Westerly, 5m/h wind. Temperature 60°F. You may see Copse of Beech Trees.

Erie Canal Harbor (Canalside)


Cultural/Historic, Waterfront


Landscape Architecture, Master Planning


Empire State Development


Buffalo, NY





Site Area

12 acres


Flynn Battaglia Architects

MNLA was the lead site designer and landscape architect for the redevelopment of this 12-acre urban renewal parcel, located on Lake Erie at the historic terminus of the Erie Barge Canal. Archaeological ruins, extant cobble streets, and a reconstructed Commercial Slip serve as focal points for heritage interpretation and a new commercial harbor. An expansive public lawn, The Central Wharf, hosts large scale community events and connects to a continuous esplanade that dramatically expands waterfront open space for the city of Buffalo.

The firm worked with architects, engineers, lighting designers, and preservationists on the master plan and the two-phased, $47M construction project, which addressed complicated programming and design scenarios. Phase I was completed in 2003 and includes a new Veterans Park, reconfigured bulkhead, and marine esplanade that set the stage for the new Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park museum. Phase II, completed in 2007, created festival spaces and new mooring capacity for visiting vessels such as recreational barges.

“What this master plan to focus on the unique heritage contained on the 12 acres that lie at the foot of Main Street. In doing so it recalls that this site was the terminus of one of the great engineering feats in the history of this country, the tying together of the interior of the country with the coast.” 2005 Jury Statement, the Waterfront Center.

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Photo: James Kavanaugh
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