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  • Niagara Falls State ParkNiagara Falls State Park Buffalo, New York
    Niagara Falls State Park in Niagara Falls, New York, contains three named falls and was the first state park in the country, created in 1885, by the Niagara Reservation bill of 1885, and became a National Historic Landmark in 1963. The other falls include the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls and part of the Canadian Falls. The state park looks out over the Niagara Gorge, and gives access to the Maid of the Mist tour boats, other attractions and the Cave of the Winds. In the park you will find a gift shop, movie theater, museum, concession stand, hiking and nature trails, recreation programs, fireworks, picnic tables and fishing. The Today Show said the Niagara Falls State Park was the 10th most beautiful place in the nation; and includes the above mentioned falls, and buildings as well as Goat Island, Nikola Tesla statue, and the movie theater that shows, Niagara: Miracles, Myths and Magic. There is a discovery pass that can be purchased that will give you entrance to other venues but at a smaller price then advertised. The park has its own restaurant that looks out over the Horseshoe Falls on Goat Island. The park came about because many mills and factories that were built along the river in the 19th century, were using the river to produce power for their mills. In the late 1860s, a group of individuals, that were concerned about the magnificent falls, started the Free Niagara movement, that stated that the falls and the land that surrounds them should be protected for future generations and from the exploitation of the area so that it could be kept free for those people. Their members went before the New York legislature to ask them to reclaim the falls and the area around them. For the next 15 years, this group did everything possible to bring about the preservation, and finally won the fight. The leader of this marvelous group was Frederick Law Olmsted, the country's first landscape architect; who had designed Central Park in New York City, and believed that our parks should be environments of natural beauty where all could become renewed. That philosophy was applied to the entire park region, with a wonderful network of trails and footpaths that went through serene wooded areas and beside the banks of the Niagara River. It has become one of the most spectacular sights in our nations parks and the thunderous pounding of the falls is a sound and sight that you can never forget. The falls are a monument to power and the usefulness of our rivers in perpetuation of that power. Over 4 million kilowatts of electricity are produced by the power of these falls for use in this country and Canada. The Niagara River is in reality a strait that connects the waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario; with the waters of two other lakes draining into it, Lake Huron, Erie, Michigan and Superior that then drain into Lake Ontario. These five great lakes contain 20% of the world's fresh water.

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  • Albright-Knox Art GalleryAlbright-Knox Art Gallery Buffalo, New York
    The Albright-Knox Art Gallery has become a major showplace for modern and contemporary art in Buffalo, New York, just across the street from the Buffalo State College. The parent organization of the gallery was the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy that began in 1862, and is considered one of the oldest public arts facilities in the nation. In 1890, Buffalo philanthropist and entrepreneur, John J. Albright started building the Albright Art Gallery for the academy and designed by well known local architect, Edward Brodhead Green. It was originally going to become the fine arts pavilion for the Pan-American Exposition of 1901, but construction delays held it up until 1905. Another addition was added in 1962, with the ample contributions of Seymour H. Knox Jr., his family and other donors; and the name changed to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and includes many relics that span art through the centuries. Works by impressionist and post impressionist artists like Paul Gaugin and Vincent van Gogh are found, revolutionary styles by artists like Pablo Picasso, Alexander Rodchenko, Joan Miro, Georges Braque, Piet Mondrian, Henri Matisse and Andre Derain can also be seen. The more modern styles of abstract expressionism, pop art and other art of the 1970s to the end of the century can be seen here represented by such greats as Jackson Pollack, Arsile Gorky and Andy Warhol, as well as contemporary works by Allan Graham, Kiki Smith, John Connell, Georg Baselitz and Per Kirkeby. In June of 2007, Sotheby's sold a Roman bronze sculpture of Artemis and the Stag for $28.6 million, which was the highest price ever paid for a sculpture and brought to bear the local question of the gallery's mission. The curator, Louis Grachos stated that many works that were outside the realm of the gallery's core mission were to be deaccessioned and many patrons wondered what other magnificent works would be sold off.

January 11, 2011