New facility to incorporate reclaimed material from historic carriage barn
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, along with the City of Niagara Falls, broke ground Wednesday on a comfort station that will service parkgoers at DeVeaux Woods State Park.
The comfort station has been designed in the style of a carriage barn that had stood in the park until its collapse in May 2018. Materials from the barn are being used in the construction of this new comfort station, which will also feature historic images of the former barn, as well as a brief history. Renderings of the building can be found here.
“DeVeaux Woods is such a popular park for residents in the neighborhood and those that come to enjoy the playground or to play baseball or just enjoy the woods. I am pleased that we will finally have facilities to accommodate the needs of our visitors,” Western District Director Mark V. Mistretta said.
The $600,000 project was funded by the Niagara River Greenway Commission and is being completed by NCI Construction from Lancaster, J.R. Swanson of Niagara Falls, and M&M Electric, also from Niagara Falls. The project is expected to be completed by early fall.
“With the addition of this comfort station, we not only add to the multiple amenities already available to visitors of DeVeaux Woods State Park, but we do so with a nod towards its historic past through the reuse of materials from the former Carriage House. I want to commend our partners at New York State Parks and former Commissioner Rose Harvey for incorporating a piece of this historic structure for generations to come,” Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said.
Niagara Falls City Councilman William Kennedy added, "Now that we are opening our waterfront and connecting our parks along the river, I am pleased that we will connect our residents and visitors with the history of the Civil War with the history of Niagara Falls while utilizing some of the original remains and features of the carriage house constructed in 1863. Ideally, we would have kept the original building, but this is a great outcome that saw the city and state working together to enhance one of our parks. Furthermore, I am grateful that we have companies from Niagara Falls working on this project.”
“Adding amenities to DeVeaux Woods State Park only serves to strengthen the Niagara River Greenway as a whole,” said Greg Stevens, executive director of the Niagara River Greenway Commission. “With this location being home to a little league, a soon-to-be dog park, and a destination playground – as well as being a trailhead for the new two-mile trail that is being built over the old parkway – it is vital we start considering needed facilities that will provide basic comforts to those using the Greenway.”
A new dog park is expected to break ground in May, adding to the amenities at this neighborhood park.
State Parks noted that, under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's leadership, New York is making a historic commitment to improving parks and expanding access to outdoor recreation. The governor's “NY Parks 2020” program is a multi-year commitment to revitalize the state park system. The 2019-20 state budget allocates $110 million toward this initiative.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, golf courses, recreational trails and boat launches, which are visited by 74 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit parks.ny.gov.