On The Grounds /
Off Season Projects
The Off Season Project Updates page is designed to keep Chautauquans informed of the progress on capital projects and maintenance through the off-season.
Current off-season construction projects
Updated April 5, 2013
A new Visitors Center is currently under construction in the space adjacent to the Post Office in the wing opposite the Afterwords Café. The Publications Office has moved to the building formerly occupied by the Chautauqua Police Department. The police department is now in its new, permanent location in the old fire hall at 7 Massey Ave.
The overall goal of the Visitors Center is to welcome, educate and demystify the Chautauqua experience for all visitors to Chautauqua. The center will have a circular information desk, media displays, artifacts and videos that tell the story of Chautauqua Institution. Staff on site will help visitors plan their stay with information about programs and facilities on the grounds and securing accommodations for a return visit.
Work inside the building will begin April 8. While a large truck and some caution tape will be found outside the building, construction is not expected to affect Post Office or Chautauqua Bookstore operations. Construction is to be completed by early to mid-June. Community members will have an opportunity to view and learn more about the Visitors Center before the opening of the 2013 Season.
More information about the Visitors Center will be published in the spring Chautauquan.
Police Station and Publications Office
As part of the larger project of creating a Visitors Center in the Post Office building, the Chautauqua Police Department has now moved to its new, permanent location in the old fire hall at 7 Massey Avenue. The Publications Office has been relocated to the building formerly occupied by the police department, behind the Colonnade.
The relocation of Chautauqua Police puts the department in a better position to work alongside Chautauqua Fire Department for emergency response both on and off the grounds.
The phone numbers to contact Chautauqua Police remain the same: 716.357.6225 for non-emergencies and 911 in case of emergency.
The Publications Office will be open in its new location on April 8 with limited operations. The facility is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of the week.
Tree Removal in South End Ravine
(An original communication about the tree removal project was shared with property owners in Feb. 2013)
Beginning Feb. 11, a crew from Maple Springs Tree Services of Dewittville, N.Y., began removing 150 trees from the South End Ravine.
Following the damage from the extraordinary wind generated by Hurricane Sandy in the fall, Chautauqua Institution hired Pioneer Forestry, an arborist firm in Jamestown, N.Y., to conduct an assessment throughout the ravine, inspecting every tree and documenting all weakened trees and those showing structural problems. Of the 147 trees marked for removal, 65 beech trees are suffering from Beech Bark Disease and 45 sugar maple trees are structurally compromised due to old age. (Five additional trees needed to be assessed from above; three of these trees were removed.)
Precautions were taken to avoid soil compaction and minimize damage to saplings and understory trees. As many trees as possible were removed by crane; those that cannot be removed in such a manner were climbed and roped down in pieces. Fencing was installed along the creek to prevent dirt and debris from reaching the water.Eighty percent of material will be removed from the ravine, leaving 20 percent as natural habitat for wildlife and birds. Limbs and branches will be chipped, and chips will be used on walking paths in the ravine and the outdoor classrooms. The rest of the material will be used by the Institution throughout the year.
The removal of trees is expected to be completed this spring.
An arborist from Pioneer Forestry and Ryan Kiblin, grounds, gardens and landscaping manager for Chautauqua Institution, will be on call and conduct periodic inspections throughout the project.
If you have any questions about the project or need additional information, please contact Doug Conroe in the Operations office at 716.357.6215.
Hall of Christ
A reconstruction project in the basement of the Hall of Christ is nearly complete, addressing moisture issues that had prevented the space from being used frequently for programming during the season. Work includes the installation of a new ventilation system and use of moisture-resistance materials. Exterior work will be completed in the coming weeks, including new gutters, waterproofing of the foundation, and new plantings. A large tree next to the Hall of Christ with roots growing into the foundation was assessed and discovered to be hollow; the tree was subsequently removed for public safety reasons.
As part of the Athenaeum Hotel’s ongoing efforts to renovate rooms and improve the overall customer experience, six guest rooms and four additional bathrooms are undergoing renovations during the off-season. To date, approximately 50 percent of rooms in the main building of the Athenaeum have been renovated in recent years.
Design for a new elevator of the Athenaeum Annex building will begin in April with planned construction to occur following the 2013 Season. This new elevator will provide access for the physically challenged to all floors of the annex for the 2014 Season. The existing, original elevator will remain in service throughout the 2013 Season, but will be converted to a limited-use service elevator after the new elevator is constructed.
Bike Rent Apartments
Nine apartments with shared bathrooms are being constructed in the second floor space above the Bike Rent building on Massey Avenue. Work includes a new sprinkler system for the whole building and a new ceiling in the first-floor laundry and Bike Rent spaces. The projects will be completed prior to the 2013 Season, to be used by the Athenaeum Hotel for hospitality staff.
Carnahan-Jackson and Logan dormitories
Dormitory spaces on the second floor of Carnahan-Jackson Dance Studio and in Logan on Bestor Plaza are undergoing improvements during the off-season. Both spaces are used by faculty and staff in the Schools of Fine and Performing Arts.