Work is nearing completion on the new Explore & More children's museum at Canalside. With a newly-approved exterior decoration, it should be easy for visitors to find.
Several exterior signs and a giant sculpture of a tricycle have been approved for new the children's museum by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation. The tricycle is 15-feet high by 15-feet long and is going to be installed on the roof in time for the museum's opening.
"It's a classic toy so a lot of people will see that as they drive over the Skyway or into the site, and it does touch on the history of the site with the Pierce company, which was making bicycles down there before automobiles," said new ECHDC president Steve Ranalli.
The facility is expected to open this spring, replacing Explore & More's smaller museum in East Aurora. The new building will bear the name of Buffalo Bills founder and museum benefactor Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.
The Harbor Corporation has also hired a consultant, Buffalo-based TY Lin International, to plan out development of the vacant North Aud Block. Ranalli says the goal is to move quickly.
"We want to jump right into the concept design, work with the stakeholders and the public [and] get everybody's input," Ranalli said.
Ranalli says the site will include space for four or five mixed-use buildings and a parking garage. A plan is due by the end of August.