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Buffalo, NY 14203

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Niagara Arts and Cultural Center
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Project Synopsis

Clinton Brown Company Architecture has been committed to the restoration and redevelopment of the former High School since 2000 and aided in the completion of several phases of projects to restore the Center and is currently providing design services for new entranceways. The current phase is set the include the restoration of the historic driveway and to create accessible entrances to the facility.

This former High School is architecturally and historically significant, but after becoming outdated as a school, the building required a new use.

Built in 1923-1924 to the design of William B. Ittner, of St. Louis, MO, and Simon Larke and C.F. Obenhack of Architectural Associates, the building is situated in a densely built residential, commercial and institutional neighborhood. This Classical Revival style former high school is notable as an intact example of standardized school design of the period. As one architectural guide noted, “The imposing design provided for every modern, educational convenience known to the era.” The building is three-story with concrete and steel structure, cut stone and masonry façade, and classically inspired details.

After being slated for demolition the building was saved by Save Our Sites in Niagara Falls, Inc. The new use for the former school is Niagara Arts and Cultural Center which is home to more than 75 artists and arts groups. In addition to its artists in residence, the NACC is also home to two theaters, two art galleries, an interactive children’s center and a Niagara Falls High School alumni center. The galleries host wide-ranging exhibitions, while the theatres regularly feature a broad variety of musical, theatrical and dance activities. The NACC is a 20th century education center that offers public art, music and dance classes after school hours and year round.

What Our Clients are Saying

Congratulations and thanks are due to some of the “early responders” to the demo and strip mall threat: Mayor Elia, Clint Brown and the young NAAC board including Paul Dyster, now city mayor.

We at the Preservation League were proud to assist with the save in two ways: A 2000 Seven to Save listing of the state’s most endangered buildings, thus bringing statewide attention to its plight and a 2001 Preserve New York grant for a historic structure report that was the document to launch the rehabilitation.

It is gratifying to see the fruit’s of everyone’s labor."

-Tania Werbizky, Regional Director of Technical and Grant Programs
Preservation League of New York State


“The listing of our beloved but vacant former high school in the National Register that Clinton Brown Company arranged was a turning point in our community’s success at saving the school from the landfill. Listing helped ensure its continued service to our community for years to come as the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center because listing opened doors for much-needed funding.”

- Louis Townsend, Chief Financial Officer
Niagara Arts and Cultural Center

The NACC in the News

"Arts transform old Falls High School"
Richard E. Baldwin, The Buffalo New
April 4, 2010

Niagara Falls, NY

The NACC Website

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