BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo's LaSalle Park is getting a makeover, and a name change, with some help from New York State, the City of Buffalo, and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., Foundation.
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., Foundation previously donated $50 million to the project, but New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Sunday that New York State will allocate $10 million to reimagine LaSalle Park.
During the press conference Mary Wilson, from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., Foundation, announced the foundation will contribute an additional $5 million to the project. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown also announced that the City of Buffalo is pledging $3 million toward a pedestrian bridge.
Now known as the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park, the redevelopment aims to reconnect Buffalo's West Side with the waterfront.
"The progress in Buffalo and in Western New York is undeniable. That success should be shared with everyone, and that's what the reimagining of LaSalle Park is all about," Cuomo said. "Our vision from day one has been about democratizing Buffalo's waterfront, and by investing in this new bridge and in this new lagoon, we can help ensure communities that for too long have been blocked from the waterfront get to experience it and all the benefits of the region's renaissance."
Funding from New York State will go toward a new lagoon feature, as well as replacing the pedestrian bridge. These efforts aim to increase tourism and resiliency efforts.
"LaSalle Park is a beloved neighborhood park that is used by so many for a walk or a run, youth sports, community events or simply to connect with nature," Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation President and CEO David Egner said. "The community vision for LaSalle Park highlighted the importance of safe access to the Park and the Buffalo Waterfront for everyone. The Foundation is proud to be able to commit an additional $5 million to support a new pedestrian gateway that will provide a critical neighborhood connection across the I-190, create a safe and inviting entrance to the park and views of Lake Erie, and be an iconic symbol of the momentum across the City of Buffalo."