ECHDC Announces Canalside Building Recognized for Design Excellence

August 9, 2021

Longshed Building Receives Buffalo Business First Brick by Brick Award

Project Adds to Transformation of Revitalized Waterfront and

Reflects the Ship Building History of the Site

See Photos of the Longshed Here

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation is honored to announce the Longshed Building located at Canalside is a Brick by Brick award winner in the category of hospitality and tourism. Buffalo Business First’s Brick by Brick awards recognize the best real estate, construction and development projects in the region. The Longshed building, located on the northern end of the Central Wharf at Canalside in Buffalo, is a two-story, gabled-roof wood structure that reflects the Central Wharf site's history by incorporating elements from the Joy and Webster Storehouse located on the site in the early 1800s.  The Longshed is one of many winning projects that are taking Western New York to new heights and instilling a sense of pride and accomplishment in the community, as we work to grow and thrive despite the challenges of the pandemic.

"I congratulate HHL Architects and the entire team that worked on the Longshed project for receiving the prestigious Brick by Brick award for this invaluable educational and tourist attraction. The functionality, historic reference and overall design help make this waterfront building a place where history comes alive for visitors,” said ECHDC Board Chairman Robert Gioia. “The Erie Canal was instrumental in the growth of Buffalo in the past and the success of Canalside has shown us the waterfront is playing a critical role in shaping a brighter future for the entire region.”

The approximately 4,400-square-foot Longshed includes a main floor which stretches the length of the building, a smaller mezzanine level, public bathrooms, roll-up entry doors, and an exterior porch that overlooks the Canalside lawn.

“HHL Architects was very proud to have been selected by ECHDC to construct the first new building on the Canalside site, especially a new, traditional heavy timber, building that embraces and recalls the original Erie Canal & Buffalo River waterfront wharf character,” said Matthew W. Meier, HHL Architects Partner. “As a longtime Buffalo-based small business, we are excited to see Buffalo's waterfront redevelopment progress, and we feel privileged to have designed this unique multipurpose building for future users of Canalside.”

The wood-frame building is presently being used by staff and volunteers from the Buffalo Maritime Center to construct a replica of the 1825 Seneca Chief packet boat, which transported Governor DeWitt Clinton from Buffalo to New York City to mark the official opening of the Erie Canal. For the next three years the public will be able to watch the boat being built and even volunteer to join the construction crew. Those wishing to volunteer should visit the Buffalo Maritime Center's website at

“The Buffalo Maritime Center is honored to be the first tenant of the historic Longshed building at Canalside. The experience of constructing a 73-foot-long Erie Canal Boat inside the Longshed has been nothing short of a dream come true. It’s wonderful to see the awe on the faces of our staff, volunteers, and members of the public who step in the building and take in the beautiful design and craftsmanship of the facility. This Brick by Brick award is well-deserved, and we encourage everyone to stop by and appreciate this new icon of Buffalo’s waterfront,” said Brian Trzeciak, Executive Director of the Buffalo Maritime Center. 

Once completed, the packet boat will be relocated to the Commercial Slip, where the Buffalo Maritime Center will make it available to tourists interested in learning more about the region's past. The boat will also tour other sections of the Erie Canal system to promote Buffalo and its history. At the completion of the packet boat project, the Longshed will become a year-round hall that can be used as a flexible multipurpose space for educational and historical programming by cultural organizations or to host large public gatherings. The building will also be an important part of the 200th anniversary celebration of the Erie Canal's opening in 2025.

The State has committed more than $90 million to transform Buffalo's Inner Harbor into what is now known as Canalside, a mixed-use urban entertainment destination that has received national and international attention as one of the key drivers of the remarkable resurgence of Western New York. Open to the public since May 2008, Canalside features several fully restored facets of the original Erie Canal, including the Commercial Slip, Boardwalk and the Historic Replica Canals. A year-round attraction, Canalside boasts a wide array of family activities that capitalize on and showcase the diverse resources of the Western New York region. In addition, the Historic Replica Canals will become New York State's largest outdoor roller rink later this month and then transition to ice-skating in the fall.

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 non-voting, ex-officio director positions are held by the Erie County Executive and the City of Buffalo Mayor.

Pamm Lent (Governor’s Office) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309
Laura Magee (ECHDC) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239