News & Updates

Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration Fireworks Brought to You by Chautauqua Region Community Foundation

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) is proud to continue their partnership with the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation (CRCF), to once again bring fireworks to the annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration. The parade will be held this Friday, December 6th, with live music at 5pm by “For the People”. The parade kickoff, tree lighting, and National Anthem start at 6:30pm, and the parade ends with a Santa-led fireworks celebration at the conclusion of the parade.


(Standing from left) Lisa Lynde, CRCF, Kristy Kathman, JRC, Jacob Schrantz, CRCF, Elizabeth Jones, CRCF, Michelle Frederickson, CRCF, Tory Irgang, CRCF, Sarah Shelters, CRCF; (Kneeling from left) Zach Agett, JRC, Karie Hayes, CRCF

Young Explosives will once again produce the fireworks display, which is made possible through the generosity of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. Zach Agett, Marketing and Events Manager at JRC said, “We appreciate everything the Community Foundation does for this area, our organization, and the parade itself. The signature ending with a countdown led by Santa Claus is the highlight of the night, and we’re glad we can continue this tradition!”

The fireworks will be launched from the Spring Street Parking Garage, and do require the weather and wind to cooperate. If all goes as planned, they will be launched at the conclusion of the parade, with a countdown from Santa between 8 and 8:30pm.

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation makes Jamestown better through inspiration, action, and celebration. For more information on Jamestown Renaissance Corporation’s special events, please visit www.jamestownrenaissance.org, or email zach@jamestownrenaissance.org.

Shults Auto Group will Provide Santa’s Transportation for the Jamestown Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is proud to continue their partnership with Shults Auto Group, who will once again provide the Official Transportation for Santa at this year’s Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration. Shults Auto Group and Santa will bring up the end of the “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” themed parade, as it travels from the Third Street Bridge to City Hall on Friday, December 6, 2019.


(From Left) Jillian Shults, Shults Auto Group, Matthew Kahm, Shults Auto Group, Zach Agett, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation

Matthew Kahm, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Shults Auto Group said, “The parade is a tradition that goes back many generations.  It’s always great to see all the children and families enjoying everything this community has to offer, especially during the holiday season.  It’s a time to give back, something the Shults Auto Group has always done and will continue to do, supporting this community any way we can.”

Shults Auto Group will be transporting Santa to Tracy Plaza for the sixth year in a row, where Santa will join the parade announcers on stage to wish everyone a merry Christmas and countdown to the fireworks display. After the parade, Santa will be visiting the Jamestown YMCA, where Santa’s Workshop will be running from 7-9pm. The YMCA has planned many fun family holiday activities including crafts, face painting, visits with Frosty, Rudolph, and the Y-Guy, Christmas sing a longs, an inflatable obstacle course, holiday games, and the visit from Santa following the parade.

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation makes Jamestown better through inspiration, action, and celebration. For more information on Jamestown Renaissance Corporation’s Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration or other special events, visit www.jamestownrenaissance.org or email zach@jamestownrenaissance.org.

JRC and TRC Continue Partnership for Annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration on Friday, December 6, 2019

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) is proud to announce that the annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration will once again be presented by The Resource Center (TRC) on Friday, December 6, 2019. The parade theme, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” was selected via Facebook vote. At 5pm “For the People” will begin playing live music in Tracy Plaza. The parade will kickoff at 6:30pm, moving from Third Street toward City Hall, where there will be a traditional tree lighting ceremony with Mayor Sam Teresi and the national anthem. Santa will bring up the end of the parade and count down to the fireworks at approximately 8pm.


(From left) Shawn Shilling, Jamestown Fire Department, Terri Johnson, TRC, Patricia Perlee, TRC, Patrick Smeraldo, Chautauqua Connections Children’s Coalition, Heather Brown, TRC, Corry Moore, Jamestown Police Department, Blake Tarana, Tim Horton’s, Selina Phillips, TRC, Vicky Bardo, TRC, Catherine Ensminger, TRC, Kristy Kathman, JRC, Cristin Hockenberry, JHS Cross Country

The downtown Jamestown holiday parade has been a long standing tradition in the city for decades. Dozens of area businesses, social organizations, and nonprofits come downtown the evening of the parade to celebrate the holidays, attend one of many area holiday events, and support local business. JRC is proud to once again partner with The Resource Center and keep this wonderful tradition alive.

Steve Waterson, Community Relations Director at the Resource Center said, “The Resource Center is proud to sponsor the Jamestown holiday parade for the 15th straight year. The parade is a wonderful tradition that is eagerly awaited by many and draws thousands of people downtown to watch and be a part of this magical holiday spectacle. Sponsoring the parade is a way for us to thank the community for all of the support it provides year round to The Resource Center and the people with disabilities we serve. We’re happy to once again partner with the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation to make this special event possible.”

The Resource Center is continuing their partnership with The Chautauqua Connections Children’s Coalition to help manage Toys for Tots. Additional connections have been made this year to make donating a toy at the parade easier than ever. Toys for Tots will have a common drop point near the intersection of Spring Street and 3rd Street during the parade, and will also be collecting toys from their Toys for Tots float. The float will be near the front of the parade with TRC, and will be collecting toys as they move down the parade route. Anyone that donates a toy will receive a coupon for a free medium coffee, courtesy of Tim Horton’s. Additional partners include JRC, Lakeshore Paving, Jamestown Police Department, Jamestown Fire Department, and the JHS Cross Country Team.

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation makes Jamestown better through inspiration, action, and celebration. For more information on Jamestown Renaissance Corporation special events or to sign up for the Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration, please visit www.jamestownrenaissance.org to download the application or email zach@jamestownrenaissance.org.

Fenton, St. Luke’s and JRC Collaborate to Host “Seven to Save” Program & Exhibit November 14

The historic Arcade Building in Jamestown is one of the highlighted buildings on the 2018-2019 “Seven to Save” list that will be featured in a lecture by Frances Stern, Manager of Technical & Grant Programs for the Preservation League of New York State. The lecture, titled “Road Map to Preservation” will be presented on Thursday, November 14th at 6:00pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Jamestown.

Jamestown’s Historic Arcade Building

The presentation will be led by Frances Stern, Manager of Technical & Grant Programs for the Preservation League, accompanied by Christiana Limniatis, Director of Preservation Services for Preservation Buffalo Niagara.

The program, which is being co-sponsored by St. Luke’s, the Fenton Historical Society and the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, will cover all aspects of historic preservation in NYS on a general level and would be useful to anyone who is interested in preserving old structures, whether they are commercial, residential, or utilized by a cultural group.

Immediately following the lecture attendees will be invited upstairs for the unveiling of the travelling exhibition “Hidden in Plain Sight”, a series of stunning black and white photographs of the featured buildings done by Bruce Harvey Ph.D., consulting professional historian and documentation photographer based in Syracuse. The exhibit, which has been on display in the Preservation Leagues Albany Headquarters since November 2018, is now being shown at several venues over the next few months to reach more audiences across the state.

The Hidden in Plain Sight traveling exhibition is sponsored by Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, Gray Slate Partners, Consigli, PBDW Architects, Phoebe Powell Bender, Matthew Bender, Reverend Dr. Thomas F. Pike, and Michel & Caroline Rob Zaleski.

“It is part of the Fenton’s mission to educate our region about how the pragmatic and ongoing preservation of historic resources impacts and supports a community.” says Noah Goodling, Executive Director of the Fenton. ”We hope that this program will energize the citizens of Jamestown and help connect them to the resources they need to get involved in preserving our beautiful historic downtown.”

The Preservation League of New York State has highlighted NY’s threatened historic sites since 1999 through the Seven to Save list, which provides enhanced services from the League to bolster visibility and build support for preservation. Through the Seven to Save program, the League has worked with local stakeholders to avert demolition, develop plans for reuse, secure landmark designation, and foster greater public awareness of the value of New York’s unique and irreplaceable historic resources. Threats to dozens of at-risk buildings, landscapes, downtowns, and neighborhoods have been reduced, and in many cases, eliminated by the Seven to Save designation and subsequent actions.

Founded in 1974, the Preservation League has built a reputation for action and effectiveness. A leader in advocacy, economic development and educational programs across the state, their goal is to preserve historic buildings, districts, and landscapes, to “build a better New York, one community at a time.”

St. Luke’s is located at 410 North Main Street. The lecture will be held in the Undercroft, which is accessible via 4th Street. There is no charge for the event, which is open to the community. For more information, call 716-483-6405.

2019 Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree has officially been selected as the them of the 2019 Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration presented by the Resource Center!

Parade Applications are available by clicking HERE! Contact zach@jamestownrenaissance.org with any questions.

JRC Awarded a Preserve New York Grant

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) is one of this year’s Preserve New York (PNY) grantees. Their grant of $4,208 will enable JRC to continue working with Bero Architecture to complete a State and National Register Nomination for the Forest Heights neighborhood. As a result of this historic designation, owners of approximately 200 properties in Jamestown will have access to State and Federal Historic Tax Credits. JRC hopes that this incentive will continue to assist in the revitalization of this important neighborhood and prevent additional buildings from falling into disrepair or becoming vacant.

The Preservation League of NYS and their program partners at the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) are thrilled to help fund this important work.

The Forest Heights residential neighborhood is important to the historic development of Jamestown and contains a distinct mix of buildings in various architectural styles. Some properties in the neighborhood are individually listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, including the former home of Governor Reuben E. Fenton. Architectural styles in Forest Heights include Greek Revival, Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, and other vernacular types of structures. Over time, Forest Heights has experienced disinvestment, deferred maintenance, and insensitive rental conversion. Some properties have even been condemned or demolished.

“Since 2011, the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation has assisted city residents by providing matching grants for outside beautification projects and community development activities. In 2012, 2014 and again in 2018, the JRC granted funds for neighborhood improvements to sections of the Forest Heights area,” says Mary Maxwell, JRC’s Neighborhood Projects Manager. “After securing an historic designation for Downtown Jamestown and the Lakeview Ave. area, the JRC felt the Forest Heights area should be developed next.”

In 2018, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation received a Preserve New York grant to complete an intensive level survey of the Forest Heights neighborhood in preparation for a nomination to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Survey work and boundary determination for a historic district was completed in early 2019.

The 2019 PNY grant cycle was the most competitive in the program’s 26-year history. An independent jury met in June to review over 70 applications. After two days of deliberations, $262,498 was awarded to 31 projects across 25 counties.  

Preserve New York is a regrant partnership between the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the Preservation League of NYS. PNY enables the Preservation League to support projects in all of New York’s 62 counties.

Since 1993, the Preserve New York grant program has been providing funds to municipalities and nonprofit organizations that need technical, professional assistance to guide a variety of preservation projects. The historic structure reports, building condition reports, cultural landscape reports, and cultural resource surveys that are funded through this program can have profound impacts on the sites they are studying.

With the announcement of the 2019 awards, support provided by PNY since its launch totals more than $2.8 million to 438 projects statewide.

2019 PNY Grant Recipients:

Bronx County: Historic Districts Council – $14,000; Cayuga County: Seward House Museum – $10,000; Chautauqua County: Jamestown Renaissance Corporation – $4,208; Clinton County: Town of Schuyler Falls – $10,000; Columbia County: Philmont Beautification, Inc. – $10,000 & Columbia County Historical Society – $10,000; Delaware County: West Kortright Centre – $4,764; Dutchess County: Village of Rhinebeck – $7,875 & Red Hook Public Library – $2,600; Erie County: Preservation Buffalo Niagara – $20,000; Essex County: The Depot Theatre, Inc. – $4,712; Greene County: Zadock Pratt Museum, Inc. – $6,400 & Greene County Council on the Arts – $13,191; Lewis County: Lewis County Historical Society – $10,000; Madison County: Smithfield Community Association – $13,017; Montgomery County: Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank – $5,200 & Historic Amsterdam League – $14,560; Nassau County: North Shore Land Alliance – $12,000; New York County: Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation – $10,000; Rensselaer County: Village of Castleton-on-Hudson – $3,000; Rockland County: John Green Preservation Coalition – $8,000; Saratoga County: Town of Corinth – $10,000; Schoharie County: Jefferson Historical Society – $6,883 & County of Schoharie – $3,968; Suffolk County: Preservation Long Island – $7,900 & Yaphank Historical Society – $9,200; Tioga County: Village of Owego – $8,000; Warren County: Richards Library – $4,000; Wayne County: Baptist Rural Cemetery Association of Sodus Center – $1,700; Westchester County: Village of Larchmont – $10,000; Yates County: Village of Penn Yan – $7,320

“NYSCA is proud to support the vitality and character of our communities through our Preserve New York partnership, which provides key resources to historic sites, buildings, and cultural centers statewide and underscores the importance of architecture and landscape design in community revitalization and economic development,” said NYSCA Executive Director Mara Manus.

“Thanks to the League’s record of making effective preservation grants through Preserve New York and TAG, our program partner, the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), has increased regrant funding significantly over the past several years,” said Erin Tobin, Vice President for Policy and Preservation and the Preservation League. “At the same time, in response to growing demand, the League has successfully lined up additional support to leverage NYSCA funding and League resources. NYSCA and the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation make these grants possible through their program partnership and financial support.”

The Preserve New York grant program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation has provided additional support for projects in Nassau, Suffolk and Bronx Counties.

About the Preservation League of New York State

Since its founding in 1974, the Preservation League has built a reputation for action and effectiveness. Our goal has been to preserve our historic buildings, districts and landscapes and to build a better New York, one community at a time. The Preservation League of New York State invests in people and projects that champion the essential role of preservation in community revitalization, sustainable economic growth and the protection of our historic buildings and landscapes. We lead advocacy, economic development and education programs across the state. Connect with us at facebook.com/preservenys, twitter.com/preservenys, and instagram.com/preservenys.

More images: http://jamestownrenaissance.org/neighborhoods/reinvest/historic-districts/

AIDS Memorial Park Community Input Session Scheduled

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) will be holding a community input session at Winter Garden Plaza on Thursday, August 22, at 7pm. Winter Garden Plaza is located at 313 N Main Street. This session will focus on the future of Potter’s Terrace/AIDS Memorial Park/Wood Park, and the re-establishment of the AIDS Memorial that was located in the park.

If unable to attend, you may submit feedback to JRC Executive Director Pete Miraglia at 716-489-3494, or pete@jamestownrenaissance.org.

Fall Front Garden Recognition Program Begins in September

A front yard garden that was recognized in Spring 2019

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation’s GROW Jamestown Front Garden Recognition Program, returns this fall as a way to acknowledge city gardeners who contribute to the curb appeal of Jamestown’s neighborhoods. It is a project designed to encourage everyone to take part in making Jamestown a more beautiful place.

The program began in 2011 with the distribution of 250 garden signs given to gardeners who were nominated by the public. In the summer of 2018, 12,000 Jamestown front yards were canvassed by a team of volunteers that recognized over 839 front gardens.

With growth comes change. The program will be run similarly to years past, but this year the yards will now be assessed in two separate seasons. Here’s how the program will work.

The city has been divided into 37 sections, with each section encompasses approximately 325 to 350 front yards each.

Each section is assigned to a volunteer team comprised of a navigator, a photographer, and a data entry person. The navigator is the driver, the photographer takes photos of the selected front yards, and data entry is assigned as the scribe to document the process and list placement locations of the signs. Volunteers DO NOT canvass their own neighborhoods. Volunteers DO NOT canvass the same area they surveyed in the previous years.

This year, the city was divided from north to south using an imaginary line, beginning at the city’s northern boundary. The imaginary line continues down Lakeview Avenue through downtown and continues to South Main Street reaching the city’s southern boundary.

The survey map divided by season for 2019 Front Yard Garden Recognition

The fall season canvassing begins September 9th and ends September 30th. Of the total 37 sections, 19 sections, those located to the east of the imaginary line, will be surveyed. The volunteers will determine what an “average front yard” looks like for that area. Yard signs are given to acknowledge and to encourage. Each team is provided a limited number of signs to distribute – making decisions difficult.

The spring season canvassing began June 3rd and ended June 24th. Eighteen sections, located west of the imaginary line, were surveyed. Three hundred and thirty six signs were delivered.

In 2020, properties surveyed in the spring of 2019 will be surveyed in the fall and those surveyed in the fall of 2019 will be surveyed in the spring.

At a minimum, volunteers look for front yard gardens with healthy plants that are well maintained and actively managed. Is the lawn healthy lawn, neatly mowed? Are the shrubs and trees pruned and trimmed? Edging is a plus, along with a balanced garden that is appropriate to house and lot size. House numbers need to be clearly displayed.

“As a project of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation’s Neighborhood Revitalization efforts, the goal is to encourage everyone to contribute to a more beautiful Jamestown. The increase in yearly front yard garden acknowledgements demonstrates how well the program is working.” says Mary Maxwell, the JRC’s Neighborhood Project Manager.

Would you like to volunteer for this project? It is an excellent way to see the city as you have never seen it before, meet some old friends and make some new ones, and have a chance to make some front yard gardeners very happy. Volunteer workshops will be held the last week of August. For more information, contact Mary Maxwell at mary@jamestownrenaissance.org or (716) 489-3493.

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is a public-private partnership supporting downtown and neighborhood revitalization through inspiration, action, and celebration in the greater Jamestown, New York, area.

Potter’s Terrace Closure

Potter’s Terrace on East 3rd Street is being closed for safety concerns. The site was recently evaluated and found to have structural issues. The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) owns the property and will evaluate future options for the site.

Potter’s Terrace, also known as AIDS Memorial Park or Wood Park, had been dedicated as a memorial for AIDS victims. The JRC will be reaching out to the community for input on re-establishing the memorial.

Questions regarding the closure of Potter’s Terrace should be directed to Pete Miraglia, JRC Executive Director at 716-489-3494.

Installation of Oversized Chair Honors Jamestown’s History

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) and Fancher Chair Co. Inc. are proud to honor Jamestown’s furniture history with the installation of an oversized chair at the corner of Third and Lafayette in Jamestown.

Front: Kristy Kathman, Zach Agett, Pete Scheira; Back: Gary Henry, Brian Millspaw

In an effort to expand public art in downtown Jamestown, a focal point of the new Jamestown Urban Design Plan 2.0, JRC approached Fancher Chair Co. with the idea of commissioning a large, historically accurate chair for downtown. Fancher Chair Co. was excited by the project, and took the lead in designing and then constructing a great new piece for downtown.

Kristy Kathman, JRC Deputy Director said, “I couldn’t be happier with the way this has turned out.  Pete Scheira (President) and Gary Henry (CEO) at Fancher Chair Co. took a vague idea we had and turned it into a true work of art.  They have been wonderful to work with, and created a beautiful piece of furniture sure to be enjoyed by everyone who sees it.”

Brian Millspaw, Master Sample Maker at Fancher Chair Co., created the chair based on a design from Jamestown Lounge Company known as the “club” chair. The chair is made of oak, and special glue for outdoor use was used.  The chair will be permanently installed by Davis Concrete & Excavating.

JRC Executive Director, Pete Miraglia

Fancher Chair Co. Inc. has generously donated the chair to the community as a memorial to the history of the furniture industry of Jamestown and surrounding areas. 

For a more in-depth look into the furniture industry of the Jamestown area, and the people who were behind it, check out the furniture exhibit at the Fenton History Center.

At Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, we make Jamestown better through inspiration, action, and celebration. For more information about upcoming projects, or to check out the Jamestown Urban Design Plan 2.0, please visit jamestownrenaissance.org/, or call 716-489-3496.