After what seemed like an eternity, the Niagara Ferry bridge is back in operation. Officially termed the West Ferry Street Bascule Bridge, the iconic landmark along the Black Rock Channel is the site of a litany of historic events, including passage for the Underground Railroad.
The bridge leads to an abundance of updated Broderick Park amenities, including a small amphitheater, picnic shelters, new grills, a courtyard garden, and an overlook. Today there were tons of people fishing. There were also lot of people heading out to the Bird Island Pier, which extends all the way to the end of LaSalle Park (although not connected). On the opposite end of Broderick Park, the lakeside path becomes Riverwalk, which extends to Unity Island and beyond.
I was happy to come across a wayfinding sign that explained the history of the bridge. The sign gave some insight into the design and history of the bridge, as well as the man behind its construction – Joseph Baermann Strauss.
There is a pedestrian and bike path on the bridge, and new bike racks available at the park.
I can’t wait to see the new amphitheater used for a performance (Elias and Milk, are you listening?).
The new grills look pretty sturdy. I’m glad to see The City installing grills in parks again. It looks like they forgot about a water fountain though.
I’m not too sure about the overlook (see above). It looks as if there should be a garden in the center… or a giant statue. There’s an element missing I believe.
The front wall of the overlook looks very nice, especially with the flowering bushes.
I love the way the contemplative garden turned out. This is a beautiful setting, and a great place to sit, reflect, eat lunch, and look out over the water.
Hopefully this park will be kept clean. I also hope that the police at it to their patrol assignments, now that so much has been invested in this park. There’s no reason that illicit activity should take place moving forward, but that’s going to be up to the officers in the district. By sending an occasional patrol car to scout around, it will send an immediate message that this park has been reclaimed by the people. Finally, it would be cool to see a decent seasonal restaurant operator take over the concessions building.
This park has never looked better. With all of the money and the effort that has gone into it, along with the newly opened bridge, it’s time for this waterfront destination to shine. Let’s hope that it does not fall into disrepair again.