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Buffalo Has A New Park

It was only about a year ago when Bill Zimmermann wrote a post about his concerns that the land surrounding the West Side Rowing Club was not open to the public. At that time, there was a foreboding metal fence that prevented anyone from walking near the point that extended out into the channel. This was also before the shovels had broken ground at the Frank Lloyd Wright Fontana Boathouse. He painted a pretty dismal scenario for anyone who would want to discover the art of rowing.
Thankfully, it only took one year to see that scenario completely reverse itself. Now the fence has come down, thus opening up the grass lawn that leads down to the water’s edge. And a new boathouse, first drafted by FLW 100 years ago, stands watch over both land and water. To add to the excitement, the Buffalo Rotary Club, an organization that donated $375,000 to the boathouse, recently unveiled a brand new dedication sign. The sign was graciously donated by Ed Hogle’s Atlas Steel Company. The sign signals that the land where the boathouse sits is now called Rotary Park – a place that is no longer considered off limits to the general public. Thanks to the Rotary Club, people now have another waterfront destination that incorporates architecture and health as well as social functions. If you’re familiar with the Rotary Club, then you might remember that the group donated the Rotary Rink to The City back in 1991. That rink has become a destination where thousands of people skate at Fountain Plaza every winter.
Eventually, the nondescript road that leads to the grounds of the boathouse will be called Rotary Row. Along with the FLW architecture, and the country’s largest rowing club, it is important that the surrounding grounds are maintained and recognized properly. Thanks to the Rotary Club, this section of the waterfront is becoming an important identifiable destination for everyone. It would be great to see some new signage out at the main entrance… it can still be tough to find if you’re not familiar with the West Side Rowing Club.

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