The board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas has gone on record in support of the proposed construction in North Tonawanda of a boat house designed in 1905 by the late Frank Lloyd Wright, world-renowned architect.
The board also pledged the Chamber's support for North Tonawanda Mayor Ronald R. Dawson in efforts to have the boat house built in the city's Don Miller Park on the bank of the canal in North Tonawanda.
"The idea of having a Frank Lloyd Wright designed facility in North Tonawanda would provide a tremendous tourism asset for our city," according to Lou Santiago, president of the Chamber. "This would be a great initiative for the Erie Canal and our city's economy and we want to assist the mayor in capitalizing on it," Santiago continued.
The two-story boat house was designed for the crew at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, but it never was built.
The Thruway Authority, charged with Erie Canal redevelopment, and its New York State Canal Corp. proposed building the boat house on a section of the canal in Amherst, as part of a $32.3 million plan to commercialize the Erie Canal and enhance its role as a tourist attraction.
But some Amherst Town Board members are opposed to the idea because they do not want to use up Amherst's open space on the canal. Dawson thus suggested it be built in North Tonawanda.