Weekly Feature



2012-10-18 / Local News

Historical Museum could receive national status

by PAUL OLCZAK
Editor


The Town of West Seneca has hired an architectural firm to assist in the process of applying for National Historic Landmark status for the West Seneca Historical Museum. The Town of West Seneca has hired an architectural firm to assist in the process of applying for National Historic Landmark status for the West Seneca Historical Museum. The West Seneca Historical Society Museum could be on its way to being designated as a National Historic Landmark.

The Town Board has hired Katie Comeau of Bero Architecture, PC to assist with filling out the necessary paperwork in the application process.

The museum is located at 919 Mill Road.

Town Historian Jim Pace said it would be the first building in town to receive such a designation. He also said the process was begun almost by accident.

Virginia Bartos, regional director for the National Register Unit of the New York State Department of Historic Preservation, happened to be it town for a visit, and marveled at how well the museum was preserved.

“I asked her if it would be eligible [to receive the distinction], and she said ‘absolutely,’” Pace said.

Since the building was originally part of Ebenezer’s settlements, that also makes it eligible to receive the status.

The application must first be approved by the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, hopefully sometime in March, said Pace. It then goes to the federal level.

“The process has begun and it’s looking good so far,” he said.

If it does eventually receive National Historic Landmark status, it will be eligible for grant opportunities. Pace believes the most difficult part of the whole process was convincing the Town Board to pony up the $4,000 to hire the architect. He said the actual application itself is “a daunting task” which requires the expertise of someone with an architectural, not just a historical background.

“I’m not an architect,” Pace said. “Applications like this are all Katie [Comeau] does.”

He also gave much thanks to the Town Board members for their decision to hire Comeau and her firm.

“It was very generous of [the board members] to begin the application process,” he said. “This prestigious recognition will put our building on the map historically, on both the state, and ultimately national level.”

The building has served as the Historical Museum for almost 60 years.

email: paulo@beenews.com

Return to top