Niagara Falls - Table of
Hyde Park Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY
The Planned Community of Echota, Niagara Falls, NY
Today, if you drive down Hyde Park Boulevard to Buffalo Avenue you may catch a glimpse of what was once a thriving community of fine houses, broad streets, stores, a school, a fire house and railroad station.
Echota, Cherokee for “Town of Refuge,” was the brainchild of the Niagara Development Company, part of the Niagara Falls Power Company. Having recently erected the Edward Dean Adams power station nearby, the company was looking for a place to build residences for its workers. Vacant land across Buffalo Avenue was chosen for the utopian community. It bordered Buffalo Avenue on the south, Niagara Street on the north, Sugar Street (now Hyde Park Blvd.) on the east and Gill Creek on the west. In light of a recent announcement [year?] that one of the original Echota houses may be torn down, here is a brief history of that Niagara Falls neighborhood.
Construction on Echota began in 1894. World-renowned architect Stanford White took on the task of planning and developing the new community. Homes were built as singles, duplexes or three and four unit row houses. They were in the Queen Anne and Georgian styles. Originally the houses were natural wood shingles with white trim, but in 1901 with the popularity of the color schemes used at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, the homes were painted in vibrant colors and soon became an attraction for travelers visiting the Falls.
In 1910, the Niagara Development Company sold Echota and the area gradually began to decline. In 1958, the New York State Power Authority moved some of the smaller houses out to a development off Military Road. Today, Echota is a shadow of what it once was, but it still holds reminders of its past glory.
Douglas Farley, Director
Erie Canal Discover Center
24 Church St.
Lockport NY 14094