By Derek M. Otto
In the fall of 2015, the Concord Historical Society began its campaign and construction of the Heritage Building addition to the Concord Mercantile Building. The Heritage Building concept came out of the need for additional space for collection and entertainment space that quickly filled up in the Mercantile Building and a place to permanently display Great Race items.
The expected cost of the building is to be about $200,000. The structure is to be a 40-by-40 feet addition that will house storage, permanent displays of Springville Main Street 1920-1960, including Joylan Theater, Leland House, Schuster Garage and Kuhn’s Drugs, plus many more as the street develops. The space is also intended to provide a place for the Mercantile Musicians to play in the winter months.
Amazingly, within several months, the shell of the building and its roof were constructed. In the summer of 2016, wiring, insulation, framing drywall and the beginning of Main Street Springville 1920 started taking shape. Most of the work was done by two of the historical society’s trustees, Joel Maul and Don Tober.
Over the winter of 2016, drywall was taped and mudded, primed and painting begun. Don Tober stayed north and completed most of the trim in the upper floor of the building. Many helpers have come along to help. The Mahl family has been doing a lot for the Schuster garage display for the most part and Tom Irish has started a mural of the Great Race map.
“It’s truly starting to take shape. However, more needs to be done; we still need about $60,000 and more volunteers to get the building done before November 2017,” says Joel Maul, project chair.
If interested in donating or volunteering, please call the Lucy Bensley Center at (716)592-0094. There is also a Go Fund Me page set up for the project at https://www.gofundme.com/2d6ufz5g and all donations are tax exempt.
A chicken barbeque fundraiser is being held at the Concord Historical Society complex on Franklin Street on May 20. Tickets can be purchased from a society member or at the Mercantile just after the Pageant of Bands.