LITTLE VALLEY - For several months, the former Cattaraugus County museum building has been the topic of conversation, especially after approval by the legislature to spend $125,000 of the casino revenue windfall to bring it down. Now, those that have concerns and questions about the building have a place on the Web to go to find out just what the problem is with the building.
Since the approval of casino funds in October descendents of the New York 154th Volunteer Infantry, the Hardtack Regiment, have flooded the inboxes and mailboxes of all 21 legislators, expressing their concern for the building, since it was dedicated to the memory of the Civil War veterans of Cattaraugus County that lost their lives in combat.
The new Web page is a place for concerned preservationists to go to take a look at the state of the building, to include documents form the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation received on June 14, 2013, that shows that there is no historic significance in the building, due to the constant changes that had been made over time.
A historic narrative of the structure details the continual expenditures in the facility to try to keep it up to date and in a state of moderate repair, to keep the doors open at the Cattaraugus County Museum. The movement of museum operations to the oldest building in Cattaraugus County, The Stone House, in Machias, in 2004. It was at this point that repairs and funding to the building was strictly to keep the facility operational to the point of sustaining the utilities that are housed in the basement for the Board of Elections building, next door. With that facility no longer in use, the plans for demolition that were established in 2004 were revised and moved forward.
Mansfield historian, Sue Cross, told the members of the Economic Development, Tourism and Planning Committee that the time has come to let go of the building.
"As a historian, I have a concern for the building as well, but some things you can save, others you cannot," she said. "Let's do a story for our new website. This building is something we cannot save."
Cross proposed an idea of compiling all of the servicemen that have lost their lives in all wars since Cattaraugus County has existed.
"If you want to go to a World War II memorial, you have to go here. For a Vietnam wall, you have to go there," she said. "Let's put them all in one area. Let's bring it together in that piece of land."
To view the Web page, pictures and documents, go to www.cattco.org. The link to the page will be toward the top. As more information comes in to the site, the page link will be pushed down.