Historic preservation push on for Ken-Ton site

May 1, 2012 Updated May 1, 2012 at 7:23 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink

May 1, 2012 Updated May 1, 2012 at 7:23 AM EDT

The Kenmore-Tonawanda Municipal Building has moved one step closer to securing its place on the National Registry of Historic Places.

The effort received a major boost when U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand lobbied Paul Loether, National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks Program chief, to include the Delaware Avenue building in its registry. Securing such a designation would protect the building's future.

The quest to have the building on the national registry is one of several issues being championed by the area preservation community.

"The placement of this historically significant structure on the National Register will have the potential to greatly enhance tourism and economic activity in the surrounding area, further building upon the rich architectural heritage that Western New York is known for," Gillibrand wrote in her letter to Loether. "This important distinction will allow the Kenmore-Tonawanda community to support and celebrate preservation efforts, keeping this historic site a part of the area's heritage for generations to come."

Built in 1936, the Kenmore-Tonawanda Municipal Building was designed by famed architect E.B. Green in the art-deco style and was one of more than 250 structures in Western New York that was designed by Green. Currently that number has dwindled to 160 as a result of urban renewal and other development projects.

The building currently houses both the Town of Tonawanda and Village of Kenmore municipality offices.

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