In 1926, the Hamburg drain, a major sewer line draining South Buffalo was built; as a result, the Commercial Slip, the Erie Canal's original western terminus, was filled in. Today the Commercial Slip has been restored: the redesign incorporates pieces of history, giving visitors an idea of its layout and function in the 1900s. The Slip remained buried until spring 1999, when archaeologists working on an Empire State Development (EDSI) plan to revitalize the area uncovered a number of stones from the Slip walls. The discovery of the stones from the Slip, and further discoveries including the abutment of a railroad bridge over the Slip at Prime Street, foundations of buildings along Lloyd Street, and additional sections of the Slip wall, sparked a four-year public debate. Preservationists, archaeologists, community groups and environmentalists each has their opinions of what should be done. After a series of rallies, conferences, studies and lawsuits, a new master plan, emphasizing Erie Canal History, was agreed upon. In October 2000, on the Erie Canal's 175th anniversary, then-Governor George Pataki annouced a plan to excavate and rewater the Commercial Slip. Construction of new Slip walls on the original site, using about 350 of the original stones, finally began in March 2006. The site, where you are now standing, opened to the public in the summer of 2008, memorializing the place where the canal that transformed America was officially opened. All images are courtesy of Flynn Battaglia Architects.