Newly Renovated First Floor
If you haven’t visited us in a while, you are in for a treat! After over a decade of preparation, planning, design, and construction, the Erie Canal Museum’s new permanent first floor exhibit, “The Erie Canal Made New York,” is complete. This project, which cost over $700,000 to complete, was the first major renovation at the Erie Canal Museum since the Heritage Area Visitor Center building was built in 1992.
“The Erie Canal Made New York” chronicles the history of the inland waterway that helped shape the United States and made New York City the economic center of the world. The exhibit uses hands-on exhibits, narrative audio tracks, interactive displays and original artifacts to explain why and by whom the Erie Canal was conceived, the technology used in its construction, Canal-inspired inventions, and the waterway’s role in our country’s social and economic development. A display of the 1825 “Wedding of the Waters” ceremonial Canal opening, complete with fireworks sound effects, leads visitors to the 1850 National Register Weighlock Building, the only remaining canal structure of its kind in the country and the Museum’s most important artifact. The exhibit takes visitors on a comprehensive journey through the history of the Erie Canal, beginning with its inception, through construction and immediate success, and all the way up to the present barge canal system.
This project was made possible with support from the Transportation Enhancement Program sponsored by Congressman James T. Walsh; the New York State Canal Corporation; the New York State Office of Parks, Recreations and Historic Preservation;, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Feldmeier; the Emerson Foundation; the John Ben Snow Foundation; JGB Enterprises; and Onondaga County Department of Transportation. The exhibit was designed by Steve Feldman Design and researched by Debbie Van Buren.