Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Community Foundation Announces $75,000 Grant for Kleinhans Music Hall Restoration Project

Apr 29, 2015 | Posted in News

Buffalo, NY – The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo today announced a $75,000 grant to Kleinhans Music Hall for a restoration project that will create an archive room to preserve important pieces of the Music Hall’s history. The $75,000 grant is also in honor of the Music Hall’s 75th Anniversary, which it is celebrating in 2015.

Kleinhans Music Hall was built thanks to the generosity and vision of Edward and Mary Seaton Kleinhans and the stewardship of their charitable dreams by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. In the 1930’s the Community Foundation was bequeathed the estates of Edward and Mary Seaton Kleinhans who made their fortune from the clothing store that bore their name. Mr. and Mrs. Kleinhans both died within three months of each other in 1934.

Upon their untimely deaths, Mr. and Mrs. Kleinhans had stated in their Will that it was their wish to build a music hall for the enjoyment and benefit of the people of Western New York. Based upon the Kleinhans’ wish, the Community Foundation immediately began working with the City of Buffalo toward seeing the Kleinhans’ vision through. The Music Hall’s first concert took place in October of 1940 and 2015 marks its 75th Anniversary.

“For 96 years the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has worked tirelessly on behalf of clients who have asked the Foundation to manage their charitable assets and carry on their legacy according to their wishes, forever,” said Community Foundation President and CEO, Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker. “We are honored that Edward and Mary Seaton Kleinhans entrusted the Foundation to see through their vision of building a music hall in our community. We are proud to continue honoring their legacy 75 years later and make it possible for all who enter Kleinhans to learn about its history.”

With 75 years of history to preserve, Kleinhans Music Hall will use the grant to build an archive room to share and display an impressive collection of photos and artifacts with the public.

“Kleinhans Music Hall is honored to accept this grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo to mark our 75th Anniversary, “ said Kleinhans Music Hall board chairman, Christopher Brown. “We should all be grateful that Mr. and Mrs. Kleinhans chose the Community Foundation to carry on their legacy so that we are able to have this extraordinary music hall in our community for everyone to enjoy.”

In December 2014, an album of photographs of the 1930s window displays from the Kleinhans clothing store were secured by the Community Foundation on behalf of several generous donors at auction in New York City. The album, containing 220 silver prints mounted on linen will be one of the items featured at the Music Hall’s newly constructed archive room along with Keinhans Music Hall renderings, artifacts and photographs.

Kleinhans Music Hall announced that phase one of the archive room restoration project is slated to open to the public this Fall in conjunction with a few major events to mark the 75th Anniversary.

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