Niagara Falls (/naɪˈæɡərə/ ny-AG-ər-ə) is a city in Niagara County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 50,193, down from the 55,593 recorded in the 2000 census. It is adjacent to the Niagara River, across from the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and named after the famed Niagara Falls which they share. The city is within the Buffalo–Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Western New York region.
While the city was formerly occupied by Native Americans, Europeans who migrated to the Niagara Falls in the mid-17th century began to open businesses and develop infrastructure. Later in the 18th and 19th centuries, scientists and businessmen began harnessing the power of the Niagara River for electricity and the city began to attract manufacturers and other businesses drawn by the promise of inexpensive hydroelectric power. After the 1960s, however, the city and region witnessed an economic decline, following an attempt at urban renewal under then Mayor Lackey. Consistent with the rest of the Rust Belt as industries left the city, old line affluent families relocated to nearby suburbs and out of town.
Despite the decline in heavy industry, Niagara Falls State Park and the downtown area closest to the falls continue to thrive as a result of tourism. The population, however, has continued to decline from a peak of 102,394 in the 1960s due to the loss of manufacturing jobs in the area.
Niagara Falls, New York
|City of Niagara Falls|
Niagara Falls, USA, Honeymoon Capital of the World
|• Type||Strong mayor-council|
|• Mayor||Paul A. Dyster (D)|
|• City Administrator||Nicholas A. Melson|
|• City Council|
|• City||16.83 sq mi (43.58 km2)|
|• Land||14.09 sq mi (36.48 km2)|
|• Water||2.74 sq mi (7.10 km2) 16.37%|
|• Urban||366.7 sq mi (949.7 km2)|
|Elevation||614 ft (187 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||3,452.51/sq mi (1,333.02/km2)|
|• Urban||935,906 (US: 46th)|
|• Urban density||2,663.5/sq mi (1,028.37/km2)|
|• Metro||1,134,155 (US: 50th)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0970406|
|Demonym||Niagarian, Niagara Fallsite|
Before Europeans entered the area, it was dominated by the Neutral Nation of Native Americans. European migration into the area began in the 17th century. The first recorded European to visit the area was Frenchman Robert de la Salle, who built Fort Conti at the mouth of the Niagara River early in 1679, with permission from the Iriquois, as a base for boat-building; his ship Le Griffon was built on the upper Niagara River at or near Cayuga Creek in the same year. He was accompanied by Belgian priest Louis Hennepin, who was the first known European to see the falls. The influx of newcomers may have been a catalyst for already hostile native tribes to turn to open warfare in competition for the fur trade.
The City of Niagara Falls was incorporated on March 17, 1892 from the villages of Manchester and Suspension Bridge, which were parts of the Town of Niagara. Thomas Vincent Welch, a member of the charter committee and a New York state assemblyman and a second-generation Irish American, persuaded Governor Roswell P. Flower to sign the bill on St. Patrick's Day. George W. Wright was elected the first mayor of Niagara Falls.
By the end of the 19th century, the city was a heavy industrial area, due in part to the power potential offered by the Niagara River. Tourism was considered a secondary niche, while manufacturing of petrochemicals, abrasives, metallurgical products and other materials was the main producer of jobs and attracted a large number of workers, many of whom were immigrants.
In 1927, the city annexed the village of La Salle, named for Robert de la Salle, from the Town of Niagara.
Industry and tourism grew steadily throughout the first half of the 20th century due to a high demand for industrial products and the increased mobility of people to travel. Paper, rubber, plastics, petrochemicals, carbon insulators and abrasives were among the city's major industries. This prosperity would end by the late 1960s as aging industrial plants moved to less expensive locations. In addition, the falls were incompatible with modern shipping technology.
In 1956, the Schoellkopf Power Plant on the lower river just downstream of the American Falls was critically damaged due to a massive collapse of the Niagara Gorge wall above it. This prompted the planning and construction of one of the largest hydroelectric plants to be built in North America at the time, causing a large influx of workers and families to move to the area. New York City urban planner Robert Moses built the new power plant in nearby Lewiston, New York. Much of the power generated there fuels growing demands for power in downstate New York and New York City.
The neighborhood of Love Canal gained national media attention in 1978 when toxic contamination from a chemical waste landfill beneath it forced United States President Jimmy Carter to declare a state of emergency, the first such presidential declaration made for a non-natural disaster. Hundreds of residents were evacuated from the area, many of whom were ill because of exposure to chemical waste.
After the Love Canal disaster, the city witnessed a reversal of fortunes, as the costs of producing materials elsewhere became lower than in Niagara Falls. Several factories closed, the population dropped by half, and workers fled the city in search of jobs elsewhere. Much like the nearby city of Buffalo, the city's economy plummeted downward when a failed urban renewal project took place resulting in the destruction of Falls Street and the tourist district.
In 2001, the leadership of Laborers Local 91 was found guilty of extortion, racketeering and other crimes following an exposé by Mike Hudson of the Niagara Falls Reporter. Union boss Michael "Butch" Quarcini died before trial, while the rest of the union leadership was sentenced to prison.
In early 2010, former Niagara Falls Mayor Vincent Anello was indicted on federal charges of corruption, alleging the mayor accepted $40,000 in loans from a businessman who was later awarded a no-bid lease on city property. The charges were dropped as part of a plea deal after Anello plead guilty to unrelated charges of pension fraud, regarding a pension from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, of which he is a member. He was sentenced to 10 to 16 months in prison.
On November 30, 2010, the New York State Attorney General entered into an agreement with the city and its police department to create new policies to govern police practices in response to claims of excessive force and police misconduct. The city will create policies and procedures to prevent and respond to allegations of excessive force, and to ensure police are properly trained and complaints are properly investigated. Prior claims filed by residents will be evaluated by an independent panel.
The city has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places. It also has three national historic districts, including Chilton Avenue-Orchard Parkway Historic District, Deveaux School Historic District and the Park Place Historic District.
Niagara Falls is at the international boundary between the United States of America and Canada. The city is within the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area and is approximately 16 miles (26 km) from Buffalo, New York.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 16.8 square miles (44 km2), of that, 14.1 square miles (37 km2) of it is land and 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) of it (16.37%) is water. The city is built along the Niagara Falls and the Niagara Gorge, which is next to the Niagara River.
Niagara Falls experiences cold, snowy winters and hot, humid summers. Precipitation is moderate and consistent in all seasons, falling equally or more as snow during the winter. The city has snowier than average winters compared to most cities in the USA, however less than many other cities in Upstate New York including nearby Buffalo and Rochester. Thaw cycles with temperatures above 0 °C (32 °F) are a common occurrence. The hottest and coldest temperatures recorded in the past decade were 97 °F (36 °C) in 2005 and -13 °F (-25 °C) in 2003, respectively. 38% of warm season precipitation falls in the form of a thunderstorm.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 50,193 people, 22,603 households, and 12,495 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,987.7 people per square mile (1,153.5 per square km). There were 26,220 housing units at an average density of 1,560.7 per square mile (622.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 70.5% White, 21.6% African American, 1.9% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0% Pacific Islander, 0.8% from other races, and 3.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.0% of the population.
There were 22,603 households out of which 23.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.8% were married couples living together, 19.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.7% were non-families. 38.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 4.02.
In the city, 22% of the population was under the age of 18, 10.1% aged from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 28.2% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,800, and the median income for a family was $34,377. Males had a median income of $31,672 versus $22,124 for females. 23% of the population was below the poverty line.
Niagara Falls has a number of places of worship, including the Salvation Army, First Assembly of God Church, First Unitarian Universalist Church of Niagara, St. Peter's Episcopal Church, First Presbyterian Church, St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church in Devaux, Reform Jewish Temple Beth El and the Conservative Jewish Temple Beth Israel.
Though its crime rate is lower than other cities in Western New York such as Buffalo and Rochester, it remains above the national average. In response to gun violence, volunteer groups such as Operation SNUG mobilized to promote positive community involvement in the troubled areas of the city.
Niagara Falls' main industry is tourism. Almost ten million people visit the city and falls each year, and the waterfall is considered one of the United States' top ten tourist destinations. However, the city struggles to compete with Niagara Falls, Ontario, which has a much more vibrant tourism industry and stronger economy.
The city's economy was originally based around the power generated by Niagara Falls' rushing water. This cheap and abundant source of power was the driving force behind the rapid rise of area industry. Around the turn of the 20th century, thousands of immigrants from predominantly European nations such as Italy, Germany and Poland came to the area to work the chemical, steel, and manufacturing plants owned by present-day companies such as the Occidental Petroleum company.
The city, which had slightly over 100,000 people at its peak in the early 1960s, has seen its population decline by some 50 percent, as industries shut down and people left for the employment opportunities of the South and West. The unemployment rate in the City of Niagara Falls was approximately 10 percent as of October 2010.
Local and state government officials have vowed to embrace the physical and cultural advantages the Niagara region naturally possesses, such as the Niagara Gorge, wine trails, historical landmarks, Little Italy, or Niagara Falls itself. These marketing efforts have attempted to move focus away from the city's industrial past to embrace a tourism-based economy. In late 2001, the State of New York established the USA Niagara Development Corporation, a subsidiary to the State's economic development agency, to focus specifically on facilitating development in the downtown area. However, the organization has been criticized for making little progress and doing little to improve the city's economy. The Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation was established in 2003, replacing the Niagara Convention & Visitors' Bureau as the official marketing arm of the city and the surrounding regions.
The city is home to the Niagara Falls State Park. The park has several attractions, including Cave of the Winds behind the Bridal Veil Falls, Maid of the Mist, a popular boat tour which operates at the foot of the Rainbow Bridge, Prospect Point and its observation tower, Niagara Discovery Center, and the Aquarium of Niagara.
Several other attractions also near the river, including Whirlpool State Park, De Veaux Woods State Park, Earl W. Brydges Artpark State Park in nearby Lewiston, New York, and Fort Niagara State Park in Youngstown, New York.
Former sports teams based in Niagara Falls include the Class-A Niagara Falls Sox Minor League Baseball, the Class-A Niagara Falls Rapids and the Niagara Power a New York Collegiate Baseball League team was located within Niagara Falls.
The City of Niagara Falls functions under a strong mayor-council form of government. The government consists of a mayor, a professional city administrator, and a city council. As of 2011, Paul Dyster is the first mayor of the city to be re-elected since 1987.
The city council serves four-year, staggered terms, except in the case of a special election. It is headed by a chairperson, who votes in all items for council action.
On a state level, Niagara Falls is part of the 145th Assembly District of New York State, represented by Republican Angelo Morinello. Niagara Falls is also part of the 62nd Senate District of New York State, represented by Republican Robert Ortt.
On a national level, the city is part of New York's 26th congressional district and is represented by Congressman Brian Higgins. In the United States Senate, the city and the state are represented by senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
|First appearance||October 14, 2015|
Lackluster recycling statistics in the city prompted the city to find a way to improve on its four percent recycling rate, at the time the worst in Western New York, according to the Investigative Post. In response, the mascot was invented by Brook D'Angelo, coordinator of the city's Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Team, as a way to promote recycling.
Since Niagara Falls is within the Buffalo–Niagara Falls metropolitan area, the city's media is predominantly served by the city of Buffalo.
The city has two local newspapers, the Niagara Gazette, which is published daily except Tuesday and The Messenger Of Niagara Falls, NY which is published quarterly. The Messenger Of Niagara Falls, NY, which is officially Niagara Falls, New York's, first black-owned and operated news publication, founded October 2018. The Messenger Of Niagara Falls, NY published its inaugural issue April 2019. The Buffalo News is the closest major newspaper in the area and once had a Niagara County, NY bureau that extensively covered Niagara Falls and its surrounding communities. The city also is the home to a weekly tabloid known as the Niagara Falls Reporter.
Niagara Falls is primarily served by the Buffalo Niagara International Airport for regional and domestic flights within the United States. The recently expanded Niagara Falls International Airport serves the city, and many cross border travellers with flights to Myrtle Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Punta Gorda. Toronto's Pearson International Airport on the Canadian side is the closest airport to offer long-haul international flights for the Niagara region.
The city is served by Amtrak's Maple Leaf and Empire train services, with regular stops at the Niagara Falls Station and Customhouse Interpretive Center at 825 Depot Ave West.
Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is the public transit provider in the Buffalo metro area, with hubs at the Portage Road and Niagara Falls transportation centers.
Six New York State highways, one three-digit Interstate Highway, one expressway, one U.S. Highway, and one parkways pass through the city of Niagara Falls. New York State Route 31, New York State Route 104, and New York State Route 182 are east-west state roadways within the city, while New York State Route 61, New York State Route 265, and New York State Route 384 are north-south state roadways within the city. The LaSalle Expressway is an east-west highway which terminates near the eastern edge of Niagara Falls and begins in the nearby town of Wheatfield, New York. The Robert Moses State Parkway is a north-south parkway that runs through the city along the northern edge of the Niagara River and terminates in Youngstown, New York.
Interstate 190, also referred to as the Niagara Expressway, is a north-south highway and a spur of Interstate 90 which borders the eastern end of the city. The highway enters the city from the town of Niagara and exits at the North Grand Island Bridge. U.S. Route 62, known as Niagara Falls Boulevard, Walnut Avenue, and Ferry Avenue, is signed as a north-south highway. U.S. Route 62 has an east-west orientation, and is partially split between two one-way streets within Niagara Falls. Walnut Avenue carries U.S. Route 62 west to its northern terminus at NY 104, and Ferry Avenue carries U.S. Route 62 east from downtown Niagara Falls. U.S. Route 62 Business, locally known as Pine Avenue, is an east-west route which parallels U.S. Route 62 to the south. Its western terminus is at NY 104, and its eastern terminus is at U.S. Route 62.
Two international bridges connect the city to Niagara Falls, Ontario. The Rainbow Bridge connects the two cities with passenger and pedestrian traffic and overlooks the Niagara Falls, while the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, which formerly carried the Canadian National Railway, now serves local traffic and Amtrak's Maple Leaf service.
Bobby Previte (born July 16, 1951 in Niagara Falls, New York) is a drummer, composer, and bandleader. He earned a degree in Economics from the University at Buffalo, where he also studied percussion. He moved to New York City in 1979 and began professional relationships with John Zorn, Wayne Horvitz, and Elliott Sharp.Gary Baker (songwriter)
Gary Baker (born September 8, 1952 in Niagara Falls, New York) is an American country music singer and songwriter.Greg Cox (American football)
Gregory Mark "Greg" Cox (born January 6, 1965) is a former professional American football safety in the National Football League. He played college football for the San Jose State Spartans. He played four seasons for the San Francisco 49ers (1988, 1990–1991) and the New York Giants (1989).Hank Nichols
Henry O. "Hammerin' Hank" Nichols (born July 20, 1936) was an American college basketball referee and later supervisor of officials. In 2012, he was inducted as a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Nichols is also a member of the Philadelphia Big 5 Hall of Fame, Villanova Athletic Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Athletic Hall of Fame, the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He officiated 10 National Collegiate Athletic Association(NCAA)Final Fours, a record 6 NCAA Men's Basketball National Championships, 3 NIT Finals, 2 Olympic Games and 1 European Championships. He was also the first official to work both the NIT and NCAA Championship Basketball Finals in a single year, and the first National Coordinator of Officials. Since 2004, he has worked as an Umpire Observer for Major League Baseball.Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church Complex (Niagara Falls, New York)
Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church Complex is a historic Polish, Roman Catholic and former church located at Niagara Falls in Niagara County, New York within the Diocese of Buffalo.John Atamian
John B. Atamian (born September 7, 1942) was a Canadian football player who played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Toronto Argonauts, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Calgary Stampeders. He won the Grey Cup with the Tiger-Cats in 1965 and with the Stampeders in 1971. He played college football at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana.Kris Krull
Kristen "Kris" Krull (born 1953) is a beauty queen from Niagara Falls, New York who has competed in the Miss America pageant.
Krull won the Miss New York 1974 title and represented New York at the Miss America 1975 pageant held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She performed in two Miss America USO troupes across Europe and southeast Asia.
She is now Kris Coleman, and a school nurse in Sun Valley, California.National Register of Historic Places listings in Niagara Falls, New York
This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Niagara Falls, New York.
This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Niagara Falls, New York, United States. The locations of National Register properties and districts for which the latitude and longitude coordinates are included below, may be seen in a map.There are 82 properties and districts listed on the National Register in Niagara County. The city of Niagara Falls is the location of 29 of these properties and districts; they are listed here, while the remaining 53 properties and districts are listed separately.
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted May 17, 2019.Niagara Falls High School
Niagara Falls High School is a public high school located at 4455 Porter Road in Niagara Falls, New York, United States. It was established in 2000, becoming the city's only public high school, with the merging of the "old" Niagara Falls High School and the former LaSalle Senior High School, both formerly of the Niagara Falls City School District. The school's graduation rate is 71%, slightly below the state average.Niagara Falls station (New York)
The Niagara Falls Station and Customhouse Interpretive Center is an intermodal transit complex in Niagara Falls, New York. It serves Amtrak trains and Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority buses, and houses U.S. Customs and Border Protection offices servicing the Canada–United States border, and a museum on the Underground Railroad.It is the western terminus of Amtrak's Empire Corridor and serves two Empire Service trains in each direction (terminating westbound) and one Maple Leaf in each direction daily. The station also provides a connection to NFTA Route 50 and the Discover Niagara Shuttle buses.
The facility consists of a complex built around the historic U.S. Customhouse, originally designed to service the U.S. side of the Niagara River border crossings from Canada. Completed in July 2016, the facility replaced Amtrak's former Niagara Falls station for passenger rail service on December 6, 2016.Qadree Ollison
Qadree Waymond Ollison (born September 8, 1996) is an American football running back for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Pittsburgh and was drafted by the Falcons in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.Rainbow Bridge (Niagara Falls)
The Niagara Falls International Rainbow Bridge, commonly known as the Rainbow Bridge, is an arch bridge across the Niagara River gorge, and is a world-famous tourist site. It connects the cities of Niagara Falls, New York, United States (to the east), and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada (west).Rick Manning
Richard Eugene Manning (born September 2, 1954) is a former center fielder and current broadcaster in Major League Baseball (MLB), who played for the Cleveland Indians (1975-1983) and Milwaukee Brewers (1983–1987), and has been a color commentator for Cleveland Indians telecasts since 1990.Steve Hamilton (American football)
Steven Hamilton (born September 28, 1961) is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins. He played college football at East Carolina University and was drafted in the second round of the 1984 NFL Draft.Tommy Tedesco
Thomas J. Tedesco (July 3, 1930 – November 10, 1997) was an American guitarist and studio musician in Hollywood.Tedesco's playing credits include the theme from television's Bonanza, The Twilight Zone, Vic Mizzy's theme from Green Acres, M*A*S*H, Batman, and Elvis Presley's '68 Comeback Special. Tedesco was shown on-camera in a number of game and comedy shows, and played ex-con guitarist Tommy Marinucci, a member of Happy Kyne's Mirth-Makers, in the talk-show spoof Fernwood 2 Night.Triscuit
Triscuit is the brand name for snack crackers, made by Nabisco, which take the form of square baked whole wheat wafers. They were invented in 1900, a patent was granted in 1902, and the Shredded Wheat Company in Niagara Falls, New York, began production the next year.U.S. Route 62 Business (Niagara Falls, New York)
U.S. Route 62 Business (US 62 Business) is a business route of US 62 located within the city of Niagara Falls, New York, in the United States. It follows Pine Avenue through downtown Niagara Falls, spanning 2.12 miles (3.41 km) between New York State Route 104 (NY 104) at its western terminus and US 62 at its eastern extent. Although it runs in a mostly east–west direction, it is signed as a north–south route due to US 62 being signed north–south as well within New York.
Pine Avenue was originally designated as part of NY 34 in 1924. It then became part of NY 18 after it replaced NY 34 in 1930. US 62 was extended into New York c. 1932, overlapping with NY 18 between Dayton and Niagara Falls. NY 18 was truncated to Lewiston, a village north of the city, in the early 1960s, making US 62 the sole occupant of Pine Avenue. US 62 was shifted onto its current alignment through the city later in the decade, allowing Pine Avenue to become New York State Route 62A in the early 1970s. NY 62A was redesignated as US 62 Business in 2006.Whirlpool Rapids Bridge
The Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, commonly known as the Whirlpool Bridge or the Lower Steel Arch Bridge (before 1937), is a spandrel braced, riveted, two-hinged arch bridge. It crosses the international border between Canada and the United States, connecting the commercial downtown districts of Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York. This bridge is located approximately 1.5 kilometres (0.9 mi) north of the Rainbow Bridge and about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the Falls. It was acquired by the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission in January 1959.
|Climate data for (Niagara Falls International Airport), New York 1981–2010, extremes 1951–present|
|Record high °F (°C)||65
|Average high °F (°C)||32.1
|Daily mean °F (°C)||23.8
|Average low °F (°C)||15.4
|Record low °F (°C)||−16
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.56
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||23.6
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||19.2||14.4||13.7||12.8||12.8||11.2||10.8||9.8||10.7||12.2||14.0||17.1||158.7|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||15.0||11.7||7.7||2.4||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.2||3.9||11.9||52.8|
|Other major cities|
Municipalities and communities of Niagara County, New York, United States
‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties