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Mutual Riverfront Park

We’ve all seen what Peg Overdorf helped to accomplish at River Fest Park, and now we’ve heard about her plans for a second waterfront park, situated at the corner of South Street and Hamburg Street. As we all know, hearing is one thing and seeing is another. It’s also nice to be able to put a name to a place… rather than calling this future park ‘The park at the river bend just past Elevator Alley’, Peg has released its official name – Mutual Riverfront Park (MRP) – named after the old Mutual Rowing Club that once stood at this location (see image in rendering). The project is being funded 100% by the New York Power Authority, and landscape architect is Dean Gowen (through Hatch Associates). The project manager is Larry Zamojski.

The detailed rendering of MRP shows the project scale, the locations of amenities, the proximity to landmarks… everything that we need to get a better idea as to what this area will look like in years to come (see background here). I love the pedestrian gateway featuring the ice boom pontoon overhead. There’s an event lawn, a dining terrace, rain garden, museum, kayak/canoe launch, seating areas, boat storage, interpretive signage, outdoor classroom/amphitheater, docks, thoughtful landscaping, crosswalks, bathrooms, concessions, bike paths, river overlooks and everything else that a person would need who was looking to spend a day along the river (a dredged river at that- see the Buffalo River Ecological Restoration Master Plan – ERMP). I bet that it won’t be long before the old First Ward becomes a desirable place to relocate (residential) given the close proximity to the Outer Harbor, the Inner Harbor, the Metro Rail, the Larkin District and all of these new park amenities.

When I look at this rendering, I can’t help but think of the former plans for LaSalle Park that were drafted during the Masiello administration (seen here). Those plans were never enacted upon unfortunately, and today LaSalle is still in dire need of a Master Plan such as the one for MRP. Maybe The City could enlist Peg to analyze a couple of our waterfront parks such as LaSalle. In the meantime, work is well underway on this Mutual Riverfront Park, which will ultimately add another piece to the waterfront puzzle.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

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  • Lego1981

    Thumbs up!!!

  • DTK2OD

    Buffalo is truly becoming a waterfront city!

  • The Roaming Buffalo

    Awesome! Love Peg Overdorf! She will get teh job done….maybe she should run for mayor?

  • JM

    Seems like a sweet deal just to store the boom.
    This is just another step, I said this in a Riverfest post a long time ago, each step helps. Eventually all these little steps, Riverfest, MRP, Red Jack Park, Central Wharf, Outer Harbor, Union Ship Canal, Times Beach, and eventually the Railroad Museum, Foot of Bailey Park, and Seneca Bluffs will be linked by a trail following the River and perhaps along the old DL&W line.

  • Jesse

    Looks pretty cool, but do we need more museum space and “interpretive” signage? Seems like one or two of those old-style white or blue historical signposts would be enough.

  • bobbycat

    How will people from outside WNY know about the park? Will there be signage on the roads leading to the park, maybe a sign on one of the thruway exits?

  • brownteeth

    If she be came mayor she probably wouldn’t get this much done if she has to wade through all the city’s BS.

  • JM

    I think it’s worthy of Brown Signs (not the Mayor), but Recreation and Historic Places. This is both.

  • KangDangaLang

    How is she alone getting funding for this project. It says that the money is coming from the power authority, but why is it going to this lady to determine what happens with it?

  • 300miles

    Who would be a better organizer for this?
    She has proven results.

  • brownteeth

    Because she stepped up! I’m sure anyone here can too if their so inclined.

  • KangDangaLang

    My questions are, who does she work for, what are her credentials, how is she securing the funds, who is overseeing the projects etc? It seems quite weird that one person is randomly given millions of dollars and with no strings or regulations attached.

  • 300miles
  • Meliq

    I LOVE what is being done with the riverfront parks, whether Niagara or Buffalo. Last Friday, I was out boating and we went down the Buffalo River all the way to Cazenovia Creek. As we travelled down river, the water got darker and darker and looked almost thick. I guess my point is, what is being done to clean up the water quality of this area? Is there anything going on that just hasn’t been reported about? I would love to kayak there some day (if I ever learn how) but falling in that water would be disgusting/scary. Maybe I’m being a wimp. Also, I can imagine how beautiful some of the old buildings would be if they were converted into apts./condos with river views. Believe it or not, the views were quite nice. So sad that the area has been squandered so badly.

  • JSmith

    They just started a $50 million project to dredge the Buffalo River, so there is a major cleanup operation underway.

  • brownteeth

    I don’t know exactly how she got started but she already has one park conversion under her belt so it certainly qualifies her. I don’t believe she works for anyone, she is just a motivated citizen who took initiative. More power to her!

  • KangDangaLang

    I agree, she’s produced results. My question is, in a day an age of environment studies, community meetings, approvals, survery, reapprovals, common council votes, paying off Byron Brown, more community meetings, then the final approval. How is it this one individual is given money and land, and no one asks why or how? Who approved her to redevelop the land, how was she selected, what did she do to apply for the grants? I know she much be on here. If she wanted to answer my questions it would be much appreciated.

  • Travelrrr

    I have similar questions, actually.
    Though I REALLY like her gumption, I think the design elements are fairly simplistic-would be great to mix in some cutting edge/sophisticated designs there.

  • cphuntington97

    Since moving to the city from the suburbs, I have lost weight. Cycling is much more fun when you have interesting destinations!
    I’m so glad that people have the time, attention, expertise, and energy to organize projects like this. They definitely improve my quality of life.

  • KangDangaLang

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about cirumventing the red tape to get shit done, but this is a little off?

  • brownteeth

    I believe she had grants and such which I assume she used to hire the appropriate consultants. The River Fest park did take a few years afterall, now that she has done one I assume she can get this done faster knowing more about the process.
    At any rate sometimes it’s best to not ask questions as the ends justifies the means in this case!

  • Crisa

    Great ideas here…

  • Travelrrr

    Well, one rumor is that she got the GLF folks to $ back her Peg’s Park, in return for supporting the demo of the GLF….

  • Seydlitz

    Yeah… not gonna happen, somthing will appear out of nowhere to stop this but if were lucky we may get a giant eyesore of a wind mill put in that will never actually run