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Rumsey Shelter House restoration kicks off

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Thu, Sep 20th 2018 02:30 pm
Alan Bozer, Joel Feroleto, Carol Sampson, Stephanie Crockatt and Kevin Murphy are pictured next to a newly planted Kousa dogwood tree commemorating the groundbreaking of the Rumsey Shelter restoration.
Alan Bozer, Joel Feroleto, Carol Sampson, Stephanie Crockatt and Kevin Murphy are pictured next to a newly planted Kousa dogwood tree commemorating the groundbreaking of the Rumsey Shelter restoration.
Funds from Bank of America and Greenway Fund enable Delaware Park shelter restoration
Officials from the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, joined by Bank of America, The Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund and several dignitaries, kicked off restoration of the historic Rumsey Shelter House on Thursday. A $250,000 grant from Bank of America to the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, the first nonprofit organization in the nation to both steward and maintain an historic urban park system, was matched by The Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund allowing for completion of the restoration of the Rumsey Shelter in Delaware Park.
Renovations are expected to be complete by the spring of 2019.
"This year, we have celebrated 150 years since Fredrick Law Olmsted began creating his vision of a park and parkway system in Buffalo," said Stephanie Crockatt, executive director, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. "Grants like these are exactly the type of support our organization needs to ensure that public amenities such as the Rumsey Shelter House are brought back to their glory. Olmsted parks serve the entire population of Buffalo and the Western New York region year-round, and as such, keeping up with necessary upgrades and restorations is an expensive essential."
The Rumsey Shelter, located at the Delaware Park entrance just off the intersection of Delaware Avenue and Rumsey Road, has long been vacant. The historic building once offered a comfort station, with bathrooms and a small main room featuring a fireplace. Park users would come to the shelter to take a break from jogging, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on nearby trails. Most of the original interior tilework remains, as do the original windows and interior doors. The fireplace remains, although the mantel shelf is missing and will be reconstructed in the proposed restoration/renovation project). The reconstruction of the mantel shelf will be based on the original construction drawings, which survive in the City Hall archives.
"Bank of America is honored to help advance the community's growth and provide increased access to beautiful, green open space in recognition of the Olmsted Park System's 150th anniversary," said Kevin Murphy, Buffalo market president for Bank of America. Parks are a critical component of the urban culture in Buffalo, and we applaud the Conservancy's efforts in restoring this historic shelter in Delaware Park."
The Rumsey Shelter House was built in 1935 as a replacement for the 1900 shelter house that was demolished for the Depression-era public works project to widen Delaware Avenue between Forest Avenue and Nottingham Terrace. The road project included the reconstruction of the park road bridge over Delaware Avenue, and both the road and shelter were paid for by the Works Progress Administration of the federal government.
"The Buffalo & Erie County Greenway Fund seeks to enhance the look and feel of the region by improving bicycle and walking trails, park amenities, and canoe, kayak and rowing access," said Alan Bozer, chairman of the Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee, BOPC trustee and partner at Philips Lytle LLC. "The standing committee is proud to partner with Bank of America and the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy to ensure that this park amenity is restored to its original glory and is available for all park users to enjoy."
On behalf of the City of Buffalo, I would to thank Bank of America and The Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund for this significant contribution to restore the Rumsey Shelter House and the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy for their commitment and stewardship of our historic park system," said Buffalo Councilman Joel Feroleto. "This restoration effort will benefit all users of Delaware Park for generations to come."
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy published its master plan in 2008 - "The Plan for the 21st Century" - which directs funding priorities of projects across the Olmsted Park system. The rehabilitation of Rumsey Shelter is one of those identified projects. Rest shelters are a key park amenity for public use, and so far the Conservancy has restored similar facilities in MLK Jr. Park and most recently in Cazenovia Park.
To learn more about supporting the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy in this 150th celebration year, contact Catie Stephenson, development officer, at 716-838-1249, ext. 22, or [email protected].
About Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is the first nonprofit organization in the nation to manage and operate an entire urban park system. Designed by American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the 850-acre park system began in 1868 and became the first of its kind in the nation. Today, more than 2.5 million people freely use Buffalo's historic, award-winning Olmsted Parks annually for recreation, relaxation and rejuvenation.
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is a membership-based, nonprofit community organization whose mission is to promote, preserve, restore, enhance and maintain the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks and parkways in the greater Buffalo area for current and future generations.
The Buffalo Olmsted Park System includes:
  • Six parks: Cazenovia Park, Delaware Park, Front Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Park, Riverside Park and South Park
  • Seven parkways: Bidwell, Chapin, Lincoln, McKinley, Porter, Red Jacket and Richmond
  • Eight landscaped traffic circles: Agassiz, Colonial, Ferry, Gates, McClellan, McKinley, Soldiers and Symphony
Members of the Bank of America team stand in front of the Rumsey Shelter, which will be restored thanks to a grant from Bank of America with matching funds provided by the Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund

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