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JUNE 03 - JUNE 11, 2014

De-Olmsteding Park Promotes Short Stays

By James Hufnagel

June 03, 2014

Frederick Law Olmsted would not, of course, recognize the park he designed.

Not only has the Niagara Falls State Park been De-Olmstedded, it's been Disneyfied.

The average visitor to the park experiences few of the opportunities that Olmsted envisioned for reflection and meditation on the boundless wonders of God's natural creation.

Their eyes are assailed by all kinds of visual pollution like garish banners, ticket booths, unsightly signage, an obtrusive observation tower and cafe'-style pavilions complete with umbrellas advertising European mineral waters. Their ears are abused by the engines of buses, trolleys and helicopters, and their noses are assaulted by the smells of revolting Delaware North fast food.

Bringing the divorce from nature full circle, tourists are encouraged to plug into wifi and listen on headphones to an "interpretation" of what little nature there is left in the park.

Frederick Law Olmsted, in his plan for Niagara Falls State Park, called for all commercialism and man-made contrivance to take place in the city and benefit the local economy.

Unfortunately, Governor Andrew Cuomo, with his Niagara Falls State Park "Landscape Improvements" plan, and its expanded parking lots, acres of granite paving and fencing off of Three Sisters Islands, has effectively driven the final nail into the coffin for the Olmsted plan for generations to come, with the hot and eager help of multimillionaire James Glynn and multibillionaire Jeremy Jacobs, two men whose contempt for the ethereal beauty of Niagara is surpassed only by their greed.

Once there was a time when people could visit the Niagara Falls State Park and be immersed in the power and splendor of nature and its great- est waterfalls. Now, it is a commercial enterprise with businesses vying with each other for your dollars. .

If there were pristine vistas and natural settings in the park suitable for pensive contemplation, perhaps tourists would stay longer than three or four hours, and return frequently for spiritual and psychic renewal, but that's not going to happen until the moneychangers are driven from the temple.

The now-closed C&D Landfill has room for more construction debris.
It's not about nature anymore. It's about dining, drinking and spending money. The Top Of The Falls Restaurant competes with city businesses.
Signs compete to lead you to a separation from you and your money.





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