East Aurora, New York

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East Aurora, New York
Village
East Aurora, New York is located in New York
East Aurora, New York
East Aurora, New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 42°46′1″N 78°37′2″W / 42.76694°N 78.61722°W / 42.76694; -78.61722Coordinates: 42°46′1″N 78°37′2″W / 42.76694°N 78.61722°W / 42.76694; -78.61722
Country United States
State New York
County Erie
Area
 • Total 2.5 sq mi (6.5 km2)
 • Land 2.5 sq mi (6.5 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 919 ft (280 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 6,236
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 14052
Area code(s) 716, 585
FIPS code 36-21589
GNIS feature ID 0948967
Position within Erie County.

East Aurora is a village in Erie County, New York, United States, southeast of Buffalo. The Village of East Aurora lies in the eastern half of the Town of Aurora.

The population was 6,236 at the 2010 census. It is part of the BuffaloNiagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

The village was founded in 1804,[1] and incorporated in 1874.[2]

Prior to becoming President of the United States, Millard Fillmore lived in East Aurora with his wife Abigail from 1826 to 1830. The house he built there while practicing law in the beginning of his political career is currently maintained by the Aurora Historical Society. The 1825 structure is restored to that period and features some original Fillmore furniture of the era, as well as items from Fillmore’s presidential years.

The founder of the Roycroft Movement, Elbert Hubbard, also lived there during the turn of the twentieth century. Hubbard and his wife died on board the RMS Lusitania in 1915. One of the town's most famous landmarks, The Roycroft Inn was opened in 1905 to accommodate the influx of famous visitors attracted by Hubbard’s ideas as well as the books, Mission-style furniture and metalware produced by the 500 Roycroft artisans.[3] The Roycroft Inn was granted National Landmark Status in 1986 and re-opened in June 1995 through the support of the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation.[4] The Roycroft Inn was completely restored and is open to the public for dining and accommodations. The Elbert Hubbard Museum on Oakwood Avenue features an extensive collection of Roycroft books and Arts & Crafts pieces.

East Aurora is also the birthplace of and home to the Corporate Headquarters for Fisher-Price.[5] From 1987 through 2007[6] the village and the Toy Town Museum (an independent non profit organization located on the Fisher-Price campus) held the Toyfest Festival,[7] which included the Toyfest parade featuring giant replicas of classic Fisher-Price toys. The three-day event was usually held at Hamlin Park and included an amusement park, circus-like attractions and a Fisher-Price play area where young children could play with a variety of toys. The museum closed in 2009.

The town was the home of the inaugural owner of the NHL Franchise Buffalo Sabres, Seymour H. Knox III. The Knox Estates, now known as Knox Farm, is a 633-acre (2.56 km2) New York State park. It is located on the north-west edge of the village.

Millard Fillmore House, George and Gladys Scheidemantel House, and Roycroft Campus are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[8]

Contemporary issues[edit]

East Aurora was one of the first communities to successfully block a Wal-Mart store, in 1995 and again in 1999. The act was led by a community group in an attempt to preserve the small town values, and help support privately owned businesses. However, Wegmans attempted to come to East Aurora, but it was blocked by TOPS the only grocery store in East Aurora. [9][10]

In February, 2008, local officials rejected the urging of local politician Kevin Gaughan to merge village functions with the Town of Aurora, citing recent disputes with the town.[citation needed]

Another ongoing controversy involves a proposed twin ice rink facility to be constructed on a vacant Riley Street lot in the Village downtown area. A parent led group known as the Aurora Ice Association (AIA) has submitted plans for the facility, but is being met with resistance from a group of residents claiming a lack of demand, lack of parking, and the potential for catastrophic train derailments from the adjacent railroad tracks. On September 15, 2008, the Village Board voted to accept a Negative Declaration on the State Environmental Quality Review for the proposed rink, which eliminates the need for further exhaustive site environmental impact studies.[11] As a temporary measure, the AIA purchased the ice rink structure that was used in the 2008 NHL Winter Classic at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. With a substantial amount of assistance from the local business community and area residents, the outdoor rink was erected, and held its grand opening on November 1, 2008. The village approved an open air rink with a roof that has been built and now currently stands at the site.

Geography[edit]

East Aurora is located at 42°46′1″N 78°37′2″W / 42.76694°N 78.61722°W / 42.76694; -78.61722 (42.766809, -78.617121).[12]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2), all land.

Main Street in the village is U.S. Route 20A.

Points of interest[edit]

Main Street in East Aurora is lined with a variety of specialty shops, restaurants, churches, municipal buildings and carefully preserved homes. Businesses include the Toy Loft (a local toy store), Vidler's (an old-fashioned five and dime store), the East End Tap Room, Arriba Tortilla (the Town's only Mexican eatery), Aurora Outfitters (a men's Apparel, Footwear and Accessories store), Explore & More Children's Museum, and the Aurora Theatre, a 650-seat, big-screen cinema theatre with a classic, old-fashioned neon marquee. The Aurora Ice Association has begun construction on a permanent shelter to cover the ice rink that is built every winter on Riley Street.[13]

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 6,674 people, 2,596 households, and 1,728 families residing in the village. The population density was 2,653.8 people per square mile (1,026.5/km2). There were 2,729 housing units at an average density of 1,085.3 per square mile (419.8/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 97.90% White, 1.00% African American, 0.03% Native American, 0.40% Asian, 0.04% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.69% of the population.

There were 2,596 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.9% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.4% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the village the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 87.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.5 males. Since 2012, there has been a boost in families with very young children.

Schools[edit]

Children living in the village of East Aurora attend Parkdale Elementary (grades K–4), East Aurora Middle School (grades 5–8), and East Aurora High School (grades 9-12). Immaculate Conception School (grades K-8) is the parochial alternative. Children living in the town of Aurora attend the Iroquois School district with children living in Elma. Children from the ages of one through four can attend nursery school on the Fisher Price campus. Another option, is the East Aurora Montessori School for ages two through five. Children in East Aurora also have the option of being unschooled or homeschooled. Due to East Aurora having a higher than average income in the Western New York region, some children attend private schools in other parts of the region such as the Waldorf School in Colden, NY, Nichols in Buffalo, NY or The Park School in Amherst, NY.

In 2008 and 2009 additions and renovations totaling $24 million[15] were made to the district's schools to address space and maintenance issues.[16] Prior to 2009 students attended Parkdale Elementary in grades K–2, and Main Street Elementary for grades 3–8. Elements of the Roycroft style influenced the design of Parkdale Elementary's new entrance.[17]

The district gained approval on January 25, 2011 to begin contracting a roof repair project at the high school that will take place over the summer of 2011. The project does not have any tax impact on the community as it uses funds from the district's emergency building repair fund and New York State Building Aid. The work is scheduled to begin on June 27, 2011.[18]

East Aurora High School is known as one of the top schools in WNY, and is extremely successful in athletics (soccer and cross country) and academics.

Notable people[edit]

Art[edit]

East Aurora has been home to a number of regional landscape painters, most notably Carl W. Illig (1910-1987), who grew up and lived in the village for nearly all of his life. He painted landscape scenes along Cazenovia Creek, and fields and hills around East Aurora, in all seasons. His paintings are found in homes all through the village and surrounding towns.

Cultural references[edit]

In the Whit Stillman movie Metropolitan, Nick Smith (played by Chris Eigeman) says that he will soon be taking a train to East Aurora, where he will meet his "stepmother of untrammeled malevolence, quite possibly to be murdered."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Smith, H. Perry, ed. (1884). History of the City of Buffalo and Erie County: With illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers, Volume I. D. Mason & Co. p. 537. 
  2. ^ "East Aurora Bee". 12 October 2011. 
  3. ^ http://www.ruba.com/place/East_Aurora_NY-East_Aurora_NY
  4. ^ "The Roycroft Inn, East Aurora NY - History". Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  5. ^ "Fisher-Price Website". Retrieved 2007-10-03. 
  6. ^ "Toyfest". Retrieved 2008-03-16. 
  7. ^ "Village of East Aurora History". Retrieved 2007-10-03. 
  8. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  9. ^ "11 Most Endangered Places at National Trust for Historic Preservation". Archived from the original on 2006-09-28. Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  10. ^ "East Aurora New York - Village History". Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  11. ^ Village Board Minutes
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  13. ^ "Cinema Treasures - Aurora Theater". Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  15. ^ "Capital Facilities Project Overview". Retrieved 2010-04-05. 
  16. ^ "Capital Facilities Project History". Retrieved 2010-04-05. 
  17. ^ "Capital Facilities Project July–August 2008 Update". Retrieved 2010-04-05. 
  18. ^ http://www.eastauroraschools.org/114010128202613737/blank/browse.asp?a=383&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&c=58391
  19. ^ http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1990-12-25/news/1990359019_1_straus-interbank-hinke

External links[edit]