HHL Architects redesigned this 20-year-old visitor center facility, located at Prospect Point, in the National Historic Landmark, Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Niagara Reservation State Park in Niagara Falls, NY. The ground floor level of the facility was completely redesigned to include a new souvenir gift shop, coffee and ice cream stand, indoor and outdoor grille counter, and entry. The design removed a central stair to create a primary exterior entry directly from the park. Two new stairs were added inside to bring visitors down into the building near the gift shop and theater.
The design reinforced an existing floor pattern, which resembled the Niagara River Gorge, by creating a matching soffit containing a concealed changing color fiber-optic light trough that effectively leads visitors through the building. The new retail space is separated from the theater queuing and the lobby with a transparent curved glass wall. A custom mosaic mural of the American Falls was designed to be the focal point for the store, as well as the new entry lobby.