Experience the great American adventure story of the Erie Canal! When the Erie Canal Museum opened its doors on October 25, 1962, it celebrated and preserved the life of the last remaining weighlock building in America. This Greek revival building stands as a monument to the Erie Canal’s transformative role in the history of the United States. Build a stronger connection to this history through interactive exhibits, narrative audio tracks, and original artifacts. Exhibits include a full-size replica canal boat, the history of Erie Canal commerce and communities, the award-winning Locktender's Garden, and the 1850 National Register Weighlock Building.
Admission to the Erie Canal Museum is free with a suggested donation of $5.
Visit: Erie Canal Museum, 318 Erie Blvd E, Syracuse, NY 13202-1106
Many people want to learn more about local and national history, and need an engaging and informative resource to do so. A visit to the Erie Canal Museum can help you feel a stronger connection to the history of New York and the nation. The Museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the the 1850 Weighlock Building, the last remaining structure of its kind, and to telling the incredible adventure story of the Erie Canal. Come aboard a full size replica canal boat. Explore life in a canal town. Put on a puppet show. Experience a part of history that played an imperative role in the growth and development of the United State.
The Museum is set up for a self-guided visit, which means you can take as long or as short a time as you want. We find that visits span from 30 minutes to two hours depending on the level of detail you want. Admission is free with a suggested donation of $5. At the Erie Canal Museum, you will find:
The Erie Canal Made New York, a permanent exhibit completed in 2015, that details the history and construction of the Canal, from earliest conception to the modern Barge Canal System. The exhibit features many remarkable images and artifacts from the ECM permanent collection.
The historic 1850 Weighlock Building, which contains on the first floor exhibits about the financing of the Canal, Weighmaster’s office, and Weigh Chamber that contains the Frank Buchanan Thomson, a full-size replica line boat that visitors can explore to learn about life for canal boat passengers and crew, as well as the raw materials and finished goods that traveled on the Canal. The second floor Weighlock Gallery is used for special exhibits that change throughout the year.
The Education Gallery, on the second floor, which contains little vignettes about life in a canal town, including a tavern, general store, and theatre.
The Children’s Nook, a special space for our youngest visitors, that has books about the Canal, traditional toys, historic clothing, and a puppet theater.
The Locktender’s Garden, a recreation of a Victorian-era Canalside garden, with plants authentic to the period. It was developed and is maintained by the Syracuse Garden Club.
The Erie Canal Museum also houses the Syracuse Heritage Area Visitor Center. Let our Visitor Services Associates help you navigate your Syracuse visit or answer your Erie Canal questions. There are eight parking spots for Museum visitors located in the New York State parking lot under the highway overpass with entrances on North State Street and on James Street. The spots are labeled “Visitor Center Parking.” Parking is also available on-street surrounding the Museum and in convenient nearby parking lots.