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Polly King Paintings on Display at Niagara Power Project

Lou Paonessa

March 31, 2008


LEWISTON—The New York Power Authority will mark the 50th anniversary of the start of construction of the Niagara Power Project with a special art exhibit at the Power Vista, the project’s admission-free visitors center. 

Seven paintings by the late Polly King, depicting various stages of the project’s construction, will be on display during the month of April. 

King, a native of Wheeling, W.Va., lived in Niagara Falls from 1927 until her death in 1993 at the age of 91. The massive construction effort inspired her paintings.

 “When I saw the first cut thru the earth, I was excited—the magnitude, the tremendous challenge of men struggling, of cutting through tons of earth digging deep into the dirt for power for light,” King wrote in a personal note displayed at the exhibit. “I felt I must try to capture the bigness, the effort, the struggle! No photograph could capture the colossal work!”

Major construction of the project began in March 1958 and involved as many as 11,700 workers. First power production occurred within three years, in January 1961, with completion of the project in October 1962.

The Power Vista, located at 5777 Lewiston Road, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features displays and interactive exhibits related to the production of electricity, energy efficiency and the area’s history, as well as spectacular views from the observation deck, 350 feet above the Niagara River Gorge.  

To obtain information pertaining to the Power Vista and to the variety of educational presentations available to all age groups throughout the year, visit or call 716-286-6661 or 866-NYPA-FUN.

About NYPA:

■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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