It seems to me that there is a significant missed opportunity at the Erie Basin Marina. After spending a morning with a couple that was getting hitched, they wanted to head to the waterfront to have some photos taken. Upon mentioning a couple of suggestions, they countered with the Erie Basin Marina. Not wanting to appear like a know-it-all, I agreed that the marina might be interesting.
In many ways, the couple turned out to be right. In other ways, I would hesitate to send other couples to this exact spot for obvious reasons. You see, they wanted to be closer to the water than the rock barrier would allow. Yes, there is a small beach (Emerald Beach) with access to the water towards to the end of the marina, but by this time we were all on foot and time was of the essence. It turned out that the quickest way to get closer to the water was to traverse the giant boulders, which turned out to be somewhat precarious and unsettling.
The Erie Basin Marina is a great waterfront destination. I would think that it would not be very hard to create a tiered concrete platform atop the stone barrier wall that is already in place. Since it’s an operational harbor, there is no way to create a naturalized shore. The sidewalk that extends the length of the marina is far away from the water’s edge, and there is a disconnect between visitors and the water. Back in 2002, The City installed an observation boardwalk at the end of the marina, towards the Observation Tower. It was the start of transforming the marina into more of a people-friendly place, instead of a place for boaters. It would be nice to see that effort continued.
Even if a series of lookout posts were to be built, extending over the stones, that would be an improvement over what is there today. This is a prime stretch of water property that could become something truly special, instead of an obstruction to the water.