New York-based Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) has been chosen to design the $12m Downtown Niagara Falls Development Strategy, a redevelopment project located around a former canal.
The USA Niagara Development Corporation (USAN), a subsidiary of Empire State Development, asked PAU to develop plans for 25 parcels, grouped into five clusters, that have recently been acquired in the heart of downtown Niagara Falls.
PAU’s concept includes a heritage path that connects historical landmarks with the state park. Other long-term projects will be phased in, including community, residential, hotel, retail and office areas.
The Niagara Falls Power Company’s canal will be turned into a plaza displaying the history of large-scale electricity production in American, and an observation deck along the border of Niagara Falls State Park will preserve tree coverage and offer views of the American Rapids and Goat Island.
DiFranco Park will be transformed into a multi-use pavilion for outdoor performances and public space.
Hope Knight, Empire State Development’s president, said: “The Niagara Falls Heritage Gateways Project is a first step in New York State’s strategy for bringing long-dormant sites, now controlled by the state, back to productive use. This will both increase the city’s tax base and contribute to a re-emerging vibrant downtown that is a draw for visitors and residents.”
Vishaan Chakrabarti, PAU’s founder, said: “The Niagara Falls Heritage Gateways Project is a chance to demonstrate how thoughtful design can restore rather than remake our cities in collaboration with the local community. Public infrastructure is at the centre of successful urbanism.”