Governor Kathy Hochul has announced two transformative projects in Niagara Falls that will attract new residents, visitors and development to the downtown and help reconnect the people of Niagara Falls to the waterways that define the City's identity. The Niagara Falls Heritage Gateways project, which is comprised of five public gateway features intended to stimulate reinvestment in Niagara Falls, will move forward. In addition, New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has approved an agreement authorizing the Aquarium of Niagara to manage operations at the currently closed Niagara Gorge Discovery Center. Construction will now start on transforming the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center into Great Lakes 360, an exciting new space for Great Lakes-focused exhibits. The USD 12 million Niagara Falls Heritage Gateway Project focuses on the northern and southern ends of a proposed Downtown Niagara Falls Heritage Path, which aims to expand activities downtown while strengthening the connections between downtown Niagara Falls and Niagara Falls State Park. New York-based firm Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, who spearheaded the development of a conceptual development strategy for the downtown area in 2021, has been selected to lead the design.The scope of the Gateways Project will includeReinterpreting a stretch of the historic Niagara Falls Power Company's hydraulic canal as an engaging public plaza that illustrates the history of large-scale electricity production and its effects on the American society in its designConstructing an observation deck along the border of Niagara Falls State Park, accessible from Buffalo Avenue and linked via stairway to the park itself, with panoramic views of the American Rapids and Goat Island. The design will preserve existing tree coverage and provide opportunities for outdoor seatingTransforming DiFranco Park into a multi-use pavilion for outdoor performances, recreation and public gathering spaces, in partnership with the City of Niagara FallsCreating a pocket park at the corner of Buffalo Avenue and 1st Street that will provide respite and activate the streetscapeEstablishing an interpretive park at the Cataract House Hotel historic site to tell the story of the Underground Railroad and how African American hotel staff played a prominent role in helping freedom seekers escape to Canada.