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EX-RAIL STATION ON PRESERVATIONISTS' AGENDA

Now that it has been listed by the Preservation League of New York State as one of "Seven to Save," the push is on to spare the former Erie-Lackawanna Railroad station.

The former passenger station is just across West Second Street from the new $15 million Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena, and is about a block from a $3 million downtown hotel development.

Tania Werbizky, director of technical and grant programs for the league, said a restored structure would add to the downtown's redevelopment progress.

"From the wonderful ice facility that you have, the promise of new hotel structures going in to all the activity downtown, there is just so much already happening that without this building, you would have 'a hole in the doughnut,' " Werbizky said.

She said that the rail station is historically and architecturally significant and that this is why it qualified for the list, which was released Wednesday.

Steven Centi, Jamestown's director of development, applauded the perseverance of several groups working to save the 1931 station. "There have been pressures to get rid of this building. They've been resisted," he said. "And now we're moving this process forward through organizations that have a plan for the building. I think that's important to note."

Those organizations include Downtown Jamestown Development Corp., Fenton History Center and the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau. The groups are trying to raise money to turn the deteriorating building into a multipurpose facility that accentuates its history.

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