Photo credit: LeChase Construction
MISSION + HISTORIC PRESERVATION + PHILANTHROPY =
In 2007, after nearly a decade of searching for a new building, the National Women’s Hall of Fame made a bold decision to purchase the historic Seneca Knitting Mill at 1 Canal Street in Seneca Falls. The Hall’s Board worked diligently to secure the location, understanding that the building’s storied history is deeply intertwined with the history of Seneca Falls and its people. From 1844 to 1999, the Seneca Knitting Mill produced woolen goods, creating economic opportunities for many generations of residents.
As one of the last remaining vestiges of industrial life in Seneca Falls, the Seneca Knitting Mill needed extensive renovations. Over a ten-year period, and with the generosity of donors, the National Women’s Hall of Fame and local contractors stabilized the structure, replaced the roof, installed new windows, preserved the smokestack and the floors, and updated the electrical system.
In 2020, amid the global pandemic, the National Women’s Hall of Fame moved into the first floor of the Seneca Knitting Mill, where introductory exhibits provide a sample of what’s to come once additional renovations allow for expansion into the second, third, and fourth floors.
In Fall 2022, the National Women’s Hall of Fame broke ground for its next phase of construction at the Seneca Knitting Mill, which was completed in December 2023. Work included the restoration of the historic smokestack and the historic stairway, the construction of an elevator and internal stairwell, and the renovation of the second floor to create space for new exhibits.
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GREAT WOMEN DESERVE A GREAT HOME
In 2021, the Hall’s Board embarked on an ambitious plan designed to elevate the National Women’s Hall of Fame, both regionally and nationally. The organization’s five year strategic plan includes work to expand exhibits and launch national programming that will engage and inspire people across the nation. As funding is available, additional work will continue on the 3rd and 4th floors.
YOUR GIFTS MATTER
The National Women’s Hall of Fame relies on the generosity of individuals, families, foundations, corporations, and granting agencies to help build a space that allows for engaging and interactive exhibits, community gathering spaces, and more. Please consider a gift today!
Recognition opportunities — including naming rights — are available. Please email email@example.com to begin a conversation about your involvement with this historic transformation!
We wish to thank our leading donors who have joined the National Women’s Hall of Fame as we embark upon a new chapter in our #herstory. These donors are dreaming BIG with us as we look to expand our programming from coast to coast and restore our new home at the 1844 Seneca Knitting Mill. Together, we’re writing a more inclusive history where every person is inspired to lead, to innovate, and to create. Dream BIG and join us today!
We are grateful to the following agencies and corporations who shared our vision in restoring the historic 1844 Seneca
Institute of Museum and Library Services
NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation – Environmental Protection Fund
NYS DOS Legislative Initiative
NYS Downtown Revitalization Initiative
NYS Empire State Development – A Restore New York Communities Initiative
NYS Empire State Development – Market New York – Tourism Grant Program
NYS Council on the Arts
Town of Seneca Falls
US Department of the Interior, Partners in Preservation Main Street Awards
Canandaigua National Bank
IESI Seneca Meadows Inc
ITT Goulds Pumps
LM Sessler Excavating & Wrecking, Inc
Rochester Area Community Foundation
Wegmans Food Markets
We are also extremely grateful for the generosity of families and individuals who provided transformational gifts that have allowed restoration and renovation efforts to continue.
Susan and Menzo Case
Estate of Dora Lee Dauma
Joan Ganz Cooney (Inductee, 1998)
Betsy and Steve Fantone
Ruth Ann and William Harnisch
Becky and Herb Holden
Jean Kilbourne (Inductee, 2015)
Gretchen and Peter Koch
Indra (Inductee, 2021) and Raj Nooyi
Mary Ellen and Ezra Oyer
Rozanne Ridgway (Inductee, 1998)
Suzanne Welch and William Watson
Check out our progress to date!
Architectural Renovation: CJS Architects
Exhibit Design: FRAME | Integrative Design Strategies, with MIG Inc, Doug Munday Design, JREM
Exhibit Fabrication: Hadley Exhibits