ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Village of Dansville has been provided with a $20,000 grant that will allow to them begin thinking of ways to restore a nearly 150-year-old landmark.
In March, the Dansville Fire Department responded to an “obviously suspicious” fire at the Castle on the Hill.
Friday, Village of Dansville Mayor Barry Haywood told News 8 the recent approval of a $20,000 Empire State Development grant will be used to put plans together for repurposing the Castle structure.
Renovations would only be on the outside of the structure. Mayor Haywood says the inside is “out of bounds.”
Early thoughts by Mayor Haywood, would be to make the outside of the Castle on the Hill an almost backdrop setting, to make the area a park-like setting for events like weddings or concerts.
Mayor Haywood said the grant provided is half the estimated cost it would be to hire a structural engineer, which the Village still plans to do in order to assess the building, and how the Village will be able to reuse it.
While this all sounds exciting, Mayor Haywood urges the community to be patient as the Village of Dansville works to see the full potential of starting a project on the building.
“It’ll never be able to be what it was,” Mayor Haywood said. “We want to do what we can to restore and to go back to its original days of the sanatorium.”
The sanatorium days — according to Mayor Haywood — is said to be a key part of the building’s history. He said it was that very building that brought American Red Cross founder Clara Barton to Dansville, where the first chapter was founded in 1881.
The Castle on the Hill is currently owned by Peter Krog, who Mayor Haywood has been in talks with, and is “totally in favor” of having the building assessed.
Mayor Haywood said while any progress on the building will be made at a later date, he is excited for the way it could make Dansville a destination spot.