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  #1  
Old Posted May 25, 2018, 2:28 AM
benp benp is offline
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Buffalo, New York - Inner Harbor and Buffalo River

In 1825, the Erie Canal was completed, effectively connecting the upper Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, with its terminus in Buffalo located at the junction of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, and the Buffalo River. Due to the barrier of Niagara Falls, for well over a century all Great Lakes vessels could go no further East than Buffalo, where cargo was transferred to Erie Canal barges, and later to railroad cars. In the early 1900s Buffalo had the 6th busiest harbor in the world, and thru the late 20th century was the 2nd busiest railroad junction in the USA.

With the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, and the expansion of the Welland Canal (11 miles from Buffalo) in the late 1950s, lake freighters and other boats no longer needed to stop and transfer cargo in Buffalo, and today very few commercial vessels stop in Buffalo. Much of the former slips and harbors are abandoned, but in the last few years there has been new development occurring, and for the first time in over 50 years the area's population has stabilized and businesses are growing.

The Commercial Slip, which was the terminus of the Erie Canal, where it met the Hamburg Canal. The original canal walls can be seen in the image, and were excavated during the creation of a new park and public space (Canalside) recently opened in the former industrial area.

IMG_0883 by bpawlik, on Flickr

The Canalside area includes a naval park, museums, several restaurants, boat slips, tour boats, and is a popular summer concert and festival location.
IMG_0876 by bpawlik, on Flickr

IMG_0920 by bpawlik, on Flickr

Viewed from Canalside, the original Buffalo Lighthouse can be seen at the entrance, with Lake Erie and the Niagara River in the background.

IMG_0924 by bpawlik, on Flickr

Along the Buffalo River (which zig-zags for several navigable miles East into the City of Buffalo) is the last operating fireboat in the harbor, which also performs as an ice breaker during the winter months.

IMG_0889 by bpawlik, on Flickr

The development of the grain elevator in Buffalo in the early 1800s allowed rapid loading, unloading, and storage of grain from the midwest US and were a boom the the development of Buffalo and its waterways. At one time there were over 50 grain elevators in operation along the Buffalo River, which at one time inspired architects such as Le Corbusier in the development of modernism styles. Today, there are less than 20 elevators remaining, and fewer used for their original purpose.

Elevator converted to sports and entertainment complex.
IMG_0892 by bpawlik, on Flickr

Along "Elevator Alley" with structures over 20 stories in height, and over 400 meters in length.
IMG_0903 by bpawlik, on Flickr

Abandoned elevator. Though many are unused, there are only 2 remaining elevators not under private ownership.
IMG_0909 by bpawlik, on Flickr

The structures along the elevators were used to unload the lake boats. Boats up to 300 meters in length would navigate the river.
IMG_0910 by bpawlik, on Flickr

Since 2013 there has been a great effort to perform habitat recovery, and cleanup through dredging years of toxic sediment. There have been a number of new developments along the river since then, including parks, boat slips, apartments, entertainment venues, and many more activities both new and making use of the existing structures.

IMG_0902 by bpawlik, on Flickr

Heading back toward the Commercial Slip, viewing nearby Downtown Buffalo.
IMG_0914 by bpawlik, on Flickr

Heading out toward Lake Erie past the lighthouse, sailboats are docked along the City Ship Canal, which runs parallel to the Buffalo River, and was also home to several grain elevators. This canal today is primarily recreational, unlike the Buffalo River which still maintains some industry.
IMG_0933 by bpawlik, on Flickr

View of City Hall and Downtown Buffalo at the junction of Lake Erie, Niagara River, Buffalo River, City Ship Canal, and former Erie Canal - often referred to as the Inner Harbor.
IMG_0927 by bpawlik, on Flickr

Last picture - sunset taken yesterday a few miles North along the Niagara River, near Riverside Park in Buffalo - looking West viewing Strawberry Island, Grand Island, and Fort Erie, Canada in the distance.

IMG_1241 by bpawlik, on Flickr
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  #2  
Old Posted May 25, 2018, 8:02 PM
MplsTodd MplsTodd is offline
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Good to see more activity along the Buffalo waterfront!
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  #3  
Old Posted May 26, 2018, 2:02 PM
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xzmattzx xzmattzx is offline
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Nice pictures! It's good to finally see someone taking pictures from ON the water.

I have yet to really explore Elevator Alley. Maybe this is the year that I do it.

Where is that orange residential building on the Buffalo River? I was completely unaware that there was development going on around there.
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Old Posted May 26, 2018, 2:24 PM
benp benp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
Nice pictures! It's good to finally see someone taking pictures from ON the water.

I have yet to really explore Elevator Alley. Maybe this is the year that I do it.

Where is that orange residential building on the Buffalo River? I was completely unaware that there was development going on around there.
This is a recent build along Ohio Street and South Street. Ohio Street was recently rebuilt and redesigned as a landscaped access street to the Outer Harbor, including bike trails and park areas. The river cleanup and new infrastructure has spurred a great deal of new development in the area, which had been primarily dirty industrial for much of the 19th and 20th centuries.
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  #5  
Old Posted May 26, 2018, 4:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benp View Post
This is a recent build along Ohio Street and South Street. Ohio Street was recently rebuilt and redesigned as a landscaped access street to the Outer Harbor, including bike trails and park areas. The river cleanup and new infrastructure has spurred a great deal of new development in the area, which had been primarily dirty industrial for much of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Good to see the First Ward getting some love! I did a photothread of the neighborhood about 11 years ago, and I liked the gritty nature of it, and the potential with the historic industrial buildings and river and everything. I'll have to explore it again!
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  #6  
Old Posted May 27, 2018, 2:40 PM
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Nice!
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  #7  
Old Posted May 31, 2018, 8:32 PM
benp benp is offline
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Some older pictures of the area:

Skating and curling on the frozen canals at Canalside last winter:
IMG_20180114_160811704 by bpawlik, on Flickr

Erie Basin Marina, part of the Inner Harbor area:
100_1119 by bpawlik, on Flickr
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  #8  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2018, 12:22 AM
benp benp is offline
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Cleanup of the Buffalo River, including dredging of contaminated silt, began in earnest about 6 years ago. Nearby cleanup of the banks, new park land (by both public and private owners), and habitat restoration have drawn people and development to the once polluted river. Many industries remain along the river utilizing rail and boat traffic including General Mills, with the sweet smell of Cheerios always in the air, but residential and recreational use has been increasing with much more on the way.

Old First Ward homes, along the winding river and grain elevators.
IMG_0901 by bpawlik, on Flickr

Popular home for Canada geese.
IMG_0897 by bpawlik, on Flickr

Riverworks is a converted grain elevator site, and includes multiple open-air hockey rinks, bars, restaurants, breweries, climbing walls, and boat docks.
IMG_0890 by bpawlik, on Flickr

Kayaking and boating have been growing in popularity, with new boat houses and launches in development.
IMG_0899 by bpawlik, on Flickr

New apartments, park, and event space.
IMG_0893 by bpawlik, on Flickr
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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2018, 12:50 AM
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Very interesting.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2018, 12:24 AM
benp benp is offline
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The Buffalo River area has taken on a whole new life since the conversion of the abandoned grain silos into the Riverworks complex, just over 3 years ago. In the midst of the industrial area known as Kelly Island, between the Buffalo River and City Ship Canal, the complex is in use 365 days a year and still expanding.

IMG_1304 by bpawlik, on Flickr

IMG_1307 by bpawlik, on Flickr

IMG_1305 by bpawlik, on Flickr

IMG_20180120_121543675_HDR by bpawlik, on Flickr

IMG_20180120_120121768_HDR by bpawlik, on Flickr

The Buffalo River does ice over in the winter, but the Buffalo fireboat acts as an icebreaker to prevent ice jam flooding.

IMG_20180120_122852882_HDR by bpawlik, on Flickr

Broken up ice flowing alongside Riverworks.
IMG_20180120_120104751_HDR by bpawlik, on Flickr
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  #11  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2018, 11:44 PM
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Good stuff, happy to see Buffalo making progress.
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