Really interesting article in this week’s Bloomberg Businessweek about Niagara Falls, New York, and some of the problems it faces despite being next to what is litterally one of the largest tourist attractions in the world.
The article details how Niagara Falls
“encompasses just about every mistake a city could make… a 1960s mayor’s decision to bulldoze his quaint downtown and replace it with a bunch of modernist follies. There was a massive hangar-like convention center designed by Philip Johnson; Cesar Pelli’s glassy indoor arboretum, the Wintergarden, which was finally torn down because it cost a fortune to heat through the Lake Erie winter; a shiny office building known locally as the “Flashcube,” formerly the headquarters of a chemical company and now home to a trinket market. Once a hydropowered center of industry, Niagara Falls is now one of America’s most infamous victims of urban decay, hollowed out by four decades of job loss, mafia infiltration, political corruption, and failed get-fixed-quick schemes.”
My take-away after reading this article: cities can’t look for ‘silver bullet’ fixes. Convention center. Giant mall. Casinos. Sounds like Niagara Falls has tried everything with little success.
A new mayor has made some folks optimistic, the story explains, by promoting eco-tourism and trying to attract companies that specialize in alternative energy.
What do you think after reading this story?
I’ve been to the Falls a number of times, but always to the Canadian side, never to the New York side.