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Churches are 1st on preservation panel's list

The North Tonawanda Historic Preservation Commission is taking the first step in its mission.

The commission, in a decision made earlier this month, is starting its work by naming some local churches as Designated Historical Landmarks.

Two churches interested in the designation so far are Grace Lutheran Church at Payne Avenue and Robinson Street and St. Peter's Lutheran Brethren Church at Bryant and Thompson streets.

"We will start with individual places such as churches," said Donna Zellner Neal, a member of the commission and director of the North Tonawanda History Museum.

In addition to giving landmark status to the churches, the commission will designate the current four landmarks that are on the National Landmark Registry as local Designated Historical Sites: the U.S. Post Office on Goundry Street, the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, the Carnegie Art Center and the Riviera Theatre.

"Pretty much all of the churches in the city have history," Neal said. "Of course, one of the landmarks that we [also] will eventually choose will be the Sweeney Cemetery."

Also during the meeting, the commission discussed historical plaques that are available for owners of historical homes.

"We have a program through the museum called the Historic Treasures Recognition Program," Neal said, with plaques costing from $125 to $190.

"The commission will be doing plaques, down the road, of historic sites," Neal said. ". . . They will be mounted on the buildings or houses."

The commission will hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. April 4 in City Hall.

For information on the plaques, call the History Museum at 213-0554.

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