Back in April we saw a draft as to what a significant parcel of land at the Outer Harbor might one day look like (see here
). According to that article, 'The goal is to establish new public access in a shoreline setting that creates a destination for residents and visitors alike. The plan aims to take advantage of the property's prime position on the lake, seasonal weather elements and unparalleled views. The preliminary concept was prepared by LiRo Engineers. Highlights include: sculptural landscape forms; wind sculptures; a natural playground; a rain garden with bio-swales for storm water management; a sand shoreline; a pier/boat launch area; a comfort station; and a picnic area. The project budget is currently estimated at $3.8 million. The funding source will be proceeds received from NYPA pursuant to the Erie County/City of Buffalo Relicensing Settlement Agreement.'
Now the official Master Plan for the property has been completed, and we can see that there are indeed some very exciting transformations that will take place in an area situated directly next to Times Beach and the lighthouse (now open to the public
). The project was approved by the Buffalo Planning Board a week or two ago, and things are moving forward. The plan is going out to bid soon, and construction is slated for late summer and fall, opening next spring. Once again, this is big news for Buffalo and the waterfront. The sand shoreline is something completely new to these types of waterfront projects, and will finally offer access for visitors to actually walk down to the water. I love the creativity found in the sculptural land forms and the wind sculptures (Whitaker Studio
), not to mention the beach volleyball courts. There is plenty of bike access, seating, places to play Frisbee and picnic in the meadow, slides and arched bridges incorporated into elevated bluffs - perfect for kids to romp, a gazebo, boulders, and architectural remnants.
Most of all, I am happy to see that visitors will have to walk around to experience the park. No more sightseeing from a car. There is plenty of parking out along the boulevard, which means that people will have to pack a picnic, walk with their kids, ride their bikes, etc. This natural-feeling park is being built for people, not cars. Once again, LaSalle Park could learn a few things from this amazing design.
^Click to enlarge