190109 History Renovation 1
James Neiss/staff photographer
Niagara Falls, NY - Melissa Dunlap, executive director of the Niagara County Historical Society shows off plans for a $100k renovation project the will include interactive displays, orientation video of Niagara County historical sites, a new front foyer and more.
Time for a Change
The Victorian Parlor at the Outwater Building is gone after a good 63 year run. It was installed in 1955 when the museum opened for the first time in the Outwater House donated by Dr. Samuel Outwater. Outwater married Luella Scott and they inherited the house from her parents. The home was originally built by Windsor Trowbridge who had a brickyard in Lockport that was later purchased by Aaron Mossell. The red brick home was completed circa 1864.
Look for a new high tech orientation room that will be bright and cheery along with a light & bright front hall to welcome visitors to our site. We want our guests to know there are five buildings at this site, the Col. Bond House on Ontario St. and the Erie Canal Discovery Center at 24 Church St. all under our umbrella. This new space will have an orientation video highlighting the history of our sites and others around Niagara County. There will be a chronology (time line) that will highlight important dates of Niagara County. Hands on interactive exhibits will engage children and adults alike. There will be installations that lead tourists and visitors to other sites to visit in the county. The front hall will have new lighting, new brochure racks, and a better designed sign in desk.
How was this funded? We started with a matching grant from the Grigg Lewis Foundation and grants from the Oishei Foundation, the Oath Community Benefit Fund (formerly Yahoo!), the Niagara County Legislative grant, the Baird Foundation and an individual donation. Thank you to all of the grantors for supporting this change to update the museum and make it current.
We were able to initiate the entire project starting with the director, curator, collection’s committee, and Board of Directors deciding what artifacts and furnishings would be kept in storage, what would be moved to the Bond House, and what would be sent to auction. The entire room has been prepared for this new venture; from the repair of the large crack in the wall, to new floor coverings in the hall & orientation space, new paint, new seating, new lighting and then all the exhibit work. The exhibit case in the meeting room will also be updated. So you can see the progress when you stop in and we anticipate the new space opening before summer.