Imagine LaSalle

As we all cope with the public health crisis related to COVID-19, please know that the project partners will continue the work to transform the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park and maintain opportunities for meaningful community engagement. The next community update is tentatively scheduled for the fall of 2020. If concerns about public gatherings persist at that time, we will work to find innovative ways to communicate project updates and collect feedback from the community.


Transforming LaSalle Park into the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park

Summer and Fall 2018Discovering the Community's Vision

Discovering the Community’s Vision

Community-driven vision process summarized in the Community Vision Report.
$50 million gift announced for redesign of LaSalle Park!

Winter and Spring 2019Exploring Design Concepts Together

Exploring Design Concepts Together

Community workshops build off the vision by exploring conceptual designs together.

Start Summer 2019Designing the Details

Designing the Details

Conceptual designs are refined in detail and design materials are prepared for construction with ongoing input from the community.

Beyond 2019Transforming LaSalle Park into Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park

Transforming LaSalle Park into Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park

Through continued public collaboration, park construction will strategically minimize disruptions to existing park uses.

Thank you for your input at the March design update!

Over 100 members of the community came out to see the updated design for Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park and a new pedestrian bridge over I-190.

Participants heard from several parts of the project team, including the City of Buffalo Division of Parks and Recreation, park designer Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, bridge designer Schlaich Bergermann Partner, project manager Gardiner & Theobald, and project partner Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper. Attendees spent time exploring a large-scale model of the park’s updated design, talking with project partners about feedback, and providing written input on comment cards.

Digital versions of the meeting’s presentation, as well as a meeting summary including written public comments, are available to download below.

Download Meeting Summary and Comments (PDF)


Designing the Details – Past Workshops

March 2020 Design Update Materials

  • Kids got a chance to tell the design team what they liked about the playground area.

About the project

A Community Vision for Buffalo’s LaSalle Park

Parks are for everyone. Community voices from neighborhoods throughout the city and region will guide and shape a vision for LaSalle Park’s future. Whether you visit LaSalle Park on your daily run, or you stop by once a year for a big event, your opinions matter in defining a community vision for the park. Share your vision and let’s imagine LaSalle’s future together.



How does Buffalo Imagine LaSalle?

During the summer, 22 focus group members, 1,164 community members, and a team of local youth contributed their perspectives and ideas to help unveil how Buffalo sees the future of LaSalle Park. Watch the video below for a glimpse into this process.


Learn what the community imagines for LaSalle Park

Read the full Imagine LaSalle Community Vision Report to explore LaSalle’s history and current context, see how people use LaSalle Park now, learn what people like and want to change about the park, and discover the big ideas the community has for the park’s future.
Download Imagine LaSalle Community Vision Report (PDF)



Focus Group to Guide Planning

Imagine LaSalle has assembled a focus group to guide vision planning and serve as ambassadors to the community throughout the project. Focus group composition is designed to represent the diversity of voices and cultures that regularly use LaSalle Park.

Focus Group members will spend the summer of 2018 exploring LaSalle Park and looking at inspirational examples of parks in other US cities. The following people have volunteered their time to help envision LaSalle Park’s future as part of the focus group:

Tuona Batchelor, Buffalo Quarters Historical Society
Dominic Bonifacio, West Side Little League Baseball/Softball
Dan Brady, Columbus Park Neighborhood
Jamil Crews, Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals
Mateo & Amanda Escobar, West Side International Soccer
Lacy Folga, Fargo Estates Neighborhood Association
Melissa Fratello, Buffalo Audubon Society
JP Gillespie, Sunday Skateshop
Renato Graham, Lakeview Family Homes
Ibrahim Iftin, Somali Bantu Community Organization of Buffalo
Lian Thluhlawng, Chin Community of Buffalo
Daniel Leong, Karen Society of Buffalo
Kevin Lynch, The Barkyard
Frank Lysiak, Waterfront Village
Marnetta Malcolm, Rick James Memorial Funk Festival
Deb O’Shea, Lakefront Commons
Christine Seibert, D’Youville College
Dinorah Santos, Marine Drive Apartments / The Belle Center
Charles and Christian Torres, Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of WNY
George Williams, Pine Harbor Apartments

Imagine LaSalle is a community-driven initiative to guide the transformation of LaSalle Park into Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park. This effort is made possible through the generosity of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation in partnership with the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. The University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning and one of its research centers, the UB Regional Institute (UBRI), are managing this engagement process to ensure broad and meaningful community input shape the park’s future. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, a New York-based landscape architecture firm known worldwide for its creative and unique urban design with projects that include parks, plazas, cultural institutions, gardens and more, is leading the conceptual design of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park. The City of Buffalo is an active project partner represented by its Division of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Community Services and Recreational Programming, and the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning.

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