Tonawanda News

October 27, 2013

NYPA set to honor 'hard hats' on Monday

Staff reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The New York Power Authority (NYPA) will recognize the Hard Hats of Niagara during an 11 a.m. ceremony on Monday at the Power Vista, the visitors center for the Niagara hydroelectric plant.

The occasion will also mark the 50th anniversary of the construction of the Power Vista and the attendance milestone of welcoming 7 million visitors since the facility first opened its doors in 1963.

At the event, representatives of NYPA senior management will honor the Hard Hats of Niagara — a group of former construction workers who built the power plant and the Power Vista — and join with the Hard Hats in welcoming several lucky visitors who will symbolically represent the 7 million visitors.

NYPA staff anticipated reaching this significant number in the fall and targeted Oct. 28, the first business day following its popular, well-attended Halloween event, as the date the milestone would be reached.

“This is a very special occasion for all of us who work at the Power Authority,” said Harry Francois, NYPA regional manager, Western New York. “The Power Vista was always intended to be NYPA’s anchor into the community of Lewiston and Western New York. Celebrating the 7 millionth visitor milestone gives us the sense that we have achieved our goal and inspires us to continue our contributions to Western New York’s energy and environmental education, recreation and tourism for many years to come.”

The Power Vista opened officially on July 16, 1963, and since July, visitors have been encouraged to commemorate the event with a message on a 50th anniversary greeting card at the visitors center, or by logging onto the NYPA website at The messages will be included in a Power Vista time capsule to be buried at the end of its 50th anniversary year, next July.

A special exhibit, “Walk through Time,” displayed on the Power Vista’s glass walkway, includes historic photos of the Power Vista from each decade during the past 50 years.

In addition to enjoying the more than 50 interactive exhibits and the spectacular views from 350 feet above the Niagara Gorge, visitors can also attend a number of community events at the Niagara Power Vista in the coming months including, Deck the Halls (Dec. 7) and the annual Festival of Trees (Dec. 1 through Jan. 4). Arrangements also can be made for the Power Vista staff to present a program on electricity and energy efficiency at schools and business/community events.

For more information, contact the NYPA’s Power Vista at 286-6661 or email