Clearwater Reservoir – Buffalo NY


Clearwater Reservoir, located under what is now La Salle Park (formerly Centennial Park) along the shores of Lake Erie in Buffalo, New York, was a massive federal Work Progress Administration project completed in 1936. The project put thousands of local laborers to work.

The water supply reservoir was “roofed over with a concrete platform to provide a much needed auto parking space.”

Buffalo’s Courier Express discussed the dedication of the project on December 30, 1936, writing of the $1,000,000 project. Buffalo’s then-Mayor George J. Zimmermann stated: “With completion of this reservoir Buffalo’s water system will be equalled by no other city.” He declared the project to be “a vast improvement … to every Buffalonian.”

The paper continued: “The reservoir, completely buried, will become a portion of Centennial Park. It will have a capacity of 12,000,000 gallons of water for emergencies and will help feed the newly installed high-pressure fire lines … It replaces the olf Best Street reservoir, now being converted into Roesch Stadium [which was known by several other names over its lifetime]. Construction was started in November, 1935.”

Source notes

National Archives; Record Group 69: Records of the Work Projects Administration; Entry 755: "Best Project" Reports, 1940; Box 2; New York State.
National Archives and Records Administration, Negative 5276

"Walle of Reservoir Echo Words of Praise for WPA"; Buffalo Courier Express, Dec. 30, 1936 (page 1).

Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on August 10, 2014.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Buffalo, NY

Location notes: Part of what is now La Salle Park

Coordinates: 42.891754, -78.893780

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