Niagara Falls Reporter
Home | Archive / Search
SEP 08 - SEP 15, 2015

Only in NT: The Fallacy of our "Revitalized" Webster Street

By Sweeney Payne

SEP 15, 2015


If we put all of the useless studies and reports resulting from them end to end on "visionary" ideas on how to bring NT back or “revitalize” it, we could paper the entire city. The streets would probably be better!

Back in the 1970s, a study recommended eliminating the downtown shopping atmosphere, converting the area into an industrial-warehouse complex.

The "thriving" downtown Lumber City Development Corp. brags about is a relative ghost town most of the time except when the drinkers come out. NT puts out roadblocking signs early on Mondays to warn there is no parking after 5 p.m. for the weekly car shows. Few potential customers read the wording and don't enter the street. Several residents ask why the car show isn't held in the Manhattan parking lot which few people even realize exists so customers can get to the few businesses worth visiting on Webster.

The Webster Street LCDC is so dazzled about has Webster's French restaurant and a used appliance store at the north end.  From Goundry south, there’s a Thai restaurant; jewelry-grandfather clocks and watch batteries store; an ice cream business; spiritualist; soapworks; secondhand clothing store; three hair salons; massage parlor; gift shop in transition;  t-shirt and vapors business; empty restaurant; income tax preparer; several art galleries, framing shop; photography business; doctor's office that looks like Fort Knox; Riviera Theatre; Dwyer's Irish Pub; Lou's restaurant; NT History Museum; nail salon, tattoo parlor; Tully's Housewares; stained glass business; antique store; Crazy Jake's; Planned Parenthood; empty liquor store; and Buffalo Suzuki Strings. On Goundry there’s a pizza place. On Main is a Submasters. Ridge Furniture, the Methodist church. And don’t forget Alexander’s!  Kay Learned and Penny Creasey have closed up shop. Leaders in trying to revive Webster a little more than a decade ago, they were honored by the Chamber of Commerce.

Where are businesses residents of the southwestern part of NT would like to shop in for daily needs?

That other Burgio creation, the Historic Preservation Commission, in 2006, designated all properties on both sides of the streets including, Sweeney from Manhattan to Oliver, Manhattan from Sweeney to Goundry, Webster from Sweeney to Main, Main from Sweeney to River Road, Tremont from Manhattan o Oliver, and Goundry from Manhattan to Oliver Street as the Downtown Historic District.

Since then, Webster has become a cookie-cutter like expanse of facades bearing no resemblance to their original appearances. The only significant “investors” assisted by both LCDC and the HPC in that historic district have been Burgio himself and his good buddy with the Remington Rand complex.  Certainly neither of those, nor the Dockside (former Canal freight terminal) bear much resemblance to their historic past. Someone who preferred more parking to the actually historic Elks Lodge building surprisingly accomplished that in 2011 with a mysterious fire. Meanwhile, ordinary property owners in the district get choked by unnecessary restrictions by the HPC.

On August 18 crews were tearing up Goundry between Oliver and Manhattan.  Of course, most of the summer visitors and tourists as well as residents had to endure the disaster it was for a long time.

There was the brick road!  The bricks looked better than the gunk they covered it with. Too bad they didn’t use their heads and give us back part of the brick street since they try to use "historic" in relationship to the downtown they have decimated all sense of historicity of.  Blocks were closed on Webster and Main for repairing Goundry. T\-The DPW superintendent didn't see the historic brick road beneath so they covered it all up. No detour signs anywhere. Those planning to turn on Goundry were left trying to figure out how to get downtown.

What are those rusty grates with the open holes in the center along Webster? Weren't they all to have trees planted in them? Shouldn't there be inserts to keep people from falling into them? Especially at night when drunks are out enmasse, stepping into one of those open holes would cause broken ankles or worse. Shouldn't they have some sort of protective coating so they wouldn't be bright rust color?

Why not:

• convert vacant lots at the north end of Webster where it connects with Main and a small area across the street north of the small plaza into a municipal parking lot? 

• turn the former CarQuest property into an expanded municipal parking lot, with the building converted into a visitors-event center?

• convert Pirson’s into a parking ramp with attendants collecting parking fees, docking fees and perhaps a visitor’s center?

• convert property at the southeast corner of Webster-Tremont into parking?

• Buy or rent the large usually totally empty doctor’s private parking lot on the northeast corner of Webster-Tremont?







Dyster Losing all Grip on Reality: Claims $800 Million in New Development Here
Interview With a Community Hero: Sam Fruscione
Humble, Unpretentious Pillot to Run Again For Lockport Mayor
More Wrong on 72nd St Than Just Water Lines Sewer Laterals Need Attention Now!
Did Democrats Stumble in (not) Fielding Candidates For Niagara County Legislature?
Cuomo, Gillibrand, and Higgins, Oh My!
The Reporter Proposes Plan to Help Set City on Road to Recovery
Darro Turns his Radio Show Over to Dyster Six Days Before the Primary
Can Glenn Choolokian Pull off Upset Against Dyster in Thursday Primary?
Dyster Claims Rise in City's Aesthetic Quantification Under his Guidance
County Employee, Accused Dope Peddler Given Kid Glove Treatment by Cops, County
Note to Lewiston Supervisor Brochey: Finish Up 0r Wrap it Up
Democratic Council Primary Worthy of Serious Attention in Falls
Republican Mayoral Primary Gets Lost in Shuffle of Choolokian-Dyster
Standing Down the Bolsheviks
Politics Not for the People
Albany, Washington, Buffalo Pols Enthusiastically Endorsing Dyster
Experience Matters in Selecting a City Court Judge
Why I Seek Your Support for Town of Lewiston Supervisor
Running to Serve as City Court Judge
Setting the Record Straight with Rev. Raymond Allen
Accardo Picks Up Key Endorsement Has Eye on Restoring Fiscal Accountability
Another Skrlin Magnificent Breakthrough
Buzzy Carone-Part 5
Only in NT: The Fallacy of our "Revitalized" Webster Street
No Witnesses Today Before Kane Grand Jury, Sources Say
Bills Have Opportunity to Make Statement in Opener
City Hall Jokes

Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina