Longshed @ Canalside

One Marine Dr.


Hours: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Last admittance: 4:45pm
Photography and filming permitted.
Wheelchair accessible: Yes, first floor.
Public Restrooms: Yes

Visitor Experience: The Buffalo Maritime Center is constructing a traditionally built, full-sized reproduction of the Erie Canal Boat “Seneca Chief,” at the Longshed to commemorate the Bicentennial of the Erie Canal happening in 2025. Once in the Longshed, visitors will see an exhibit dedicated to the history of the Erie Canal and interactive displays about this historical project on the mezzanine. Visitors will also be able to walk on the floor of the Longshed to see the construction up-close and talk with boatbuilders about the process to build this 73 foot-long vessel!

Building Description: The site at which the Longshed is located, at the corner of Prime and Lloyd Streets, is the former site of the Thaddeus Joy-George Webster warehouse. Erected in 1825, the Joy-Webster warehouse was the first building in the area we now call Canalside which is located at the terminus of the Erie Canal, the Commercial Slip. In 2019, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation obtained the necessary funding of five million dollars to build the Longshed and hired local HHL Architects to design it. Timberbuilt out of north Collins, NY, built the frame of the Longshed, and Savarino Companies outfitted the exterior and interior. Construction of the Longshed was completed for the Buffalo Maritime Center (BMC) to move in to begin building the Erie Canal Boat in October of 2020. The BMC is vacating the building in September of 2023, and the completed Erie Canal Boat, “Seneca Chief,” will exit the Longshed out the east side, through the garage door opening. The boat will then be lifted via crane into the Commercial Slip where it will become a floating exhibit and classroom which will travel up and down the Erie Canal. The Longshed has a gabled roof, vertical cedar interior, horizontal siding, and a heavy timber structure. In keeping with history, it is the shape of the original Joy-Webster warehouse and other canal loading/unloading buildings of that day. In the future, the Longshed is intended to be a multi-purpose use space of approximately 5,000 square feet. The first floor is a large open work area, 100’ X 44’, in which the Erie Canal Boat, “Seneca Chief,” is being built. To allow for lumber delivery and exiting of the finished boat, the east wall, made mostly of windows, is an overhead opening door. The south side of the building has sliding ‘barn’ glass door openings and overlooks the Canalside Great Lawn. The second floor is a mezzanine where visitors can watch the construction of the “Seneca Chief,” and in which Erie Canal history, currently provided by the Buffalo Harbor Museum, is displayed. This exhibit is expected to change yearly.