Updated: Oct 26, 2021
A Letter to the Rush Town Board:
The future and collaborative and operational models we envision
by both the Rush Historical Society and the Rush Town Board
Dear Supervisor Kusse and Rush Town Board members:
This letter is a formal confirmation of the Rush Historical Society’s interest in utilizing the 1911 House on the Town Hall property as a historic site for the preservation of Rush history. Each of you have already received our first proposal on 9.2.2020 (linked below), and this additional document is a follow-up to that proposal.
Rush is one of only two towns in Monroe County which do not have their own historic society site/exhibition space to accommodate promised items and display currently-owned items properly, yet we know from our 2018 Bicentennial Celebration how our town’s heritage is both rich and deep. It was through this Bicentennial Celebration that the Rush Historical Society was formed as a not-for-profit, chartered by the NYS Education Department and recognized as a 501[c] 3 by the IRS. We annually report to the NYS Education Department.
We propose an operating agreement, as other town historical societies have with their towns, in a public-private partnership that utilizes volunteers to manage town-owned homes. Susan Mee, Rush Town Historian, already holds many donations from Rush residents which would provide a permanent collection for the historic site we propose at the 1911 House, such as the organ in the Town Hall lobby. Ms. Mee also has pledges from other Rush residents of other local artifacts they plan to donate to the Society.
To aid in obtaining a site report from Bero Associates, RHS will pay $1,000 toward the costs of that report, paid directly to Bero Associates with the understanding that the report is shared with the Society and uses our criteria on page 7. This offer stands until March 15 for a commitment by RHS, Town Board and Bero to begin this assessment by March 30. The roof is leaking and this issue has been dodged for over a year.
Our long-term arrangement would be similar to the Avon Historical Society model and others.
RHS would provide insurance for the contents of historical items, and would have programs and visiting hours established and run by members and volunteers. The RHS would assist with submitting grants toward renovations and improvements. Bero and Associates list grant opportunities in their assessments which we have seen represented in their previous work.
RHS is not able to support the costs associated with long-term maintenance of the building and grounds, but this is an investment by RHS, Rush residents and the Town Government for current and future generations.
This is an investment in history for all residents of Rush – past, present and future. The ability to have changing exhibits and displays, much like our Library, and to provide programs and outreach to everyone, is critical to maintaining our unique perspective on the rural history of our region.
We are currently a small and newly-formed group engaged in our past history and preserving/archiving for future generations. Having a group of dedicated members and volunteers is an asset that will complement this building and encourage others to join and assist in the future. It is in the perfect location and is in an area designated by the charrette to invest in as a centerpiece for Rush. In the long term, this is a small financial commitment, but a hugely rewarding opportunity to promote and invest in our community -- and that encompasses far more than a building: it’s also preservation of both the vision and the rewarding memories of an entire community.
We propose that our RHS officers meet with representatives from your Board to discuss details for future consideration of the Rush Historical Society as managers of the 1911 House.
Sincerely, David Sluberski and Janet Cruz, Co-Presidents
May 7, 2021 - Bero Architecture produces a report on the 1911 house.