April 9, 2006
1. Francis Caraccilo, President of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Foundation, reports that the Foundation is ready and willing to assume ownership of the Farmington meetinghouse on an interim basis, while we dismantle and document the building and look for a final home for it. As a not-for-profit, 501c3 organization, the Foundation has a track record in dealing with a historic buildings. In the early 1980s, the Stanton Foundation purchased the Elizabeth Cady Stanton house in Seneca Falls and donated it to Women's Rights National Historical Park.
2. Jack Waite, a nationally-known preservation architect, has agreed to work with us on dismantling, documenting, and reconstructing the Farmington meetinghouse. In addition to his work on such premier buildings as Mt. Vernon and the Tweed Courthouse, Mr. Waite brings a particularly appropriate expertise for the Farmington meetinghouse. He worked on a prize-winning project to dismantle and document a Chinese temple and reconstruct it for the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, using techniques similar to those that he will be using for the Farmington meetinghouse. (For more information, see
Within the next several days, we will be working with the current owner, who has been so helpful in working with us and has agreed to donate this building, so that we can move forward with plans to move it into the hands of the Stanton Foundation, hire a contractor, and begin documenting and dismantling the meetinghouse. The Farmington Town Board has requested that work begin by May 3 and be completed by June 3.
What we need:
1. Interim storage area. Thanks to the work of the Rochester and Monroe County Freedom Trail and others, we have a couple of possibilities for places where this building might be stored before it is reconstructed. We can use either of these, but neither is perfect. The ideal location would be a secure enclosed area at least 100 feet x 100 feet, where we might spread the pieces of the meetinghouse out. There, careful drawings would be made according to Historic American Building survey specifications. Parts of the building would be partially reconstructed in this space, much like a giant 3-D puzzle, before the entire structure was finally rebuilt outside. If you know of a warehouse, empty strip mall, or similar spot where we might house the pieces of the meetinghouse while work is being done, please let us know ASAP.
2. Money. We need $35,000 within the next two or three months. We currently have $13,200 ($8200 in private donations, plus $5000 from Heritage New York's Women's History Trail). Many, many thanks to these donors!
We have requested a member item through Senator Nozzolio to help with the cost of this work. Because of the pressure of time, the actual dismantling will need to be done before we know whether this member item will be available, and--if available--before we have access to it. So we are trying to raise through private donations and immediate grants the estimated $35,000 that we will actually need to dismantle the building, restore the site to a level field, and pay the architect's fees.
Your help at this time is critically needed. If you can donate to this fund, even a small amount, you will be making a contribution for that will last far beyond our generation. Please send tax-deductible donations to:
Rochester Friends Meeting
84 Scio Street
Rochester, New York 14604
Attn: Paul Michaloski
1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse Fund
If Senator Nozzolio's member item does come through, we will apply this, as originally proposed, to documenting the building and preparing to rebuild it in its final location.
The Farmington Town Board will hold a public hearing on this building on Tuesday, April 11, at 7:00 at the Town Hall. All are welcome to attend.
Stay tuned for continuing reports! Thanks to everyone for all your continuing support. With your help, this building will stand for the ages, a continuing testament to the power of ideals of equality and justice for all people.
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