings, outdoor exhibits and interpretive and wayfinding elements are the enhanced amenities to be offered at the site.

The Welcome Center will include new ticketing and information desks, interpretive museum space and new concession spaces, among others.

Ralph C. Wilson Jr Foundation president and CEO David Egner said: “A new and reimagined Niagara Falls State Park Welcome Center along the Shoreline Trail has tremendous potential to strengthen the area’s growing tourism economy, creating more jobs and enhancing the quality of life for area residents.”

State Parks will seek applications from potential partners by issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to operate food, beverage, retail and recreational concessions throughout Niagara Falls State Park, including space in the new visitor centre.

The new agreement for more than ten years will begin next year and would offer 7,300ft² of ‘white box’ space to be built out by the next operator for concessions and support areas.

The project will complement the $150m revitalisation of the multi-year Niagara Falls State Park landscape launched in 2011 to renew the park in a manner that better reflects park designer Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision for the landscape.

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