Niagara Falls (/naɪˈæɡrə/ ny-AG-ra) is a city in Niagara County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 50,193, down from the 55,593 recorded in the 2000 census. It is across the Niagara River from the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario, with both cities named after the famed Niagara Falls which they share. It is part of the Buffalo–Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Western New York region.
Before Europeans entered the area, the area was dominated by the Neutral Nation of Native Americans. European migration into the area began in the 17th century. The first recorded European to visit the area was Frenchman Robert de la Salle, accompanied by Belgian priest Louis Hennepin, who was the first known European to see the falls. The influx of newcomers may have been a catalyst for already hostile native tribes to turn to open warfare in competition for the fur trade.
The economy for the city was originally based around the Falls itself, or at least the power generated by the massive waterfall. This cheap and abundant source of power was the driving force behind the rapid rise of area industry. Around the turn of the 20th century, thousands of immigrants from predominantly European nations such as Italy and Poland came to the area to work the chemical, steel, and manufacturing plants owned by present-day companies such as Occidental.
Places of interest
The city is home to the Niagara Falls State Park. The park has several attractions, including
- Cave of the Winds
- Maid of the Mist
- Prospect Point and its observation tower
- The falls are illuminated each night, and fireworks are fired from the Canadian side each week during the tourist season.
- Niagara Discovery Center (Also known as the Schoellkopf Center)
- Aquarium of Niagara
Little Italy is an area full of restaurants, bakeries, and pizzerias extending along Pine Avenue. It historically was the home to a large Italian-American population. Italian Americans built such institutions as St. Joseph's Church
, the Cristoforo Colombo Society (1903) and Colombus Square Park. The park serves as the center of Italian culture with its bocce courts, summer concerts and the Italian Festival. Former Council Chairman Sam Fruscione produces a weekly Public-access television cable TV show promoting Little Italy Niagara
The city has two newspapers, the Niagara Gazette, which is published daily except Tuesday, and the Niagara Falls Reporter, which is published weekly. The Buffalo News is the closest major newspaper in the area and once had a Niagara County, NY bureau that extensively covered Niagara Falls and its surrounding communities. It still covers the community with a variety of reporters on a part-time basis.