NIAGARA FALLS —
Bradberry sees something else, however — the last vestige of an historic era.
As others grieve about the countless boarded up buildings, Bradberry sees the fact they’re still standing and have not been demolished as a silver lining.
“It’s always a treasure when you can preserve buildings, especially with the wonderful architecture we have on Main Street,” he said. “This is what we call a place that has good bones.”
With the help of owners like Richard Hastings, who has several planned developments in the works, Bradberry believes some meat will soon be added to those bones. He points to current fixtures on Main Street such as the Orchard Grill and Bada Bean as proof businesses can survive there.
Of course, the ongoing development of the $25 million public safety complex on the street’s north end will provide a huge shot in the arm too, Bradberry said.
“All of the pieces are coming together,” he said.
Still, other areas near Main Street leave Bradberry puzzled. He said the city needs to get behind cultural heritage initiatives like the proposed North Star at the North End project and capitalize on the area’s ties to the Underground Railroad. In addition, attractions such as the Niagara Gorge and Lower Niagara River need to be celebrated.
Among his stops along the tour was a decaying parking lot near the Whirlpool Bridge. Stepping out of his car, Bradberry pulled back several tree limbs to unveil a spectacular view of the river. Nearby, the start of a gorge trail was filled with rocks and debris.
“You wouldn’t even know it’s here because it’s hidden from everyone,” Bradberry said. “This is the type of area we should work toward turning into a local landmark.”
Backing it up
Bradberry will be the first to admit it’s easy to take a ride through Niagara Falls and point out eyesores and areas needing improvement.