The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation called upon Erdman Anthony to analyze and design the rehabilitation of the Prospect Point Observation Tower at Niagara Falls, which provides spectacular views of the falls to over 8 million park visitors each year. Numerous options, including demolition, had been discussed for the tower, which provides elevator access to Lower Gorge tourist attractions such as the world-famous Maid of the Mist boat tour.
Erdman Anthony completed an in-depth inspection of the tower’s structural steel and examined the underside of the existing observation deck. Our firm also did structural computer modeling to determine that the tower could be rehabilitated in a cost-effective manner.
Erdman Anthony's award-winning design included major structural steel rehabilitation to provide room for four new high-speed elevators and support for a new glass curtain-wall system. Since the majority of construction would take place during winter months, a freestanding scaffold system, shrink-wrapped with plastic sheeting, was designed to provide enclosure against the freezing mist generated by the adjacent falls.
Additional improvements included a precast concrete plank observation deck and an ornamental stainless-steel deck railing system with integrated fiber-optic lighting.
Our team designed entirely new mechanical/electrical systems, including an emergency power generator, and new restrooms and a gift shop in the Lower Gorge and Upper Gorge, as well as a Lower Gorge sanitary sewer pump station with 200 feet of vertical lift.
The tower construction was substantially complete and opened to the public in time for the Memorial Day weekend and the peak summer season.
Local residents and tourists from all over the world have hailed the rehabilitated tower for its appearance and functionality. The rehabilitation and improvements to the tower are expected to play a key role in initiating renewed investment and interest in the Wonder of the World that is Niagara Falls.
2003 Diamond Award
American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of New York
2003 Project of the Year Award, Structural Category
American Public Works Association – Western Branch – New York Chapter
2003 Renovation Project of the Year
The McGraw Hill Companies, as Featured in New York Construction Magazine
2003 Engineering Excellence — National Recognition Award
American Council of Engineering Companies