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.