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Model City, New York facts for kids

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Model City is a hamlet in the town of Lewiston in Niagara County, New York, United States.

It was conceived as an urban utopia by an ambitious entrepreneur named William T. Love in the 1890s. He planned it to be "The most beautiful [park] in the world" and planned housing for more than 1 million people and a canal and hydroelectric plant. Love promised in his advertising pamphlets that the city would be free of smog-filled skies, that the land would be beautifully landscaped, housing and quality of life would be a cut above even the loveliest urban environments. However, his plans were never realized, and amid the panic of 1894 his investors backed out. He went on to manage an Ontario gold mine a few years later, leaving his projects idle. He had only built a few streets before he became bankrupt.

Ironically, despite its environmentally-friendly conception Model City is now home to an enormous landfill owned by Waste Management.

Relation to Love Canal

The name of Love Canal came from the name of William T. Love. His "Love's Canal", which would connect the two levels of the Niagara River, would be the basis for this booming Model City. It would be a shipping lane. He became bankrupt after digging only 4,600 feet of his canal, this segment of which was within the present-day city of Niagara Falls, New York. He had also constructed a few streets, which would lead him further into bankruptcy.

This same canal, after being used as a toxic waste dump and holding more than 20,000 tons of chemical waste, had a school and a neighborhood built on top of it. It subsequently became America's worst environmental disaster.

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