“Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. Hires Design Firm for Future Canalside Structures”

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation has selected an architectural firm, known for its work with historic buildings, to design several future structures for Buffalo’s Canalside. On Monday morning, the Corporation’s board approved a $1.3 million contract for the firm’s services.

Hamilton Houston Lownie Architects will provide design assistance for numerous projects slated for Canalside, including an open-air pavilion that will host programming for three seasons every year, a recreation of the Union Steamboat Building’s brick facade, a concert stage backdrop, a visitors center and permanent public restrooms.

Hamilton Houston Lownie has designed numerous buildings and renovations in the Buffalo area, from public schools to private clubs to cultural attractions. It is their preservation of the past that ECHDC board members find appealing.

“Their expertise is on historic preservation,” said Sam Hoyt, regional president of Empire State Development. “They’ve done great work on the Martin House and other extraordinary buildings of architectural significance in Western New York. We’re delighted to have them leading the effort.”

The firm is expected to spend 2017 working on design, with construction of planned facilities beginning in 2018.

The ECHDC board also approved an agreement by which State Parks resources will handle maintenance of the Corporation’s land in Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.

“They’re there already, managing their portion of the Outer Harbor,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. “They did it last year. They did a good job of it. It’s rather efficient and economical and we look forward to doing it.”

The cost of the agreement is $126,000. ECHDC officials say had they turned to a private contractor for Outer Harbor maintenance, it would cost more than what they’re paying through their agreement with another state agency.

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