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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2014 Archives > January 2014 > Mayor Brown Welcomes Winter with the Return of Ice Skating at MLK Park

Mayor Brown Welcomes Winter with the Return of Ice Skating at MLK Park

For the first time in over fifty years, there’s free ice skating at the water basin at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park


January 6, 2014 – Buffalo skaters, enjoy!  That was Mayor Byron Brown’s message to city residents when he officially kicked off the return of free ice skating at MLK Park today.  The recent blast of subfreezing temperatures in Buffalo was just right to thicken the ice for skating. 


“This is an exciting day for all of us because, for the first time in over fifty years, there’s free skating at MLK Park,” said Mayor Brown of the latest recreational use of the city’s new $4.5 million water attraction.  “Today’s opening also serves as yet another great example of a successful public/private partnership.  The City of Buffalo and Olmsted Parks Conservancy worked closely, along with the support of BlueCross BlueShield and the Sabres Foundation, in collecting over 400 pairs of skates for skaters to use, free of charge.”


The ice rink will be open, weather permitting, from 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM Monday through Friday.  It will be open both Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5:30 PM, weather permitting.  A list of rules, posted at the entrance of the ice rink, includes the following:

  • Everyone must sign in to gain admittance
  • Skate with the flow of skaters
  • Children under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult


The new ice rink is part of the city’s new $4.5 million all-season water attraction that opened as a Splash Pad during the summer of 2013, and then a reflecting pool during the fall. Located in the heart of one of Buffalo’s historic parks, the ice rink is part of a larger plan for the MLK Park neighborhood that sets the groundwork to attract new residents and business owners who want to live, work and invest in Buffalo. 


Other projects, underway or completed since 2006, include:

  • $2.2 million Fillmore Avenue Streetscape Project is currently underway
  • $900,000 in roadway improvements have begun along a stretch of Humboldt Parkway
  • $800,000 MLK Park Shelter House Improvements (completed)
  • $350,000 MLK Park Picnic Shelter (completed)
  • $16 million St. Martin Village Project (completed)

 

MLK Park Ice Skating History


The present brick casino was constructed between the lily pond and the wading pool in 1926.  In 1956, the first of Buffalo’s refrigerated outdoor artificial ice rinks was constructed on the site of the lily basin.  The lily pool was partly filled and a wading pool was constructed at its eastern end.  The wading pool was partially filled, and transformed into a smaller circular concrete “spray pool”, while its grand dimensions and grassy banks were retained.