1825 Packet Boat Replica to be Built at Canalside

Buffalo Maritime Center is so happy to announce that the Erie Canal Packet Boat project we have all been talking about for so long is happening!

Today, Governor Cuomo announced a $24 million investment to support three new projects as part of Buffalo’s Waterfront Transformation and our Packet Boat was part of this. The state has committed $4 million to construct a new facility on Canalside to build a replica of Gov. DeWitt Clinton’s 1825 Erie Canal Packet Boat. We are grateful to enjoy the generous support, and partnership of Governor Cuomo and ESD.

Private donors and BMC supporters, David and Joan Rogers launched this longstanding idea forward to becoming a real boat with a wonderfully generous gift of $325,000. Additionally, Assemblyman Sean Ryan also designated $250,000 toward this project.

BMC’s project to build a replica of DeWitt Clinton’s 73′ packet boat at Canalside provides Buffalo, and the whole State of New York, with an opportunity to celebrate the Bicentennial of the Erie Canal, one of America’s greatest and most transformative achievements. We look forward to continuing these partnerships and expanding to include the broader public as we call for volunteers to get this boat built!

A $4 million investment announced by the Governor will allow for construction of the “Longshed,” a 4,000-square-foot, year-round facility that the replica vessel will be built in. Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, a subsidiary of Empire State Development, and Buffalo Maritime Center will collaborate to create the replica of Governor DeWitt Clinton’s 1825 Erie Canal Packet Boatand construct the vessel at Canalside. Once complete, the packet boat will be berthed in the Commercial Slip, and the Buffalo Maritime Center will develop a full range of tourism opportunities and programming including rides, tours, dinners, and lectures. It is also expected to tour sections of the Canal system once a year.

The Longshed would appear as a wooden barn structure, emulating what was there when the Erie Canal was being built (i.e., evoking the former Newman & Scovill Groceries and Ship Chandlers store that was once there). It will be located on the dock corner of Prime and Lloyd (across Commercial Slip from the Naval Park building). The finished building will be flexible space to support year-round occupancy and allow maximum visitation and educational programming, including opportunities related to the site’s history. Photos of a packet boat are available here.