Updated: Jun 22
For nearly three years, Rush Historical Society (RHS) has been working diligently to secure use of the house on the corner of Rush-Scottsville and East Henrietta Road. It is referred to as “The 1911 Corner House,” as the house number is 1911. RHS was formed as the result of interest in the Rush’s rich history following the town’s Bicentennial Celebration in 2018. At that time, a group of dedicated residents worked with Rush Town Historian Sue Mee to plan a year-long celebration. One of the many results of that celebration was the formation of the Rush Historical Society.
After securing non-profit status, RHS focused on the need for a permanent display location for the wealth of artifacts collected by the town over the years. Currently, they are stored in the history room on the 2nd floor of the Rush Town Hall. Residents must make an appointment to see them, and they are not currently displayed in a manner that is conducive to viewing.
RHS also recognized the benefit of having a space in which regularly-scheduled programs could be conducted for residents, local school children, community groups and partners, as well as providing space for historical research. In late 2019, the group began exploring use of the vacant, town-owned 1911 corner house as a home for the Rush Historical Society. Subsequently the RHS Board flushed out ideas and submitted a proposal requesting use of the house to the Rush Town Board; they were the only organization which submitted a proposed plan for use of this location. In the spring of 2021, the Town Board requested a feasibility study of the house to determine if it was indeed usable. They contracted Bero Architecture PLLC to complete a feasibility study, which found that the house needed some repairs, the most imminent of which was a new roof in order to preserve the building. For the most part, however, the building was in sound condition. In Fall 2021, a new roof was put on the building.
RHS has continued to work diligently with the Town Board to bring this project to fruition. In Summer 2022, Bero Architecture worked with the RHS to create a master design plan. At the December 14, 2022 Rush Town Board meeting, Town Historian Sue Mee, RHS Co-President Dave Sluberski, and Bero Architects Senior Project Manager Richard Osgood presented options to the Town Board.
These plans include preserving a town asset, meeting a goal/recommendation of the Rush town charrette, and providing the community with a space in which to preserve and share with others the rich history of Rush. The plan focuses on renovating the 1911 corner house into a beautiful municipal building as a source of community pride and a center of easily accessible town history.
After much discussion, the Town Board agreed on one of the options, with the understanding that RHS would pursue grants to help offset cost of the renovations.
RHS is pleased, and the Rush Town Board sees the potential in the 1911 corner house. These two organizations are working together to provide this asset for our community. It is an understatement to say that this is an exciting project for showcasing the rich history of our town!