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CiviCure Acquires Historic Wood Block Building

Left to right
Sheila Dunn, General Partner, Wood Block Associates celebrating with Barbara J. Sussman, President, Civic and Cultural Restoration Corp.

After years of fundraising and friend raising, CiviCure (Civic and Cultural Restoration) purchased the Wood Block Building, 1-5 Main Street in the Village of Hoosick Falls on Friday, April 28. Wood Block, built in 1880, anchors the north end of the downtown and was originally known as Wood’s Block Opera House. The building is the last remaining structure built by Wood Mowing and Reaper Machine Co. which was established in Hoosick Falls in the 1840’s and was one of the largest farm equipment manufacturers in the United States with offices in Berlin, London and Paris and sales from Africa to New Zealand. CiviCure will renovate the currently vacant second and third floors with gallery and performance spaces in its mission to use art and cultural events to build ties and promote economic revitalization in the community and throughout the region.

Sharing a vision of restoring the vital role of the block-long brick structure with CiviCure, several of the eight original partners of the Wood Block Associates generously donated their shares. The sale was realized after substantial contributions were received from both sides of the negotiating team; from members of the CiviCure Board, from special friends in the region, artists who contributed their talent, dedicated volunteers, the community who attended our events, and with support from the Hoosac School, Brown’s Brewing Company, the legal team, and Richard Tillberg, AICP, a skilled planning consultant who kept the board focused on their goal. The Preservation League of New York awarded CiviCure a Donald Gratz Preservation Services Grant for structural and code analyses in 2015. All deserve the profound gratitude of CiviCure for their extraordinary generosity.

CiviCure’s fund raising events have been crucial in reaching this goal and bringing awareness to the significance of the building. Brown’s Brewing Company’s Walloomsac Taproom opening Porktoberfest was a benefit for CiviCure and they have hosted the popular Farm to Canvas art lottery for the past two years. The recent Maple Fools’ supper and song on April 1, 2017, 2016’s Sap Happy Hop and Arias and Show Tunes with Metropolitan Opera singer Oren Gradus in 2014 were held at the Hoosac School which has been a staunch supporter. CiviCure is grateful to everyone who has attended these events, including those who have run or walked in the Rolf M. Sternberg Memorial 5K race, initiated by HAYC3.

The real work is about to begin! Stay tuned for an upcoming celebration and guided tour of the incredible third floor performance halls.

On May 13th join CiviCure for Celebrating Our Stories: Paintings in Words and Wool, Honoring Grandma Moses, an art and oral history program that is free and open to all. Activities begin at 10am – 12 noon with art making and storytelling at the Historic Barns of Nipmoose, 59 Sherman Lane, Buskirk, NY. At 3pm, Bennington Museum Curator Jamie Franklin will present an illustrated talk on “Grandma Moses and Modernism.” The Bennington Museum holds the largest public collection of the work of Grandma Moses and will host the exhibition Grandma Moses: American Modern in their galleries from July 1 to November 5, 2017. This event is supported by a grant from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by The Arts Center of the Capital Region. Contact with any questions.