The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

September 27, 2012

Quarrymen's Park proposed in Albion

Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — The committee tasked with allocating $50,000 in streetscape improvements as part of the $477,000 grant won by the Town of Albion last year would like to turn a Main Street space into a historic attraction honoring the area’s quarry heritage.

The Orleans County Quarrymen’s Memorial Park would be placed on a village-owned lot where a building was demolished last year with the intention to provide enhanced parking in order to attract more businesses downtown.

Tom Rivers, who chairs the Downtown Albion Neighborhood Advisory Committee’s streetscape sub-committee, said his group has a greener solution, which he outlined Wednesday at the Albion Village Board meeting.

“We dreamed a bit and thought a memorial site like other communities with dominant industries have,” said Rivers, who cited statues honoring

fishermen, coal miners, steel workers and lumberjacks as the inspiration for park honoring the workers who built the area’s fine sandstone structures.

Rivers said $30,000 in grant funding could be used for work at the site, with a $100,000 capital project funding a sandstone scene anchored by a bronze quarryman. The figure’s arm would be raised, hammer aloft, above a spike in the sandstone. It would be flanked by the national flags for the four waves of immigrants that worked in quarries throughout Orleans County — Italians, Irish, Polish and British.

“This site would tie together the three villages, play up the sandstone architecture and be a portal to understand how this all happened,” Rivers said. “There’s thousands of descendants of the quarrymen here. This is something to take pride in … not just the buildings, but the people around here.”

Village officials voiced general support for the project, but expressed hope that the proposed park would not preclude other uses for the site. Trustee Pete Sidari said the plan had his support if it could work “logistically and fiscally.”

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