Niagara Gazette — The New York Power Authority is moving forward with plans to move a Portage era relic when it begins work on a major project in Niagara Falls.
The authority has been in discussions with the city of Niagara Falls in recent months over the fate of the Old Stone Chimney, a 1750s era relic that has been attached to a series of historic buildings and moved several times.
Gil Quiniones, the president and CEO of the power authority, sent Mayor Paul Dyster a letter last week saying that NYPA intends to hire a consultant to evaluate the costs associated with moving the chimney to a plot of land along the Niagara River identified by the city as a preferred relocation area.
“NYPA has begun the process of engaging a consultant to perform the detailed design for the (Old Stone Chimney) relocation,” according to the letter. “Once that is complete, we will provide those details to you and the other stakeholders to discuss next steps.”
The chimney, which heated British and French military lodges in the 1700s, has long been held in obscurity first being surrounded by power plants and factories before it was moved to Porter Park in 1942 in an effort led by P.A. Porter preserve the relic. An off ramp to the Robert Moses Parkway went up around the chimney and through the park when the new road was built out into the river in the mid-1960s.
The state is set to begin work this fall on a reconfiguration project on the section of the Robert Moses Parkway that runs from the state park to the John B. Daly Boulevard exit — the exit that was built around the chimney.
There is a line item in the project budget dedicated to the careful deconstruction of the chimney, but funding for the reconstruction has yet to be identified.