What to Do About the Burchfield Nature and Art Center Building

The BNAC building in the heart of the Gardenville Historic District of West Seneca has been closed for needed structural restoration since January 2017. The West Seneca Town Board will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, March 5th, 6pm at the Community Center, 1300 Union Road to hear ideas about the future of the structure. Town residents will want to weigh-in on the importance of the building and whether it should be restored.

No other town in the area has a Nature and Art Center building that contains an art gallery, classroom and other available space to demonstrate the town’s dedication to art, nature and the community. From 2010 through 2016 it has grown in popularity throughout the Western New York area for its art shows, receptions, and meeting space for artists, such as woodcarvers, quilters, painters and yarn spinners as well as environmental groups, school groups and others.

The Center is a source of pride in the community. The art exhibits and park are a place to bring out of town visitors to show off a local treasure, and visitors are impressed. The BNAC has always welcomed everyone to its programs and activities and has served a diverse population. It is an asset to the business community attracting visitors whole providing local residents with a very special place to enjoy art and nature.

A forensic architect, Kenneth W. Pearl, R.A. evaluated the building and found it to have been improperly designed and constructed. In his summary report to the Town Board and the public on August 7, 2017 Mr. Pearl said the priority problem is wood stud walls placed on a wood bearing plate which are rotting from exposure to moisture. He also found a number of other problems with design and construction which he called secondary priorities. If the Town Board has a plan for restoring the building, grant monies may be found to cover the costs. The longer it takes to get started, the more it will cost as the structure continues to deteriorate.

Attend the public meeting on March 5th and encourage the Town Board to adopt a plan to restore the building and seek funding to make it happen.

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News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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