Niagara Falls, NY - Owner: New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
- Completion date: 2002
- Construction cost: $23M
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation called upon Erdman Anthony to analyze and design the rehabilitation of the Prospect Point Observation Tower at Niagara Falls, which provides spectacular views of the Falls to over 8 million Park visitors each year. Numerous options including demolition had been discussed for the Tower, which provides elevator access to the Lower Gorge tourist attractions such as the world famous Maid of the Mist boat ride. Erdman Anthony completed an in-depth inspection of the structural steel, underside examination of the existing deck, and structural computer modeling to determine that the Tower could indeed be rehabilitated in a cost effective manner.
Erdman Anthony's design included major structural steel rehabilitation to provide room for four new high-speed elevators and support for a new glass curtainwall system. Since the majority of construction would take place during winter months, a freestanding scaffold system, shrink-wrapped with plastic sheeting, was designed to provide enclosure against the freezing mist generated by the adjacent Falls. Additional improvements included a pre-cast concrete plank observation deck and an ornamental stainless steel deck railing system with integrated fibre optic lighting. Our team designed entire new mechanical/electrical systems including emergency power generator and new rest room and gift shop facilities in the Lower and Upper Gorge, as well as a Lower Gorge sanitary sewer pump station with 200 ft of vertical lift. Concrete pedestrian ramps and access improvements in the Lower Gorge, improvements to the Maid of the Mist boat docks, and extensive landscaping improvements throughout the project site were also completed. The Tower construction was substantially complete and opened to the public in time for the 2001 Memorial Day weekend and the peak summer season.
Local residents and tourists from all over the world have hailed the rehabilitated Tower for its appearance and functionality. The rehabilitation and improvements to the Tower are expected to play a key role in initiating renewed investment and interest in the Wonder of the World that is Niagara Falls.