Niagara Gazette

Opinion

November 19, 2012

HIGGS: LaSalle Pride ready to reinvent itself

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — This early encounter of LaSalle history led to the successful creation and sale of a photo calendar in 2011 to raise needed funding. Recently they began to take a serious look at what they had been doing as a civic organization and decided that “LaSalle Pride will now focus on the historical aspects of the former Village of LaSalle as a basis for meeting the mission of the organization”, which is highlighted in the Plan of Action for 2013 and was shared with me by Teresa Lasher Winslow after I called her to obtain some facts for this column.

The object is to instill pride in residents and property owners in the history of their community. They want to establish historic districts such as Evershed and International Paper Company’s “factory housing” by building a historical marker program and self-guided walking tours using brochures to market the area to its residents and tourists. I think this may be what is called “branding yourself.” Areas could include places such as Jayne Park, LaSalle Village Halls, the original Town of Niagara Town Hall and other spots of interest.

Long-range goals are the redevelopment of the commercial district of Buffalo Avenue to enhance its proximity to the waterfront and the promotion of a walkable community with small shops and restaurants. They plan to do this with the city and the LaSalle Business and Professional Association. LaSalle Pride will continue to support the LaSalle Library both financially with their restoration efforts of certain areas and the purchase of needed supplies for the auditorium and will include the promotion of the Library as the “Community Center of LaSalle”

The Plan of Action includes a lecture series at the library to teach residents and the general public the history of LaSalle. All research gathered from these lectures, including oral histories and scanning of historical photos and documents brought in by participants, will be added to the LaSalle collection in the Local History Department of the Niagara Falls Public Library. The second floor Village Hall Reading Room (furnished by LaSalle Pride with monies raised from the 2011 LaSalle Legacy Calendar will house displays of historical topics. The LaSalle Legacy Calendar will continue as a means of financial support and the spreading of the historical nature of LaSalle as a unique community in which to live, shop and work. There is that “branding” aspect again. More ambitious plans call for a Book of Historic LaSalle as a fundraiser and a learning experience. Teresa mentioned they would have to apply for grants to carry out these plans and they have been looking into various venues.

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