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Work resumes at Maid site after injunction denied

by TSchmitt
Fri, Jun 21st 2013 09:00 am

A state appellate court is allowing construction work to continue at the new Maid of the Mist facility in the Niagara gorge, which has raised the ire of a number of local preservationist groups.  

The Niagara Preservation Coalition had sought an injunction to stop work on the new boat storage facility at the former Schoellkopf Power Station that collapsed in 1956.

The former power plant is on the National Register of Historic Places, and some claim historic building remnants have been removed from the site.

But why is the site so pivotal to historians and preservationists?

Tom Yots is the director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara and he tells WLVL the site is important because it marks the real beginning of Niagara Falls' decline.

"The existence of that power plant really created the whole identity of Niagara Falls as an industrial city. At the time that the collapse occurred, the power plant was the largest employer of the city and the largest taxpayer," Yots said. "When that collapse occurred, the city lost both of those things at the same time. It's never recovered from that."

Yots wrote a book on the implosion, which claimed one life, and said the devastation was massive.

"Nobody was ever really able to determine why it happened," Yots said. "The explosions that resulted were so immense that they actually sent portions of those buildings across the river onto the Canadian side."

A request for an injunction that would have stopped construction on that site was denied in a written ruling. 



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