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Historic Frontier House may get a new life

LEWISTON – Frustrations have mounted for more than a decade as the historic Frontier House, a landmark on Center Street, has sat vacant.

On Monday, Lewiston Board Supervisor Dennis J. Brochey said owner Richard Hastings might be ready to sell it to the town. Brochey said the first step would be getting an appraisal.

Members of the Historical Association of Lewiston and the entire Village Board, who sat in the audience at Monday’s town board meeting, gave the town board a loud round of applause after a low bid of $2,200 to Gar Associates of Amherst was approved to begin the appraisal work.

Hastings has recently made a move to sell off 38 parcels of property in downtown Niagara Falls, including a number of parcels on Main Street, marketed as “an incredible redevelopment opportunity.”

Lewiston now also appears to be positioned to finally move forward on acquiring Frontier House, which was built by Benjamin Barton 190 years ago. Brochey said no taxpayer money will be used in a purchase or restoration, rather Niagara Greenway funds and grant money will be sought.

Hastings and his son Alan J. Hastings have already been successful in restoring the Silo, which became a popular waterfront restaurant.

A few years ago the Village Board talked with Alan Hastings about turning the Frontier House into a micro brewery.

Mayor Terry Collesano said after the appraisal vote, “We are happy you are taking the lead on this and the Village Board is excited about the possible restoration of the Frontier House, bringing it back to a full functionable and valuable property. This would be one of the best investments Lewiston could make.”

The board also announced a 15-year cable franchise agreement with Time Warner Cable. The previous agreement expired seven years ago while both sides negotiated. If approved, the agreement would bring over $3 million in franchise fees to the town over the 15 year course of the agreement and would provide courtesy cable to the Town of Lewiston Senior Center; Lewiston-Porter; Sanborn, Upper Mountain and Lewiston #1 fire halls, Sacred Heart Villa School and Niagara-Wheatfield School. Cable was also extended to include the Water Treatment Plant.