From its beginnings as a bright idea in the Design Department at Buffalo State College, to its present status as an independent not-for-profit, the Buffalo Maritime Center (BMC) has played - and continues to play - a central role in elevating awareness and appreciation of Western New York’s rich maritime heritage.

The Buffalo Maritime Center had its origins just over three decades ago as a creative experiment for teaching 3-D design at Buffalo State College called the Center for Watercraft Studies. From a design point of view, there are few objects better than a boat for studying and exploring form and function and human culture. The Center for Watercraft Studies offered an introductory course in Wood Design and taught eleven female students how to build a wooden kayak. We began collecting and restoring important local boats, and in several cases constructed full sized replicas of lost vessels. Over the years, the Center for Watercraft Studies evolved into what we know today as the Buffalo Maritime Center.

Through our youth and adult programs in hands-on learning, our historical research, and our wide range of boatbuilding projects, the BMC has become a leading advocate for the revival and recapture of Buffalo’s waterfront and waterways. Over the years, we have met an endless supply of talented, energetic men and women from all walks of life, many of whom have stayed on as permanent volunteers.

From the beginning, it has been our goal to engage as many members of the community as possible. We welcome your involvement and, of course, your support.