The Seneca Nation of Indians has decided it needs a bigger museum. So on Thursday, nation leaders broke ground on a new Cultural Center to be located near their Allegany Territory casino.
The $13 million project will be built in phases, said Maurice John, the Seneca president.
"The building will contain the museum and Archives Department for the Seneca Nation," John said. "It'll have all our records."
The new center, to be located on West Hetzel Street, gives the nation an opportunity to display more of a vast collection which is kept at the current Broad Street museum.
It's the latest economic development project in what has proven to be a busy summer for the Senecas. Last week, representatives were in Buffalo to announce a $40 million expansion of the Buffalo Creek Casino. Additionally, the nation recently completed a collaborative project with New York State on the Cattaraugus Territory in the Town of Irving, where a new gateway park and road roundabout was constructed to ease what was previously deemed a dangerous intersection.
The Cultural Center, when opened, is expected to draw an estimated 28,000 visitors in its first year.
"We've decided to make our dream become a reality," President John said. "In other words, we want to create living history."