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TV show offers a behind-the-scenes look at Buffalo Niagara's historic landmarks; 'Off Limits' to air program Monday filmed in March

Buffalo Niagara made quite an impression on Don Wildman, host of the Travel Channel's new series "Off Limits."

The show investigates cities by going behind the scenes to places the public can't get into. Wildman's findings about Buffalo Niagara will be the subject of the hourlong show at 9 p.m. Monday.

"I found Buffalo to be very exciting as a lesson in American history that present generations are not clued into," Wildman said.

"Technology today is remarkable in its miniaturization," he said. "This was a time when technology was just big and bold, and you see it all over the Buffalo landscape. There are so many remarkable spaces that speak to an epic past in Buffalo, and the grandeur of our nation."

Wildman takes viewers into the Perot Malting Elevator, the Central Terminal, the Emerald Channel Water Intake Building, the Edward Dean Adams Transformer House in Niagara Falls and the Erie Canal locks in Lockport.

The program, the sixth episode in the series, was filmed over the course of a week in March.

Wildman said he was particularly taken by the hulking grain elevators, which he called "industrial sculptures."

"The sheer magnitude of the structures are a monument to an industry that used to be so much bigger. When I got on the inside, I found this incredible beauty. That just blew my mind. I thought, 'Everybody has to see this,' " Wildman said.

The Travel Channel permitted "Citybration" organizers to schedule a sneak preview of the program Friday night at recently dedicated Buffalo River Fest Park, across from several grain elevators.

Wildman found visiting the Erie Canal to be another incredible experience.

"Not only was it a great civic engineering triumph, but what people don't know is these brilliant men figured out how to capture the hydro power, as well as running the canals, to drive the pulley systems for 50 years," Wildman said.

The program on Buffalo Niagara, he said, has raised the bar for future shows.

"We've done a lot of shows now -- we're almost through shooting the full season -- and I would say that is the benchmark for us in terms of what 'Off Limits' was created to do," Wildman said.

e-mail: msommer@buffnews.com