Chautauqua Institution acquires historic structure

Jan 20, 2016

The Chautauqua Institution is keeping a landmark in house. The institution has purchased the cottage of Lewis Miller from descendants of the first president and cultural center co-founder.

The cottage was once owned by Lewis Miller, a founder of the Chautauqua Institution.
Credit from Library of Congress website

The purchase price came from longtime Chautauquan Thomas Hagen, who is also planning a matching fund to endow future maintenance of the home, which is on the list of National Historic Landmarks.

Chautauqua Institution Vice President George Murphy says the building has close ties with major cultural figures. The Civil War general and former President Ulysses Grant was the first visitor for Lewis Miller's home. His daughter Mina used it as a summer home with husband Thomas Edison.

"We had an engineering report and there are some areas that have to be shored up fairly quickly. So, we'll work on that," Murphy said.

"The real necessity now is to figure out what use we want to do. And, then make the necessary code adjustments and any other structural changes that will allow us to use it that way. And that might take 12-18 months before we get that completed."

Chautauqua may renovate the large gardens to their original design before going ahead with work on the building.