Broderick Park

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Broderick Park
Fishing is a popular activity at Broderick Park, a small riverfront park on Buffalo's West Side.
Broderick Park is located in New York
Broderick Park
Location of Broderick Park within New York State
TypeRegional park
Location1170 Niagara Street
Buffalo, NY 14213[1]
Nearest cityBuffalo, New York
Coordinates42°54′54″N 78°54′11″W / 42.9149°N 78.9031°W / 42.9149; -78.9031Coordinates: 42°54′54″N 78°54′11″W / 42.9149°N 78.9031°W / 42.9149; -78.9031
Operated byCity of Buffalo[2]
OpenAll year

Broderick Park is a park situated along the Niagara River in Buffalo, New York, United States.

Location and recreational opportunities[edit]

Broderick Park, following an elongated shape, is located on the southern tip of Unity Island between the Niagara River and the Black Rock Canal. The park overlooks the Canada–US border and is situated within view of the Peace Bridge, which links the State of New York with the Canadian Province of Ontario at Fort Erie.

Broderick Park offers recreational facilities for local residents and visitors. Under the Buffalo Micro Parks system within the City of Buffalo, contribution is made toward the maintenance and improvement of amenities.[3]

Historical significance to Underground Railroad[edit]

Given the park's proximity to Canada, it is historically important in that it served as a transit area for African-Americans heading for the border on the opposite side of the Niagara River from the park. The park occupies an area that once housed docks for the Black Rock Ferry, which is known to have transported fugitive slaves to Canada as part of the Underground Railroad.[4][5]

These activities were particularly precipitated by the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, which to some measure brought about the 'nationalizing' of some of the consequences of the slavery practiced in the Southern states, and hence the increased flow of African-Americans travelers seeking liberty in Canada. Ironically it was Buffalo's own Millard Fillmore who, as President of the United States, signed this measure into law. (See also: Millard Fillmore - Policies.)

After the American Civil War period and the Emancipation Proclamation, the Park ceased to have the same clandestine focus for traveling African-Americans.

Reenactments and commemorations[edit]

Reenactments and commemorations of Underground Railroad events have been regularly held at Broderick Park under the sponsorship of Buffalo Quarters Historical Society.[6] In 2010, Broderick Park was recognized by the U.S. National Park Service as a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site.[5][7]

Recent developments[edit]

Broderick Park — visibly close to the Peace Bridge — has sometimes been used as a backdrop to public meetings on subjects of law and administrative reform as they may relate to cross-border issues.[8]

In 2008, funding shortfalls led to an unsuccessful proposal calling for Broderick Park to be transferred from the City of Buffalo to the State of New York, to become part of a future state park.[9]

In 2012, plans were announced for a $1.5 million revitalization of the park, with plans for a new amphitheater, improved facilities, and a new memorial celebrating the park's involvement in the Underground Railroad.[10] The project commenced in 2013.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Broderick Park: Buffalo, New York". Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Mayor Brown Kicks Off Phase-One Broderick Park Revitalization Project With A Ceremonial Groundbreaking". City of Buffalo ( May 8, 2013. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  3. ^ Buffalo Micro Parks. "About Us". Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  4. ^ Cynthia Van Ness (March 25, 2012). "Underground Railroad Sites in Buffalo, NY". Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  5. ^ a b University at Buffalo Archaeological Survey. "Broderick Park: Underground Railroad Station in Buffalo, New York". Archived from the original on April 8, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  6. ^ Harold McNeil (July 25, 2000). "Memorial to freed slaves dedicated" (PDF). The Buffalo News. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  7. ^ "National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Listings" (PDF). National Park Service ( October 10, 2014. p. 5. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  8. ^ "Congressmen Lee & Higgins Unveil Common-Sense Reforms to Ease WHTI Implementation". March 27, 2009. Archived from the original on September 2, 2009. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  9. ^ "Buffalo's First State Park?". Buffalo Rising. February 10, 2008. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
  10. ^ Richard E. Baldwin (July 13, 2012). "Broderick Park to be revitalized into Underground Railroad walk". The Buffalo News ( Retrieved April 3, 2015.

External links[edit]