551 South Transit Street
Lockport, NY 14094
Phone: (716) 434-4411
Fax: (716) 434-9649
Arts & Museums
Close to Lockport's historic Erie Canal district, this museum, a complex of historic buildings, features a comprehensive history of the region over the last two centuries. By constantly updating displays and tours, the museum includes everything from toys and medical memorabilia to a Victorian parlor and Civil War room. Among the buildings on the complex are: Pioneer and Transportation with the first air-conditioned car; Fire House with antique pumper; and Yates Farm Barn with blacksmith display and old sleds.
Step back in time and see what life was like in Amherst in the 19th century. This 35-acre historical park features twelve restored buildings, open for tours from April to mid-October. A large modern exhibit building has year-round displays on local history, along with antique radios, decorative arts and changing exhibits. The children's discovery room has hands-on exhibits, including a replica Erie Canal packet boat. The museum offers educational programs for youth, along with craft guilds, such as lace-making and Victorian dancing for adults. Annual festivals and events include a harvest festival, Scottish festival and a Victorian Christmas. -Christine Smyczynski
Located inside the Niagara County Community College, the NCCC Art Gallery is more of a canvas for students and alumni of this university. The works displayed here are mostly by amateurs and thereby have a freshness about them which is not ruled by the prevailing systems of artwork genres. You will come across some unique master pieces in paintings, sculpture and post-modernist artworks. Make sure you attend the interesting events and art shows held here. To know the schedule of the works displayed here, check the website.
This stately brick mansion was built in 1823 by James Van Horn, who had built the first gristmill in Newfane in 1811. The mansion has been owned by the Newfane Historical Society since 1987; the organization has been responsible for restoring the home to its original grandeur. Many interesting tales are associated with the mansion, which was rumored to be an Underground Railroad stop. Some believe that the ghost of Malinda Van Horn, who died in childbirth, once roamed the grounds, until her unmarked gave was eventually found. Costumed docents offer tours of the mansion Sunday afternoons. The mansion is also available for rental for special occasions. Candlelight tours are held in October and a Victorian holiday tour takes place in November. The mansion is closed in January. -Christine A. Smyczynski
Located in North Tonawanda between Buffalo and Niagara Falls, this is the only historic carousel factory in the nation. The museum opened in 1983 and is located within the original Allan Herschell Company factory, which began operating in 1916. A National Historic Site, the building is now divided into seven connected areas demonstrating such things as woodcarving, horse restoration, and two original carousels. The museum also sponsors programs including a summer Sunday series featuring youth theater, puppets, and magic. Check websites for varying dates.
Situated in a National Historic Site building in North Tonawanda, this center offers a series of rotating monthly exhibits in its three galleries. The center also features performance arts, lectures, video and film and instructional workshops for children and adults. A non-profit organization, the center tries to concentrate on the promotion of local artists and artisans. There is also a gift shop where you can purchase artwork and hand-crafted pieces. Admission is free but donations are gratefully accepted to help with day-to-day costs.
The North Tonawanda History Museum is housed in a three-story, 41,000-square-foot building which was acquired by the museum in early 2009. A work in progress, the museum will eventually feature a large event hall, reference library, welcome center, large gift shop, and more. The 1888 building was formerly the G. C. Murphy 5 & 10-cent store. The exhibits housed in the museum focus on the history, culture, and industry of North Tonawanda, as well as Erie Canal-related information, since the canal is only about a block away. The museum regularly offers special programs throughout the year. - Christine A. Smyczynski
This 1829 Pennsylvania-German style home was once the residence of Benjamin Long and his family, who came to this area from Lancaster County Pennsylvania in 1828. Mr. Long, who helped organize the town of Tonawanda, was a farmer, businessman and politician. The home, which is decorated in period style to reflect the lifestyle of a well-to-do family of the era, is constructed of hand-carved timber. Docents from the Historical Society of the Tonawandas lead you on a tour of the home, which is located on the banks of the historic Erie Canal. - Christine A. Smyczynski
This is the place to come if you want to know all about America's favorite powdered gelatin. In 1897, Mr. Pearle Bixby Wait developed the wiggly dessert in LeRoy, NY, and later sold the idea to Mr. Orator Woodward, who successfully promoted it. The museum has exhibits of gelatin products from all over the world, along with how Jell-O grew to be a popular dessert in this country. There is even a video showing commercials made about Jell-O gelatin and puddings, many featuring Bill Cosby who has been the Jell-O spokesperson since 1974. The museum’s gift shop has all sorts of Jell-O related merchandise, even a Jell-O mold to make a replica of a human brain. - Christine A. Smyczynski
This stone building, built in 1843 as a church meeting house, houses the collection of the Clarence Historical Society. Items include WWI and WWII artifacts, memorabilia from area churches and an automotive display, as the building once housed the local auto club. The technology wing, added in the mid-1990's, features the original red barn where Clarence resident, Wilson Greatbach, invented the implantable heart pacemaker in the 1950's. On the grounds of the museum is an 1825 log cabin, one of the oldest buildings in Clarence, which was moved here from the northern part of the town. – Christine A. Smyczynski
This one-of-a-kind museum, operated by the human service agency, People, Inc., focuses on how people with disabilities were treated throughout the ages. While the words moron, idiot and cretin are considered insults today, back in the 1800s these were acceptable medical terms to describe people with mental disabilities. Some exhibits explain early asylum care, as well as other negative aspects like forced sterilization of the "feeble-minded." Other exhibits focus on the positive changes that have taken place in the way those with disabilities are treated, such as programs like the Special Olympics. This museum hopes to advance the understanding and acceptance of those with disabilities. - Christine A. Smyczynski
Hailed for its world-class art collection by ArtNews, this prestigious gallery is located in University Heights less than one mile from The University at Buffalo's South Campus. The gallery, which features sculptures, paintings, drawings and other graphics media from the Second World War to the present day, has long been recognized as a top-drawer art space—both in the U.S. and around the world. Just as spectacular is the space itself, an award-winning building with two large floors of exhibit rooms, crowned by a sculpture atrium that seems to soar to the sky.