This is a really funny press release from 1998.
NINETEEN NINETY EIGHT!
Governor Pataki Launches Buffalo Waterfront Plan
$27.1 Million Plan Will Revitalize Buffalo's Historic Inner Harbor
Governor George E. Pataki today joined local, state and federal representatives to officially unveiled a $27.1 million plan to revitalize Buffalo's Inner Harbor, which will transform the city's waterfront into a 21st Century facility that will attract tourists, jobs and opportunity for the people of Western New York.
"As a gateway to the West and to Canada, Buffalo's waterfront serves as a shining example of what the Empire State has to offer," Governor Pataki said. "By investing in this waterfront plan, we are taking another important step to strengthen the economy in Western New York as we prepare for the 21st Century. This exciting project will ensure Buffalo retains its status as one of America's most important trade centers.
"Buffalo's Inner Harbor and the Erie Canal were pivotal to our nation's growth and success and will continue to play an important role in our future as we invest $27 million to revitalize one of America's most important ports," the Governor said.
"When combined with the success of the near-by Marine Midland Arena, the revitalized Inner Harbor will attract further development and jobs as businesses recognize it as the heart of 21st Century Buffalo. By increasing access to the shoreline, the waterfront will attract visitors and investors making the inner harbor the place to be in Buffalo."
The Inner Harbor project site is located adjacent to the Marine Midland Arena, bounded by Main Street, Marine Drive, Erie Boulevard and the Buffalo River.
The waterfront plan includes a 35-foot wide walkway, relocation of the Naval Park to enhance the landside view of the harbor, new commercial slips to accommodate tour and rental boat companies, a large plaza for various public events and improved vehicular access to the Inner Harbor. Work is scheduled to begin on the approximately 12-acre project site in the fall of 1999 and be completed by the summer of 2001.
U. S. Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato said, "As we have seen with so many other cities, a revitalized waterfront is the key to economic growth, renewed tourism and an enhanced quality of life for local residents. Once this waterfront plan is a reality, it will give the residents of Buffalo a new reason to be proud of their great city.
U. S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, "After many years of planning, Governor Pataki and Mayor Masiello are making Buffalo's waterfront redevelopment a reality. I applaud the Governor and the Mayor for their cooperation and forward thinking. The citizens of Buffalo can only benefit."
Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello said, "For almost half a century, a dynamic Inner Harbor has been the subject of dreams, dialogue and study. Now, that Inner Harbor will become a reality. Buffalo's future begins today -- with the firm plans and the state's cooperation to rebuild, restore and regenerate our waterfront. This is the kind of collaboration the public wants and deserves -- Governor Pataki and the Legislature coming together to invest state resources to ensure the growth of our city and region."
New York State Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco said, "In the last century, Buffalo's Inner Harbor was the birthplace of a great industrial city. Today, we are beginning the transformation of our waterfront so that in the next millennium, the Inner Harbor will once again be the heart and could of Western New York. Thanks to Governor Pataki's leadership and the close cooperation of our federal, state and local representative, this dream is about to become a reality."
Congressman Jack Quinn said, "Through the commitment of Governor Pataki and the efforts of the Empire State Development Corporation, the residents of Buffalo and Western New York will have the opportunity to enjoy a waterfront they have had an integral role in designing. I will continue to work with the Governor to provide additional federal assistance for the development of our community's waterfront."
Congressman John J. LaFalce said, "I am extremely pleased with the new waterfront plans to rebuild Buffalo's Inner Harbor. This $27.1 million project is the first phase in redevelopment of the entire waterfront, and will spur economic development downtown as well. The Inner Harbor project heralds a vigorous new Buffalo for the 21st Century, while celebrating the rich history of te Erie Canal. I commend Governor Pataki, Mayor Masiello and all those who have worked so hard for so long on this vital redevelopment project, and I look forward to the start of construction next year."
Assemblyman Thomas Reynolds said, "This project marks the rebirth of Buffalo's historic Inner Harbor, which is still the terminus of the great Erie Canal that marked the beginning of America's westward expansion. Thanks to the leadership and support of Governor Pataki, Senators D'Amato and Moynihan, Congressmen Quinn and LaFalce, Mayor Masiello and many others, Buffalo will once again have a thriving harbor that will be a magnet for future development and economic expansion."
Federal Transportation Administration Administrator Gordon J. Linton said, "On behalf of President Clinton and Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, I join in commending the State of New York in its announcement of the Buffalo Inner Harbor Plan. With passage of the Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st Century, thanks in large part to the leadership of New York senators Moynihan and D'Amato, we look forward to helping communities across the nation fund transportation projects which will help enhance the quality of life for generations to come."
Erie County Executive Dennis Gorski said, "We've seen what a vibrant waterfront can mean to cities like Baltimore and Cleveland. The Inner Harbor project, when combined with the Arena, now puts us well of the way to making our waterfront a place to see and be seen at. With the project, the work that began with our Horizons Waterfront Commission is now moving from the drawing board into reality. It's an exciting day and an exciting time for all of us who have been working on waterfront access and a more vibrant community."
The New York Thruway Authority/Canal Corporation will contribute $11.7 million to the project, the Federal Government will contribute $14.82 million through the Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) and Erie County and the City of Buffalo will each contribute $300,000 to the revitalization effort. Empire State Development Corporation is managing the design and construction of the project.
Excavation and restoration of a former Erie Canal slip will be included in the renovation. The new, working slip will commemorate the inner harbor's Erie Canal Heritage. Years ago, the harbor served as the western terminal of the canal.
The revitalization plan seeks to restore activity to the area by improving public access to the waterfront, enhancing intermodal transportation and creating an improved climate for economic development.
To enhance views of the harbor, the plan calls for moving the Navel Park warships closer to Marine Drive Apartments. The naval vessels USS Sullivans, USS Croaker and USS Little Rock are currently berthed parallel to the river.
The design of the Inner Harbor plan is steeped in history. For example, the new commercial slip will be a replication of an historic one. Likewise, the pedestrian bridge will be built in period style. Commercial buildings in the area will be limited to maximum heights of two or three stories, depending on location, and may mimic historic architecture.
Jambhekar Strauss Architects, together with Flynn Battaglia Architects and Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, developed the draft site plan for the Inner Harbor.
Empire State Development Corporation Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, "Not only is this project a vivid example of Governor Pataki's commitment to rejuvenate this region's waterfront and tourism business, it's also another example of the kind of 'bricks and morter' projects that are now finally getting done and creating jobs all across this state. This project alone will create 426 direct and 847 indirect construction jobs."
Thruway Authority/Canal Corporation Chairman Steinberg said, "We are pleased to participate in the rejuvenation of Buffalo's waterfront. The Authority's portion of the funding will come from our six-year, $1.55 billion capital program. Under Governor Pataki's leadership, the Thruway initiated its capital program in 1997 to improve and enhance Thruway and Canal infrastructure, which will help make New York State a more attractive place to do business."
In a separate Western New York waterway initiative, in 1997 the Thruway Authority/Canal Corporation announced it would commit $3.3 million to development of a Canal Harbor in the Tonawandas. The Tonawandas will be one of seven Canal Harbors along the 524-mile state Canal System. Others will be located in Seneca Falls, Rochester, Oswego, Little Falls, Whitehall and Waterford.