The county has spent more than $ 1 million to renovate and modernize the lobby of the Buffalo Convention Center. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News

Poloncarz said it was no longer necessary to rely heavily on the Niagara Falls name to bring tourists to Buffalo, as it was 20 years ago.

“We were on a bad trajectory as a community, but we are no longer, and we wanted to highlight that,” he said.

Work is expected to start on the front facade in the first quarter of next year and finish before the end of the year, he said.

Public Works Commissioner William Geary said before putting in place the steel framing of the convention center facade, crews would clean the building and make any necessary concrete repairs. The sides, which are more hidden, will also receive a touch-up paint.

Poloncarz also said he had spoken to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery about the possibility of adding murals to the rear of the convention center, which faces Pearl Street.

“We are looking at all the options, but the ones that we know won’t be very expensive,” he said.

The convention center has received significant sums of money each year to perform upgrades that keep America’s oldest convention center as viable as possible. The property has removed outdated fixtures from its bathrooms and main showroom, and just spent around $ 1.2 million to brighten up an outdated lobby, including eye-catching backlit wall panels.