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Erie Canal/Mohawk River Lock E13 Living History Rest Area

Showing the history

Albany, New York

At a spot where you can walk from the Erie Canal to the NYS Thruway, we helped create the Living History Rest Area, a great place to stop that’s also in tune with the region’s history. The rest area is a replication of an early 20th Century canal terminal building with displays showcasing the canal’s history. But in an area known for floods, we had to make some special considerations.

Sensitive archaeological finds necessitated a relocation for the building and parking lots—changes that required us to prove that flood elevations wouldn’t increase as a result of the project.

We used concrete siding and hurricane-rated windows to protect against 100-year storms. All HVAC systems were installed on the mezzanine above the 500-year flood elevation, and we used waterproof construction materials throughout the first floor. But that led to another challenge.

The flood-proof materials didn’t originally look like a genuine Erie Canal terminal building. We used form liners for the cast-in-place concrete siding to mimic the fine woodgrain in the original dark gray clapboard. The first prototype wasn’t up to standard, but with some more work, we got it done. Now, visitors can experience the history of the Erie Canal in a convenient, comfortable rest location. 

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