Seneca Falls, NY–On Wednesday, October 19 at 11 am, the National Women’s Hall of Fame will break ground for the next stage of work at its home at the 1844 Seneca Knitting Mill, 1 Canal Street, Seneca Falls.

This stage of renovation will expand usable space, which is currently limited to the first floor of the four-story building. The scope of work will include rehabilitating the existing spiral staircase, adding a main staircase, and building a new elevator shaft with a glass connector. Substantial work will also take place on the second floor, which will become space dedicated to telling the stories of the Hall’s 302 Inductees. The historic and iconic smokestack adjacent to the building will also be preserved and restored.

“The National Women’s Hall of Fame takes seriously our role in preserving the legacies and contributions of our Inductees, and their stories serve as inspiration for all who visit,” said Jennifer Gabriel, executive director of the Hall. “This next stage of work at the Seneca Knitting Mill is critical to our ability to continue building a world-class museum that celebrates great American women and inspire pilgrimage for visitors across the nation and around the world.”

Fittingly, the project team is being led by a woman – LeChase Construction Services LLC’s Project Executive Kailly Mintel. Women are also serving in key roles like project engineer, 3D imaging expert, and safety manager.

“This is a beautiful building with such a vibrant history,” Mintel said.  “We can’t wait to showcase its unique details and provide The Hall an expanded space to honor so many great American women.”

Funding for this phase of work includes private philanthropy from generous individuals and supporters, as well as significant grants from the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation – Environmental Protection Fund, NYS Council on the Arts, and the Rochester Area Community Foundation. The project is also significantly supported by the NYS Downtown Revitalization Initiative, headed by NYS Department of State and administered by NYS Homes & Community Renewal.

“The Department of State is proud to have a role in the National Women’s Hall of Fame’s expansion and rehabilitation efforts,” said Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “The Downtown Revitalization Initiative touches so many transformative projects, including this museum. Serving as a national beacon for young girls and women to visit, this dedicated space honors and celebrates the extraordinary achievements of distinguished American women and highlights the sacrifices and challenges of those who came before them.”

The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2023. Future phases will add more gallery space and a public event space on the third and fourth floors, plus a new bell tower to house the mill’s original bell.

On the banks of the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, the historic 1844 Seneca Knitting Mill produced woolen textiles until closing in 1999. The Hall purchased the building in 2007, and after more than 10 years of extensive renovations, opened the first floor to the public in August 2020.

The first floor of the National Women’s Hall of Fame will remain open to the public during construction. Any required closures will be temporary and will be announced on the Hall’s website at and via its social media channels (@womenofthehall).

Naming and other recognition opportunities are available for donors and supporters who wish to get involved. Please contact the Hall at to learn more.


The Downtown Revitalization Initiative launched in 2016 to accelerate and expand the revitalization of downtowns and neighborhoods to serve as centers of activity and catalysts for investment in all ten regions of the state. The initiative represents an unprecedented and innovative plan-to-act strategy that couples strategic planning with immediate implementation.

Participating communities are nominated by the state’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils based on the downtown’s potential for transformation. Each community is awarded up to $10 million to develop a downtown strategic investment plan and implement key catalytic projects that advance the community’s vision for revitalization.

The initiative is headed by New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. Communities receive support from private sector experts and a team of state agency staff led by the Department of State in close partnership with Empire State Development, and state Homes and Community Renewal.

The National Women’s Hall of Fame (NWHF) received $1.1 million as part of the Seneca Falls DRI funds to renovate and secure the museum’s iconic smokestack. The grant also helped install new permanent exhibits to tell the story of women’s rights, the Mill, the Canal and its relationship to the region; and construct a code compliant elevator shaft and external stairwell to provide access to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floor. Providing access to the three additional floors will create 12,000 sq. ft. in additional museum space. This new space will enable the Hall to develop new meaningful exhibits, encompassing the Hall’s mission of showcasing great women, while honoring the important sense of place that is Seneca Falls and the Erie Canal.

Established in 1944, LeChase prides itself on offering the capabilities of a large firm while maintaining the personalized service of a small firm. Today, the company ranks among the nation’s top contractors – providing general construction and construction management services in a wide range of industries and on projects of all sizes. With a dedicated team of talented professionals striving to deliver excellence, the firm has earned a reputation for quality, safety and integrity. In addition to serving customers from its operations across the East Coast, LeChase can provide resources to meet the unique needs of clients no matter where they are located.


Founded in 1969, The National Women’s Hall of Fame (The Hall) is the nation’s first and oldest non-profit organization and museum dedicated to honoring and celebrating the achievements of distinguished American women. In pursuit of its mission, “Showcasing great women… Inspiring all,” the National Women’s Hall of Fame honors the women of the past and present, relates the history of women’s struggles, prepares the women of the future, and serves as the voice celebrating the value of women.


Note: Interviews, photos, and renderings are available on request. Email