Senator Nozzolio Secures $250,000 For Seward House In Auburn

Michael F. Nozzolio

January 12, 2007


Auburn— New York State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio (R-Fayette) today announced that the historic Seward House in Auburn has been awarded a $250,000 State grant through the Empire State Development Corporation. The funding will be used to rehabilitate two buildings on the Seward property.

“Throughout my tenure in the State legislature, it has been one of my top priorities to ensure that the remarkable history that was made in our region is preserved, honored and celebrated now and in the years to come,” said Senator Nozzolio. “The phenomenal achievements of William Seward are an integral part of this history and it is an honor for me to help secure funding for this national historic landmark.”

Seward House, the historic home of William Henry Seward, is a historical museum attraction in the center of Auburn’s downtown business district. Seward House anchors the north end of Auburn’s “South Street Historic District” and was opened to the public in 1955. In the last five years, attendance has topped 10,000 visitors annually.

The funding will be used to preserve the museum’s 1860 stone carriage house and stable buildings that were designed by William Seward’s son. The grant will permit the Seward House to design an architectural restoration plan for the buildings and to replace the existing roofing systems. The design and roofing project is anticipated to be completed in 2007 and will allow the buildings to be utilized as programming and classroom space for schoolchildren and the general public.

“The Seward House is an integral part of Cayuga County’s cultural history.
Senator Nozzolio is to be applauded for securing this critically important funding which will help to preserve the Seward House for years to come,” said Assemblyman Gary Finch.

Peter Wisbey, Executive Director of the Seward House said, “These buildings are architecturally and historically important to the Seward House and can provide us with future space for our programming and educational activities. Their preservation now is crucial as we develop plans to grow and enhance the experiences of our adult and school visitors."

Last July, Senator Nozzolio toured the Seward House with then Governor George Pataki and Ray Messenger, the great-great grandson of William Seward. Senator Nozzolio credited Governor Pataki for his efforts to ensure Seward House received State funding for the program.
Seward House is a mixture of Federal and Tuscan-style architecture surrounded by two acres of garden and trees. The house has been a registered National Historic Landmark since 1964 and a "Save America's Treasures" site since 2000.
Seward House was owned and occupied by four generations of family members from 1816 to 1951. The museum's intact collection of furniture, household items, decorative arts, documents and photographs reflects use by four generations of the family. Included in Seward House's fine art collection are works by renowned artists Henry Inman, Thomas Cole, Chester Harding, Emanuel Leutze and Daniel Chester French.
“As a New York State Senator, I consider it a great privilege to be able to represent a region so unique in heritage and culture. The Seward House in Auburn is one of the most prominent attractions in our area and indeed one of the most significant. By investing in the Seward House, we will help to attract greater attention to this important site and help stimulate our local and regional economy, particularly our tourism industry, creating extraordinary benefits for our local businesses and residents," concluded Nozzolio.