Heritage Center opens in N.F, offers hope for city's north end

Officials cut the ribbon on the new Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center.  The unique, one-of-a-kind museum highlights the role this area played in helping slaves escape to freedom.

"We can compete with Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. on issues that showcase history and educate people," said John Percy from Destination Niagara USA.

A new shuttle service is also being implemented to transport tourists to the heritage center free of charge.

The museum is connected to Niagara Falls' new train station and Niagara University played a big role in helping research the displays.

While the heritage center holds much promise for bringing in tourists, people are also hoping that it will help spur a re-birth for an area of the city that has seen decades of decline: the north end.

Mayor Paul Dyster said developers are now showing more interest because of the energy created by the train station and heritage center, combined with very low real estate costs.

Dyster is hoping that removal of a portion of the Robert Moses Parkway, a project that will take a couple of construction seasons to complete, will open up views of the Niagara Gorge and create a new demand for housing in the north end.

The mayor admits the turnaround for the north end will not happen overnight, but the mayor is optimistic that things are starting to move in a positive direction for that portion of the city.

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