Giant tricycle will top the new children’s museum at Canalside

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Skyway commuters may be traveling at speeds of over 50 miles per hour but they won’t be able to miss the giant tricycle which will be mounted atop the new children’s museum at Canalside sometime this spring.

At Monday’s regular meeting of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, the board of directors appointed a new president. Steven Ranalli has worked for ECHDC since 2008, most recently serving as its vice president of development.

Ranalli’s first meeting as president included the approval of a $41 million dollar capital budget, and design approval for the new Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Children’s Museum to open in May with a 15 foot tricycle on the roof.

“It’s a classic toy so a lot of people will see that as they drive over the Skyway or drive into the site, and again it does touch on the history of the site with the Pierce Company which was making bicycles down there long before automobiles.”

For the two acres of the north Aud block, which remains the last undesigned portion of Canalside, the board approved a half million dollar contract with TY Lin International to do the engineering and architectural work, assisted by a subcontractor, called Pleasant Places Happy People, with experience developing European waterfronts. “For the team, I think that really had a big impact ultimately on the selection,” according to Ranalli.

The plan is for TY Lin International to conduct architectural and engineering work from late May until mid August. After that, the first renderings or images would show what will actually be built.

“We’re always pushing for a very active ground floor use, so we’d like to see retail and restaurants on that first floor of all the developments to be as active as possible and then above that, it could be a mix of office, residential,” said Ranalli. “Sinatra Development and Heritage Point that’s going in on the south Aud Block is exactly that mix.”

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