Hooker Chemical Co. puts a clay cap on Love Canal, which it had been using as a dump for toxic chemicals, and sells it to the Niagara Falls Board of Education for $1.
June 8, 1956
The Schoellkopf Power Plant collapses into the Niagara River, taking with it the area's cheap power and thousands of jobs.
The 99th Street Elementary School is built on the Love Canal site, along with houses, streets and sewer and water lines.
The first sections of the Robert Moses Parkway open, virtually cutting the city off from the Niagara Reservation State Park.
E. Dent Lackey, an ordained Methodist minister, is elected mayor and takes on the job of revitalizing the City of Niagara Falls.
A master plan for the city is unveiled, showing a convention center, shopping mall, hotels, parking ramps, amusements, shops and other attractions.
Demolition begins for Lackey's urban renewal project.
Jan. 12, 1974
Opening day, touted as "Super Saturday," at the $30 million Niagara Falls Convention & Civic Center.
The Wintergarden, an indoor arboretum, opens along a pedestrian mall across from the convention center.
August 2, 1978
The state Health Department declares a state of emergency at Love Canal.
The Turtle, a Native American Museum, opens across the street from the Niagara Reservation State Park.
Niagara Venture, led by Lewiston attorney John Bartolomei, wins city approval to become its master developer. It offers plans for a hotel, the Falls Street Faire indoor shopping arcade, the Falls Street Station an indoor amusement park and the Niagara Splash water park.
The Ghermazian brothers, Canadian developers, excite Niagara Falls with visions of a $1 billion mall, then decide to builld elsewhere.
Niagara Venture's hotel, the Inn at the Falls, opens next to the Wintergarden.
Niagara Splash opens.
Benderson Development offers plan for a massive factory outlet mall on a 111-acre parcel downtown.
Falls Street Faire and Falls Street Station open.
Jacob A. Palillo is elected mayor of Niagara Falls, running on a "no mall" platform. The Benderson project is killed.
All Niagara Venture entertainment sites are closed or bankrupt, and a federal investigation begins into the business practices at Niagara Venture. City begins foreclosure proceedings, which last six years.
Bartolomei partner Edward Bevilacqua pleads guilty to tax fraud.
Instead of downtown mega-mall, Benderson begins expanding its Town of Niagara outlet mall.
June 18, 1997
Mayor James C. Galie gives a Canadian-American consortium, Niagara Falls Redevelopment, an exclusive option to develop 200 downtown acres in exchange for $140 million in investment over eight years.
March 18, 1998
Toronto developer Edwin A. Cogan, head of Niagara Falls Redevelopment, unveils a master plan that includes a mix of parkland, shops, restored buildings and an entertainment district, including new hotels and a casino.
A proposed statewide referendum on casino gambling dies in the State Senate.
Galie implores the State Senate to revive the casino bill, saying the city is "on its last legs."
Cogan sells half of Niagara Falls Redevelopment to billionaire real estate investor Howard P. Milstein.
Cogan is forced into bankruptcy court by creditors, but says it will not affect NFR.
Irene J. Elia is elected mayor of Niagara Falls and tells Niagara Falls Redevelopment to "put a shovel in the ground by July 1 or face city action."
June 30, 2000
First shovel in the ground for a Niagara Falls Redevelopment project, an "entertainment and cultural center" at the former Turtle museum.