VESTAL, NY – The Vestal Museum building has found a new home, and will be moving across the street.
The historical center currently located in the parking lot of the Vestal Public Library, will relocate across the parkway adjacent to the Rail Trail.
A recent grant of $363,000 brings the project funding up to the roughly half million dollars needed for the move, all without local tax dollars.
Officials believe the new location will attract more visitors to the museum which is housed in a former train station.
Museum Director Cherese Rosales says the site will also allow the museum to apply for historic grants going forward.
Rosales says she’s relieved to finally be making the move.
“When I first embarked on the idea of moving the museum to the rail trail, when we thought ‘oh, this would be good for the community’, there were a lot of naysayers that it wasn’t going to happen. It was just sort of walking step by step, asking for grants, getting money, and then applying for the really large state grant that we received this year,” says Rosales.
Rosales says the new museum will be located about 100 yards east of the Coal House Cafe, seen by many as the gateway to the Rail Trail.
Vestal Town Supervisor John Schaffer says the museum will add to the vitality that already exists along the trail.
“I think we’re going to triple or quadruple our attendance. We have a lot of people down there on a daily basis. It’s only grown bigger. There’s people from all over the county that come here and walk because it’s so safe and it’s flat. Then we have a hilly side. We give them a little bit of everything,” says Schaffer.
Schaffer says the museum will benefit from business at the Coal House and all the local races it puts on.