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Officials say one Roycroft Campus building is in poor condition, needs repairs

Posted at 11:59 PM, Sep 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-07 15:07:47-04

Officials on the Roycroft Campus in East Aurora say one of its buildings is in poor, dilapidated condition.

The Roycroft Campus has four owners for its buildings, and this one is privately owned. What once was a shipping building in the early 1900s is now being held together by wooden support beams. The windows can be seen broken and popping out, original Roycroft bricks cracking and falling, and trees growing in the gutters.

"When guests come to the campus, they have no idea of all the individual owners on this campus, so when they see a building being propped up, they wonder, 'Is the money that I'm donating actually going to restoration and preservation projects?'" said Curt Maranto, Executive Director of the Roycroft Campus Corporation.

Maranto says he has serious concerns, not only about the building's aesthetics, but about the safety of the existing structure.

"It structurally looks unsafe," he said. "We have employees, we have tours, it's a general safety issue."

The Village of East Aurora has tried to take action against the property owner, but officials say after a 10 year legal battle, the owner of the building was fined a mere $25. Now the campus and the village are hoping the historic preservation commission will take a second look, and egg on the building's owner to make some changes.

"The Roycroft has spent millions of dollars to make this property a destination, and then you have this other property which looks like it's literally falling down," said Ernie Scheer, Village of East Aurora Trustee.

The Roycroft Campus Corporation invited the Historic Preservation Commission to the site Tuesday, but commission officials had little to say about the condition of the privately owned structure. Members of the commission did say at last check, the building was deemed structurally sound.

Commission officials say they will be discussing this item at the next meeting.