EE&K a Perkins Eastman Company Celebrates Grand Opening of the Historically Aligned Canals at Buffalo Canalside

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Next Phase of Grand Waterfront Development Is Complete, Including the Ice at Canalside, New York State’s Largest Outdoor Skating Rink

The Canalside neighborhood is such an important piece of the city’s fabric. And because of that, it’s important to leverage the public infrastructure to create a great place for Buffalo - Hilary Bertsch AIA

Exactly one year since the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) cut the ribbon on the East Canal parcel of Buffalo Canalside, EE&K a Perkins Eastman company was pleased to help celebrate last Thursday’s grand opening of The Ice at Canalside presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, the largest outdoor ice rink in New York State. The Ice at Canalside is a $20 million project—created under the leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo—that anchors the western section of Buffalo Canalside’s historically aligned canals, including 22,000 sf of interconnected towpaths that will allow for future development and investment.

Last week’s event included public addresses from ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia, Empire State Development Regional President Sam Hoyt and other elected officials, a figure skating performance, ribbon cutting, holiday tree lighting, and fireworks display. The 21-acre Canalside redevelopment is now one big step closer to realizing its vision of becoming a key destination for Buffalo’s downtown waterfront district.

The opening of this new western parcel is a crucial milestone for the Canalside district. Once a bustling industrial port that marked the western terminus of the Erie Canal, this portion of the city’s waterfront had been built over in past decades and, in the process, lost much of its appeal as a place for mixed-use development. Working with the ECHDC, master architect EE&K a Perkins Eastman company created a vision for the downtown area that honors the site’s rich history, emphasizes the waterfront setting, encourages year-round use, and above all is market-driven to allow for flexible design and continued public-private partnerships.

The EE&K a Perkins Eastman company team is led by Principal Stanton Eckstut FAIA, and Associate Principal Hilary Bertsch AIA, who attended Thursday night’s opening ceremony. Master plan and design services for Buffalo Canalside began in 2007, prior to EE&K’s merger with Perkins Eastman.

“The Canalside neighborhood is such an important piece of the city’s fabric,” says Bertsch. “And because of that, it’s important to leverage the public infrastructure to create a great place for Buffalo, a four-season destination where people can enjoy green spaces in the summer months, ice skating in the winter, and so much more. We set out to create a place where people want to go, whether it’s to work, play, live, or all of the above. Canalside is quickly becoming that place.”

For more information about The Ice at Canalside, visit

About Perkins Eastman
Perkins Eastman is among the top design and architecture firms in the world. With more than 800 employees in 13 locations around the globe, Perkins Eastman practices at every scale of the built environment. From niche buildings to complex projects that enrich whole communities, the firm’s portfolio reflects a dedication to progressive and inventive design that enhances the quality of the human experience. The firm’s portfolio includes high-end residential, commercial, hotels, retail, office buildings, and corporate interiors, to schools, hospitals, museums, senior living, and public sector facilities. Perkins Eastman provides award-winning design through its offices in North America (New York, NY; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Pittsburgh, PA; San Francisco, CA; Stamford, CT; Toronto, Canada; and Washington, DC); South America (Guayaquil, Ecuador); North Africa and Middle East (Dubai, UAE); and Asia (Mumbai, India, and Shanghai, China).

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