Originally built in 1831 by Hezekiah Eldredge as the Bank of the Genesee, the facility at 201 East Main Street in Batavia is the only remaining example in Genesee County of a business establishment of the early 19th century. Besides being an architect, Hezekiah was instrumental in the development of the Erie Canal. He also built the Albany Land Office in Lockport, the United States Bank in Buffalo and large store buildings in both Buffalo and Rochester, as well as in Cleveland before his death in 1845. The Hon. Barber B. Conable Jr., a resident of nearby Alexander, was instrumental in getting the building listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
In 1886, the Batavia Club, a private men’s social club, leased and later bought the building and occupied it until the Club closed its doors in 2000. In 2002, the building was generously gifted to GO ART! by the Batavia Club Bondholders. The building now serves as GO ART!’s primary space for exhibits, meetings, workshops and small performances and lectures. It also provides administrative space to local arts and cultural groups, such as the Genesee Symphony Orchestra, Batavia Concert Band, Landmark Society of Genesee County and Batavia Players. The Batavia Society of Artists holds its monthly meetings and demonstrations in the Center.
Facility rentals are also available for individuals, nonprofit organizations and businesses for special events such as showers, holiday parties, fundraisers, workshops and meetings. For more information, please call GO ART! at 585-343-9313 or email us.
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE:
Recent rehabilitation work was completed in September of 2009 and was based on the recommendations of an Historic Structure Report, completed by Bero Architecture of Rochester, NY, with funding from former NYS Senator Mary Lou Rath. The report informed GO ART!’s planning and decision-making about the interior use of the building, ADA issues, and exterior repair and maintenance. Renovation completed through an EPF grant administered by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and matching funds from the community covered a wide range of work items, such as:
- Masonry repairs to chimneys, attic, walls and foundation to include providing ventilation;
- Repair of joists, exterior trim, baluster, cornice, siding, and stairs and removal of inappropriate features and hazardous materials, paint;
- Repairs to windows to include paint;
- Site work to include improvement to drainage, re-installation of disturbed asphalt and sidewalk;
- Install window wells at crawlspace windows and burglar bars on basement windows;
- Upgrade restroom to meet ADA compliance to include necessary electrical and plumbing work;
- Install carpeting in Main Gallery, stairway to second floor and second floor hallway;
- Construct picket fence around front perimeter;
- Handicap access ramp on west side.
The Rotary Club of Batavia generously helped to renovate a meeting room upstairs in our facility in 2012-13, with spectacular results:
In 2014, GO ART! was gratefully awarded grants from the Western New York Foundation and the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo for additional improvements, in line with the Historic Structure Report, including such items plumbing repair/replacement, boiler replacement, electrical upgrades and exterior signage.
Here at GO ART! we enjoy hosting a variety of private, public, and business-related events!
We offer space rental of our facility for big parties, gatherings, or occasions you are planning.