NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — A new $46 million state-of-the-art visitor center will be built in Niagara Falls State Park.
The governor's office says the facility "will be a gateway to adventure along the Niagara River Corridor." Also announced was an $8 million commitment in grant funding from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation toward the construction of the Welcome Center.
"New York is home to some of the nation's greatest parks and outdoor recreational opportunities that attract visitors from all across the globe, and Niagara Falls State Park is no exception," Governor Cuomo said. "This new visitor center continues the stunning transformation of New York's most famous and most visited state park, welcoming the millions of tourists who visit each year while highlighting the unique history and beauty of the park and the entire Western New York community."
When complete, the facility will replace the current 35-year-old structure and provide expanded space for peak-time visiting as well as areas for ticketing, interpretation, dining and retail operations.
The previous structure will be adapted to include:
- Multi-purpose community room.
- Regional archives.
- Offices for Niagara regional interpretive staff.
"Niagara Falls is a wonder of the world unique to Western New York," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. "With a rich legacy as the oldest state park in the United States, New York continues to invest in this landmark gem to bolster regional tourism, economic recovery and showcase this awe-inspiring attraction for future generations."
The governor's office says the 28,000-square-foot facility will include:
- New ticketing and information desks.
- Interpretive museum space including an immersive experience and exhibits highlighting a diversity of topics including natural, industrial and Indigenous American history.
- New concession spaces.
- Restrooms and associated support spaces.
"As the oldest state park in the United States, and most famous park in New York State, I am thrilled at the opportunity with this innovative improvement," said City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino. "Knowing that our City plays host to over 9 million visitors each year and is the tourism catalyst for Western New York, we are excited for the opportunity to better accommodate the needs of tourists during their stay with us. By presenting visitors with a state-of-the-art welcome center with the help of New York State and the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, we anticipate continued investment in our community and further allowing us to bolster economic growth within Niagara Falls."
You can find more renderings on the project here.