Pt. Byron, Lock 52 in winter
The Canal Society has an exciting opportunity to create a canal history destination alongside the New York State Thruway. Within the former canal-side village of Port Byron in Central New York is the well-preserved and very visible Lock 52, a nearby canal prism and dry dock, the Erie House -- which served as a canal-era tavern and boarding house -- a mule barn and a blacksmith shop. This collection of structures makes up the Port Byron Old Erie Canal Heritage Park, the future home of the Canal Society of New York State. When completed, the site will provide a new and important cultural visitor facility interpreting New York State canal heritage with particular emphasis on America’s most famous canal, the Erie Canal.
Because the site will be accessible from the Thruway, the most traveled roadway in the state, the Heritage Park will educate many people who might not normally come alongside a canal. In addition, the project will serve as a point of orientation and introduction to travelers on the New York State Thruway to canal destinations and attractions in other communities across New York State.
Working with the Thruway Authority, Cayuga County, New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and other governmental agencies, the Canal Society has an approved architectural plan to develop the site. The first phase of the project:is stabilization of the Erie House, blacksmith shop and mule barn, Route 31 parking, and interpretation of the lock. The second phase will involve constructing a visitor’s center and the Thruway pull-off.
Wonder what the site will look like? Click on the link to see a PDF version of the Erie Canal Heritage Park conceptual master plan.