The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation engaged HHL Architects to design new “interpretive” structures along the edges of the Erie Canal’s historic Commercial Slip at Canalside, located along the northern edge of the Buffalo River in Downtown Buffalo. The project entails the creation of two new buildings to include public toilets and other shared and community-uses. One of these is the Longshed Building, which has wood vertical and horizontal siding, with a heavy timber structure, and is placed along the southeastern edge of the historic Commercial Slip. The new 2-story-tall building provides an homage to the former canal loading/unloading buildings and provides approximately 5,000 sq. ft. of multi-purpose use space as well as shade and shelter for visitors.
Within this gabled-roof wood structure are public toilets, a large open work/gathering space, an overlooking mezzanine, office and storage spaces and mechanical support spaces. The open space includes an overhead-opening door onto the east side, along with sliding ‘barn’ glass door openings on the south side. Windows are included in the upper levels to add daylight. Large fans are also included inside to circulate air in the large open space for flexibility for year-round use. The first occupant of the completed Longshed will be the Buffalo Maritime Center, who will be building a replica canal “packet” boat, similar to what Governor Dewitt Clinton used to dedicate the opening of the Erie Canal.