Cobblestone Museum presents preliminary plan for new visitor center

Courtesy of Cobblestone Museum: This rendering by Dean Architects of Depew shows a preliminary design for a new visitor center at the Cobblestone Museum.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 June 2017 at 10:43 am

GAINES – The Cobblestone Museum is investigating a possible new 3,000-square-foot visitor center. The building would be on Route 104, behind the Ward House, which is next to the Cobblestone Universalist Church.

The spot for the visitor center currently has bathrooms, and an old outhouse used for storage. Those buildings would be moved if the visitor center moves forward, perhaps being relocated to the cobblestone schoolhouse down the road, said Jim Bonafini, the museum’s president.

“We’re casting the vision,” Bonafini said on Wednesday during a museum a meeting supporters at the DAR House in Albion.

The visitor center would serve as the office for the museum, with bathrooms and public meeting space. There would also be room for exhibits and displays.

The museum would like to partner with the county and have the site be used as a county visitor center, helping to inform visitors on the busy Route 104 corridor of other attractions and businesses in the county, Bonafini said.

The county appreciates the museum’s efforts to boost marketing and its presence in the community, said Lynne Menz, the county’s tourism director.

County officials are looking at a visitor center, whether in a county-owned building or partnering with other entities. The discussion is in the early stages, a county official said.

The museum, meanwhile, wants to raise its profile in the community and region. It sees the cobblestone buildings, most built in the 1800s, as a unique resource in western and central New York, with the museum grounds the focal point. The Cobblestone Museum has been declared a National Historical landmark, the only site in the county with that distinction.

The museum has a new video to help introduce people to the historic site. Click here to see the video by Oh!Davidsen Creative.

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