Beacon News

Beacon Selected For Niagara Falls Visitors Center Construction Consulting Assignment

Beacon Consulting Group was retained by a leading surety to provide construction consulting services related to a new, $46-million visitor center being built in Niagara Falls State Park (see photo gallery at bottom of this article). The 28,000 square-foot, multi-floor visitor center is being built directly adjacent to the famously majestic falls, one of the most popular tourist attractions in New York State. Beacon was retained by the surety to monitor progress of the project and assist the general contractor with certain tasks to help expedite the project.

More than 9 million people visit Niagara Falls State Park every year. Established in 1885, it is the oldest state park in the U.S. Although Niagara Falls are not the tallest or largest waterfall in the world, they are the most massive set of falls in the U.S. in terms of volume water and overall size. For this reason, and because the park offers such awe-inspiring views from its observation areas, Niagara Falls is one of the most well known and visited waterfalls in the world. According the park's website, more than 3,160 tons (757,303 gallons) of water flows over Niagara Falls every second (more than 64-billion gallons per day)!

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation decided to build the new visitor center to replace a 35-year-old center which can no longer handle the growing number of visitors to the park. The new welcome center, planned to open in 2023, will include:

  • Museum space (featuring an immersive experience and physical exhibits)
  • Ticket center and visitor orientation
  • Gift shop, dining, outdoor terraces, and overlook
  • Multi-purpose spaces, offices, archive, and storage areas

Designed by the architecture firm GWWO, the welcome center will include some unique and eye-catching design features, including:

  • An expansive glass facade which maximizes views and offers continuous connections to the falls throughout the lobby and exhibit areas
  • Sustainable design elements, including photovoltaic panels along the roof’s perimeter, cisterns to capture water from the roof to irrigate native plantings, LED light fixtures, and low-flow plumbing fixtures
  • Unique exterior stairs & landscaping leading to falls (designed to feel like cascading falls)

More about Niagara Falls State Park:

  • Park encompasses more than 400 acres, with close to 140 acres of that under water
  • Starting in the 1870s, Frederick Law Olmstead (famed designer of NYC's Central Park) was directly involved in the advocacy to preserve the land around Niagara Falls (and was later involved in planning and design work for the park)
  • Niagara Falls is located on the Niagara River, just above Lake Ontario. Four of the five Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie) drain into the Niagara River before emptying into Lake Ontario. These five Great Lakes make up almost one-fifth of the world's fresh water supply.

Image Gallery

Click on the images below to see a larger view of each image.