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Architectural plans have been unveiled for a proposed $3.5 million waterfront museum along the Niagara River in the Town of Tonawanda.

The plans were presented to the Town Board this week by a 12-member citizens committee that was organized in May to work with Buffalo architects Stieglitz, Stieglitz & Tries on the proposal.

The town received a $6,000 state matching grant last December to help pay for the concept study.

The design presented by architect David Stieglitz calls for a 20,000-square-foot building that would include 5,000 square feet of exhibit space, 4,500 square feet for a restaurant to accommodate 450 people, and more than 2,000 square feet for concessions.

Stieglitz said special care will be required to compensate for the likelihood that it will be built atop of clay-capped land, the Cherry Farm dump site, currently owned by the Niagara Mohawk Power Corp.

The town is seeking to reclaim the land once it is cleaned up.

Stieglitz emphasized costs for the project are tentative. Also, there is no schedule for the project.

Councilman Carl J. Calabrese, who first proposed the idea for the museum last year, called the project visionary.

He said the museum would serve as the focal point of a larger recreational development envisioned for the Cherry Farm site.

Calabrese said the town will work with the Horizons Waterfront Commission to help ensure that the museum is among the top five public projects selected by the commission for development along the waterfront.

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