Roycroft Renovation

June 25, 2013 Updated Jun 25, 2013 at 8:59 AM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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June 25, 2013 Updated Jun 25, 2013 at 8:59 AM EDT


East Aurora, N.Y. (WKBW) - The Roycroft Campus is full of history. It draws thousand of people to East Aurora each year.

"It got started in the middle 1890's. It was established for the printing industry and turned in to a whole lot more," Executive Director of the Roycroft Campus Corporation Christine Peters said.

It became a place where people came from all over the world to establish their arts. In the 1930's the campus shut its doors. The buildings were sold off and changed. Peters says in 2005, the Corporation bought two of the buildings, working to transform the campus back to what it used to be.

"The copper shop and the remains of the powerhouse. We began fundraising at that time and started to stabilizing the copper shop," Peters said.

There was about four million dollars spent on that project. Now, the corporation is doing even more with the help of grant money from the Department of Transportation.

"The grant will allow us to tear up all the asphalt and reintroduce some of the softscape, landscape," Peters said.

Beverly and Don Vidler own Vidler's Five and Dime Shop on Main Street. Vidler's has been open for 83 years and neighbors to the Roycroft Campus. They said these renovations to the Roycroft would bring people and money to the entire area.

"Type person that likes the Roycroft and history is the same person that likes our Main Street and our stores and just the sense of place East Aurora has," Beverly Vidler said.

Don Vidler had this to add.

"Roycroft a wonderful neighbors they direct people to go to Vidler's and vice versa," Don Vidler said.

Christine said there is one important aspect to this restoration project that can't be overlooked.

"The biggest benefit is unifying the campus once again. The Roycroft is a destination for people all over the world and we get over 150,000 people a year. They come here to see the history and the crafts, to take classes and purchase some of the items that the Roycroft Renaissance artists have made," Peters said.