Modified: April 1, 2018 11:56am

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The Erie County Department of Public Works (“ECDPW”) has announced an Ambitious plan to expand the Edward A. Rath county office building to add not only needed office space primarily but also an accessible rooftop area with amenities and modern transportation options. The robust plan, which calls for adding ten floors to the existing building to increase office space, will also

include a rooftop observation deck with a restaurant, walkable green garden areas and plantings, and a light helipad that can be expanded and converted as transportation needs and means change.


“Finally, the work scheduled to be done here at the Rath building is ready to start and will bring the seat of Erie County government into the 21st century. By adding floors we are adding an opportunity to bring other county employees and offices here downtown, increasing efficiencies, saving costs, and bringing a less-stressful atmosphere for employees as well as for thousands of visitors. However, as the Drifters sang back in 1962, the best place to be will be up on the roof,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “We will have unparalleled views from the 26th floor rooftop gardens, with an observation deck and small restaurant, an area for private parties, and much more. In addition, there are over 750,000 square feet of space up there, so we will be installing a convertible helipad for emergency travel that will be suitable for travel needs now and well into the future. This is a forward thinking project that will convert the stodgy Rath building into a contemporary, attractive destination.”


The addition of a helipad gives county leaders the ability to respond to emergencies in a quicker manner and to be anywhere in the county within a matter of minutes. While the pad will be used for helicopter travel for the foreseeable future, the capacity to accommodate self-flying vehicles or even light space ships in the future will also be built into the rooftop travel center. A potential partnership with Tesla Space X is being explored to accelerate the transition as well as add new vehicles to the county’s existing galactic force.


To honor former Erie County Executives, certain public areas of the new #RathRooftop will bear their names and likenesses. “Imagine walking through the gorgeous Gorski Gardens and stopping to enjoy some cool shade in the Tutuska Tiki Hut. Guests can enjoy a stroll on the Rooftop Rath Path and a great meal at Ned & Ed’s Rooftop Restaurant, take time for a workout in the Giambra Gym, or for people who just want to get away from the crowds and be alone there’s the Collins Quiet Cubicle,” said Poloncarz. “This will allow us to remember our former county executives in an appropriate way every day and let them be a part of the new rooftop experience as well.”


The envisioned #RathRooftop will incorporate green principles by capturing rainwater and preventing runoff by using it to water the gardens. Other green features will include solar pathway stones that light up at night, solar charging stations for electronics and flying vehicles, and a solar-powered high-speed elevator to bring visitors to the roof. The observation deck will have commanding views of Lake Erie and the downtown area, enhanced with high-powered telescopes for stargazing, while the addition of a restaurant will bring fine dining to new heights in downtown Buffalo.



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