Writer Chides Niagara Falls Commercialization
Editor’s Note: The following news story with a definite slant in writing style appeared in the Niagara Falls (N.Y.) Reporter:
New York State Parks Western Region Deputy Director Mark Thomas announced recently that the state is preparing to receive bids for “horseback riding, zip lines and rock climbing on the gorge wall” at the Niagara Falls State Park.
It may attract more tourists and add to longer stays and make more money for the business enterprise pretending to be a park.
Meantime, we often hear comments from the so-called Olmsted people who say such things as “We don’t want honky-tonk, like they have Canada.” Or “we did not support Wallenda tightrope walk for it lessened the grandeur of the falls.”
“If ‘wirewalks’ occur often, it cheapens the real attraction,” said Olmsted admirer, Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
We have not heard any objections from the Olmsted people about letting people climb the gorge wall or zip line across it.
It may be a rich subject for photo ops but there seems little doubt that Olmsted, who looked for the park to be a place of “pensive contemplation,” might have envisioned the wide array of things that would ruin the park for the seeker of such.
He warned enough against it.
But I would suggest he never imagined that, after they changed the park from his all-green, commercial-free “treasure of the world,” into a business enterprise, that men would still be using his name to advertise the park.