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Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Announces Unveiling of Round Man Sculpture on Buffalo's Outer Harbor

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Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) today announced the unveiling of the renowned sculpture, Round Man on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.  Round Man, 20-foot steel sculpture is now located on the Greenway Nature Trail near the water’s edge, replacing Flat Man- the previous sculpture that became an immediate beacon on the waterfront, capturing the imaginations of thousands of people and becoming a social media star. Prior to its new home at the Outer Harbor, Round Man- like Flat Man- originated at Griffis Sculpture Park in East Otto, New York.

Round Man now adds to the number of public artworks displayed on the city's waterfront, including the wind sculptures at Wilkeson Pointe and Shark Girl at Canalside,” said Robert Gioia, Chairman of ECHDC. “Lake Erie provides a magnificent backdrop for guests to experience art in the unique setting of the waterfront. We know that Round Man will be every bit as successful as Flat Man in attracting visitors to the Outer Harbor.”

Round Man, created in 1967 by Buffalo sculptor, Larry Griffis Jr., is an iconic piece that originated at Griffis Sculpture Park, one of the first and largest sculpture parks in North America. The sculpture, standing almost three stories high and weighing close to 2,500 lbs., Round Man has resided on the East Hill of Griffis Sculpture Park for over 55 years. One of the most loved features of the piece is his circular inclusivity. Prior to its installation on the Outer Harbor, the sculpture was refurbished at Essex Art Center on Buffalo’s West Side. The steel that makes up Round Man was designed and donate by Bethlehem Steel. This type of steel is the Mayari R Cor-Ten rod steel which is no longer in production today. It came directly from Griffis Sculpture Park to ensure that the refurbishing of Round Man had the same look and age of the existing steel.

The Round Man sculpture was part of a large commission that included The Dancer, Flat Man, Fecund Figures, Deserted, The Oracle and the Clown- which were fabricated at a warehouse on Niagara Street prior to the purchase of the Essex Arts Center.  The sculptures were originally placed at Kissing Bridge Ski Resort but were moved in 1966 when The Ashford Hollow Foundation purchased 450 acres in East Otto, New York where they have stood as beacons welcoming visitors to the sculpture park. 

Nila Griffis Lampman, Executive Director of the Ashford Hollow Foundation for the Visual and Performing Arts said, “Round Man is a magnificent sight at its new location on the waterfront. Larry Griffis would have been proud to see one of his works prominently displayed on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. I want to thank the visionaries at ECHDC and everyone on our talented team for making this project possible.”

Round Man will be on loan from Griffis for five years. The specific location of the sculpture was chosen to be viewed by boaters, pedestrians, bike riders and other visitors at the Bell Slip.

ECHDC is committed to supporting public art along the waterfront. Multiple art installations have become a popular and dynamic part of both Canalside and the Outer Harbor including the wind sculptures at Wilkeson Pointe, Shark Girl, the Silent Poets and the Connecting Terminal Grain Elevator, the largest permanent light display to date.

Congressman Brian Higgins said, “Art creates an additional draw to public destinations and adds to the character of parks and public spaces. This is a welcome addition to the diverse range of sights and experiences available to visitors taking in Buffalo’s beautiful Outer Harbor.”

Mayor Byron W. Brown stated, “Some of the world’s most outstanding talent is right here in Western New York, and bringing the iconic Round Man sculpture, created by Buffalo Sculptor Larry Griffis Jr., to Buffalo’s Outer Harbor is yet another win-win for our waterfront and our community.   As we work to continue to make Buffalo a more culturally vibrant and inclusive city, I thank Governor Kathy Hochul and the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation for their partnership to further expand the presence of public art in Buffalo, and along our beautiful waterfront, for everyone to enjoy.” 

Senator Sean Ryan said, “Buffalo has a vibrant local art scene and our many well-known works of public art have become a big part of the city's character. Visitors to Griffis Sculpture Park have enjoyed Round Man for years and its new home on the Outer Harbor will expose thousands more to this great sculpture.”

Assemblymember Jon D. Rivera said, “Within just a few years, Buffalo’s Outer Harbor has transformed into a place that reconnects Western New Yorkers to our region’s most treasured natural resource assets and simultaneously captures their imagination with creative, novel approaches to public art projects. Round Man will continue the artistic legacy of Flat Man and will add a vibrant dynamic to an area ripe for creative expression.”

About Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) is governed by a nine-member board consisting of seven voting directors and two non-voting, ex-officio directors. The seven voting directors are recommended by the New York State Governor and are appointed by the New York State Urban Development Corporation d/b/a Empire State Development as sole shareholder of ECHDC. The two nonvoting, ex-officio director positions are held by the Erie County Executive and the City of Buffalo Mayor. For more information on ECHDC, visit: www.eriecanalharbor.com.


Pamm Lent (Governor’s Office) | [email protected] | (716) 560-8815

Nila Lampman (Griffis Sculpture Park) | [email protected] | (716) 667-2808