Updated: Friday, 06 Aug 2010, 6:36 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 06 Aug 2008, 11:48 AM EDT
How often have you heard "not in our lifetime," when it comes to major changes for Buffalo? Bucking the tide of disbelief, the move to bring Buffalo's waterfront back to life has completed its vital first wave of development. The Erie Canal Harbor was officially dedicated on July 2nd with a "Wedding of the Waters" ceremony reminiscent of the Erie Canal's opening day in 1825. Two days after the grand opening, thousands attended Independence Day celebrations on Buffalo's rebuilt Central Wharf. It was the first time people had access to the wharf in 125 years!
News 4 first brought you the vision a year and a half ago, in its award winning documentary "Rebirth on the Waterfront." Now, Senior Correspondent Rich Newberg gives you a front row seat to history as real story of Buffalo's notorious Canal District unfolds on local television for the first time. Rich shows us why the District was once viewed as "The Nostrils of Hell," and was considered one of the toughest waterfronts in the world, second only to Shanghai.
Buffalonians will also be given one last look at the Aud and its history, before the great arena is taken down, to make way for a new Bass Pro Outdoor Store. Everyone has a connection to the Aud, and memories of the Sabres' famed "French Connection," the circus, wrestling, the Buffalo Braves, and the many concerts that left audiences wanting more.
Looking to the future, "In Our Lifetime" presents new plans for Buffalo's Outer Harbor, a 120 acre stretch of unused prime Buffalo waterfront property. Plans for what is being called the Buffalo Weather Experience Center are moving forward. Visitors will be connected to weather around the world, and experience dramatic weather events that blow in off of Lake Erie. It will be a national draw for the Queen City. Construction on a new parkway has begun on Fuhrmann Boulevard, providing direct access to the waterfront. A beautifully landscaped bike path parallels the parkway. Other waterfront visions include a host of Hall of Fame venues featuring the region's legendary figures in the worlds of music, sports, and Buffalo broadcasting.
"This is a day for the believers," said Congressman Brian
Higgins, who helped secure close to $300 million dollars for
Buffalo's waterfront development. During the Erie Canal
Harbor's opening ceremony, New York Senator Chuck Schumer
predicted a turnaround for Buffalo. "By reclaiming our past," he
said, "we are forging our future, and I have no doubt this is going
to be a bright one."
"In Our Lifetime" airs Tuesday, August 26th at 8:30 p.m. on WIVB-TV, Channel 4.