Saturday, February 18, 2012

Dedication of Historic Plaque for Zen Center (Joshua Forman House) Wednesday Feb 23rd - All Invited

Dedication of Historic Plaque for Zen Center (Joshua Forman House) 
Wednesday Feb 23rd - All Invited
(all photos Samuel D. Gruber)

This is shaping up to be a big week for local historic preservation efforts.

Sunday is the PACNY annual meeting. Tuesday night the Erie Canal musuem hosts an evening panel to celebrate the past and future of the former People's AME Zion church at 711 East Fayette.

And on Wednesday, February 23 at 4:30 p.m. at the Zen Center of Syracuse an historic plaque will be dedicated celebrating the 1810 residence of Joshua Forman, first President of the Village of Syracuse.

The public is invited to the event. RSVP: 315 492 9773 or

The house has been lovingly restored by the Zen Center since 1996, when it acquired the property at 266 West Seneca Turnpike. The Preservation Association has given the Zen Center two awards, most recently the TLC award in 2005 for the fine restoration of the front porch. While the house includes elements from the original Forman home, its exterior appearance is mostly the result of a turn of the 20th century remodeling. It remains one of the most impressive and substantial structures on the historic stretch of Seneca Turnpike through Syracuse.

The plaque was made possible through a grant from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, and Mr. Pomeroy will be present at the dedication ceremony. A short reception will follow.

Joshua Forman was a New York State Assemblyman who proposed and championed the creation of the Erie Canal, commissioned the mapping of Syracuse’s streets, opened the law office of Forman and Sabine in Onondaga Hollow, established the First Onondaga Religious Society and Onondaga Hollow Religious Society, founded the Plaster Company of Camillus, was appointed First Judge of Onondaga County Common Pleas, and erected two grist mills, among other achievements. He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery.

His vision and energy continued to manifest throughout the history of this beautiful house, which has served as a private home, a seminary, and a community gathering place for concerts on its sweeping porches. Neighbors sewed bandages there for soldiers during the War of 1812 and the Civil War.

The Zen Center of Syracuse teaches the fundamentals of meditation, offers cultural and educational programs, maintains a community art gallery, commissioned a large-scale public artwork by Haudenosaunee artist Tom Huff, and welcomes people of all religions, races, and ethnic traditions to find inner peace at this six-acre wildlife preserve along Onondaga Creek.

Several years ago PACNY helped save the historic Samuel Forman house, home of Joshua's brother and also on Seneca Turnpike, from demolition, after negotiations with a drugstore developer.

No comments:

Post a Comment