Utica children’s museum an official state, federal historic building

Staff reports

The Children’s Museum of History, Natural History, Science & Technology announced that its building officially has been declared a New York State and Federal Historic building. 

“This designation, coming after two years of required paperwork, demonstrates once again the importance our Children’s Museum plays in our local culture and economy as an educational resource and tourism attraction,” Executive Director Marlene Brown said. 

Businessman John C. Hieber constructed the building the Children’s Museum now calls home in Bagg’s Square because of its proximity to the New York Central Railroad. 

The building, with its romanesque revival influence, was one of many warehouses constructed along the tracks, according to a document from the National Register of Historic Places. 

The Children’s Museum organized in October 1963 has maintained the building since. 

Cathy Jimenez, spokeswoman for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said in a March interview the museum is a prime example of what the existence of the registry promotes. 

“It’s a great example of adaptive reuse of a historic building,” she said. “We are balancing the historic preservation with economic development.” 

The Children’s Museum also will host a number of other activities in the coming weeks. 

• The 44th anniversary Holiday Gala & Great Friends to Kids Award will take place from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. There will be a full catered menu and bar, live music and dancing. The cost is $85 for one or $150 per couple in advance, or $95 at the door. Tickets are available from board members, at the museum, or on the website at www.museum4kids.net. 

• The museum also will host its annual Holiday on Main Street Saturday, Nov. 24. There will be pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, holiday music, face painting and more. There is a reduced admission of $8 per person. The cost for members is $5 per person and free for children younger than 1.