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Everson, Stickley look to turn vacant Gustav Stickley House into museum

A look inside the now vacant Gustav Stickley House. The Everson Museum of Art and  L. & J.G. Stickley Company are in talks to turn the historical building into a museum.

A look inside the now vacant Gustav Stickley House. The Everson Museum of Art and L. & J.G. Stickley Company are in talks to turn the historical building into a museum. Elizabeth L. Crawford/Crawford & Stearns

— The now vacant Gustav Stickley House in Syracuse could soon be turned into a unique tourist attraction.

The Everson Museum of Art and the L. & J.G. Stickley Company have begun to discuss the possibility of renovating and restoring the house, located at 438 Columbus Avenue in Syracuse, as a historic house and museum operated by the Everson Museum, Everson officials announced today.

Architects and preservation planners Crawford & Stearns are conducting a survey to identify the feasibility and cost of the project. Everson officials have sought state funding through a proposal to the Regional Economic Development Council.

“It is a world-class opportunity and the Everson shares the Stickley Company’s vision of keeping a key piece of Arts and Crafts history alive in Syracuse,” said Steven Kern, Everson Museum of Art executive director.

The Queen Anne Victorian house was built in 1900. Following a Christmas Eve fire in 1901, Stickley rebuilt the house with a new Arts and Crafts interior, the first in the United States. The unique interior represents the aesthetic shift in America that caused the spread of the Arts and Crafts style across the country.

The house was purchased in 1995 by the L. & J.G. Stickley Company to save its historic interior from being dismantled and sold at auction.

“Our main purpose in purchasing the Stickley house was to preserve it as part of Syracuse’s unique legacy and to restore it as a historic house museum and community resource,” said Aminy Audi, L. & J.G. Stickley president and CEO.

Kern and Audi expect the restoration of the house to create a unique destination of international importance, given the historical significance of the house’s interior as the birth place of the American Arts and Crafts style.

Stickley furniture has been made in the suburbs of Syracuse since 1900. The factory is located on Stickley Drive in the village of Manlius; the museum is above the Fayetteville Free Library on Orchard Street, Fayetteville; and the showroom is in Fayetteville's Towne Center.

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