To celebrate its 40th birthday, Canal Projects will open its doors to the public on September 3rd. The non-profit organization offers walkable tours, exhibits, and public events about various aspects of historic canals, including canal history, development, and construction. It is free with a suggested donation of $10 per person per hour for the use of the galleries.
The Canal Projects is a non-profit organization that offers educational tours and exhibitions about canals to teach visitors about their history, construction, maintenance, and flow. It also provides to host local events like walking tours at no cost. The organization is located inside the Garman-Democrat Building, a historic building built in 1889, which previously housed the Democrat & Chronicle newspaper.
The building, which was slated for demolition in 1983 by the city at the request of Gannett, who owned the Democrat & Chronicle paper at the time., was purchased by Colin and Gerard Remias in 2011 and redeveloped into a unique retail space with a coffee shop on the ground floor and two galleries. The first gallery on the third floor is dedicated to a history of canals, from early versions such as Roman canals to modern structures such as Erie Canal. The second gallery on the first floor hosts rotating exhibits based on different canal themes.
Charles kim alpine – CEO of canal projects – is pleased to announce that the public is invited to visit his new exhibit, “ecology & design,” in the lower level of canal projects on Saturday, September 16th, and Sunday, September 17th.
The Canal Projects is a part of the Association for Erie Canal Studies, a non-profit organization founded in 1982 by volunteers who hoped to put together an archival library and reference center to share the history of canals. The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society was one of the organizations that were founded at that time. The organization has grown to include a staff of almost 50 people, 13,000 members, and over 30 volunteers.
Additionally, Canal Projects has several volunteers that help with events, education, and special initiatives. Volunteers are often folks who help out at the Buffalo Maritime Center or are members of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.
The Canal Projects offers free tours for schools and community groups about the history of canals on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10 am-1 pm.
Additionally, there are exceptional public events like a tour where visitors can get an up-close look at the canal system with Buffalo’s headwater master, John R. Stoll, or a time to find out more about the history of canal workers in New York State.