ECHDC And Assemblyman Sean Ryan Announce Unveiling Of Flat Man On Buffalo’s Outer Harbor

See photo here

Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) and Assemblyman Sean Ryan announced today the unveiling of Flat Man on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.  Flat Man, a 30-foot steel sculpture is now located on the Greenway Nature Trail near the water’s edge. Prior to its new home at the Outer Harbor, Flat Man originated at Griffis Sculpture Park in East Otto, New York. In July, the sculpture was moved to Essex Art Center on Buffalo’s West Side to prepare it for installation.

 “Flat Man now joins the wind sculptures at Wilkeson Pointe, Shark Girl and the Silent Poets at Canalside and the Connecting Terminal Grain Elevator as a significant piece of public art on the waterfront,” said Robert Gioia, Chairman of ECHDC. “The Flat Man sculpture looks magnificent against the backdrop of Lake Erie. ECHDC is proud to give our guests an opportunity to experience art in the unique setting of the waterfront.”

Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, “With Flat Man on the Outer Harbor, we have a great opportunity to expand the presence of public art in Buffalo and add an exciting new feature to our waterfront. Lighter, quicker, cheaper is the mantra for the Outer Harbor, and the installation of Flat Man helps to further this goal. This fun sculpture will help to draw people to the Outer Harbor, and add a unique element to our waterfront landscape.” 

Flat Man, created in 1963 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 3,000 pounds has resided on the East Hill of Griffis Sculpture Park for over 51 years. One of the most loved features of the piece is the heart shape in the body which creates a message of love and inclusivity.  

The steel that makes up Flat 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 Flat Man had the same look and age of the existing steel.

The Flat Man sculpture was part of a large commission that included The Dancer, Round 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. 

Flat Man is a magnificent sight at its new location on the waterfront,” said Nila Griffis Lampman, Executive Director of the Ashford Hollow Foundation for the Visual and Performing Arts. “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. ”

Flat 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.

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:


Ashley Cannon (ECHDC) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239

Cody Meyers (Assemblyman Ryan’s Office) | [email protected] | (585) 409-6693