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Approval granted for Canalside children's museum

Buffalo Planning Board agenda

The plan is to start construction on the Explore and More Children's Museum at Canalside next month. The schedule and the associated construction details received recommended approval Monday.

Final approval is expected today from the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation.

"We hope to break ground this March and we expect to turn the shell portion over to the museum next June," said ECHDC Waterfront Development Vice President Steven Ranalli.

"Then they have approximately a six month build out. So, hopefully late in 2018, they will be opening the museum."

Drawings imagine a structure heavy on brick, stone and metal.  Architect Philip DiNicola walked Planning Board members through the plans that seek to connect the structure to the days when the nearby Erie Canal was thriving. 

"It's a mercantile building, very similar to what you find out in that history and over time as it was renovated and reused, we tried to narrate how the building was modified over time and used that as a starting point and point of departure into our project," DiNicola explained. 

"So,when you look at this project you will see there are windows that are blocked in as though filled in over time."

While Planning Board members gave the plans a recommended approval, one speaker, Daniel Sack, shared some thoughts on the design.

"It is a new building. It has looks that remnants of historic buildings and historic buildings might have boarded-up windows, but it just doesn't make sense."


Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.