Sandstone Society will unveil Hall of Fame nominees on Oct. 10

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 September 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – The Medina Sandstone Society has been scouring New York looking at structures made of Medina sandstone. This picture shows the First Presbyterian Church in Albion.

MEDINA – They have been crisscrossing the region – and beyond – taking tours of prominent buildings made of Medina sandstone.

Jim Hancock, Dave Miller and John Slack are members of the Medina Sandstone Society. They also have been tasked by the group to work on developing a Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame.

Community members have suggested buildings for the inaugural list, and the trio of sandstone enthusiasts has gone exploring to see the sites.

Hancock said the trips have been fun, and validated his belief that Medina sandstone sites are exceptional, withstanding years of harsh upstate New York winters and scorching summers.

“It is absolutely astounding when you discover the thousands of great buildings of Medina sandstone that still exist in excellent condition,” Miller said.

The Hall of Fame Committee will present the list of nominees on Oct. 10 during a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. at Medina Theatre, a sandstone building on Main Street.

That list will likely be pared down to five to seven sites in the first HOF class. The inaugural class will be voted on by the Sandstone Society board of directors.

Hancock and Miller said the first class will likely be announced in November. Photos and descriptions of the sites will go in a temporary home for the Hall of Fame. That site has not been disclosed.

A permanent home also hasn’t been picked, but Hancock favors the mostly vacant Bent’s Opera House on Main Street. The Orleans Renaissance Group is working to restore the site.

The Sandstone Society on Oct. 10 will announce the list of HOF nominees on the Medina Theatre’s large screen. The Oct. 10 event will also serve as a “thank you” to patrons who have supported Sandstone Society projects in 2013.

Hancock expects the Hall of Fame will become an annual tradition, with a new class inducted every year. He said there are numerous sites that are worthy of induction.

“It’s going to be tough to narrow them down,” Hancock said about the first class of inductees. “If they don’t make it into the Hall this year, there’s always next year.”