History Center plans 'reunion' program Sept. 12
This unique artifact is a dramatic depiction of the first Roebling Suspension Bridge built to span the Niagara River, a construction project that preceded Roebling’s more famous Brooklyn Bridge.
This intricate diorama was built by child prodigy Grayton Swan of Niagara Falls when he was only 16 years old. With a background painting of the Niagara River, the diorama is a very detailed model of the wooden suspension bridge completed in 1855. The base of the exhibit contains a model of the Maid of the Mist boat from that time period.
Six years ago, due to the fragile condition of the diorama, the History Center had been forced to remove the art object from display.
Restoration work on the rare historic treasure was made possible by a generous grant from Greater Hudson Heritage Network in the amount of $7,200 as part of their 2011 Conservation Treatment Program.
The actual restoration work was completed by Tracy Dulniak and Dena Cirpili of Great Lakes Art Conservation, located in Grand Island.
Great pains were taken to restore the artifact to near original condition. The diorama now hangs once again in the History Center’s meeting room and is used to orient school groups, tourists and other visitors to Niagara County.
A special program has been planned for 7 p.m. Sept. 12 to celebrate the return of this popular diorama. Art conservator Dulniak will be on hand to explain the restoration efforts in detail.
Light refreshments will be served. The public is invited to attend this free public presentation. A free will offering will be accepted to help with History Center programming throughout the year.