Stopped here recently to view the Erie Canal exhibit for the bicentennial of the canal. Although I enjoyed the exhibit which gives a good grounding in life along and on the canal through the ages the museum itself doesn't present an inviting welcome to visitors.
The museum building itself is an unappealing non-descript white box obviously intended to mimic the decaying Beech-nut factory building across the street and incongruously grafted onto the charming 18th century Dutch limestone styled library. The idea would have been much better aesthetically if the museum were physically separated from the library and connected via garden paths.
Within the museum the visitor is greeted with a charmless gray, white, and black expanse. The garden area so prominent in the photos is off limits from the street and only accessible from within with difficulty. Even on cloudy days the garden view is obscured by dark blinds that conceal the outdoors.
Adding to the disappointment were acres of white folding chairs obscuring what was intended to be a showpiece mural of the area landscape and hydrology.
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