East Aurora, New York
|East Aurora, New York|
Location in Erie County and the state of New York.
|• 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)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||716, 585|
|GNIS feature ID||0948967|
East Aurora is a village in Erie County, New York, United States, southeast of Buffalo. It lies in the eastern half of the town of Aurora. The village population was 6,236 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Buffalo–Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 2015, East Aurora was rated the third-best town to raise a family in New York State by Niche.
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 home is currently located at 24 Shearer Avenue in the town of East Aurora.
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 converted from the Hubbards' original print shop and opened as an inn 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 on the South Grove Street Roycroft campus. The Roycroft Campus was granted National Landmark Status in 1986. The Roycroft Inn was re-opened in June 1995 through the support of the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation. The 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. From 1987 through 2007 the village and the Toy Town Museum (an independent non-profit organization located on the Fisher-Price campus) held the Toyfest Festival, 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 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 northwest edge of the village.
East Aurora was one of the first communities to successfully block a Walmart 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. Wegmans also attempted to come to East Aurora, but it was blocked by Tops, the only grocery store in East Aurora.
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.
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. 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. 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.
East Aurora is located at (42.766809, -78.617121).
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
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. On Riley Street sits the Healthy Zone rink which was created by the Aurora Ice Association. They have made gradual improvements to the outdoor facility since its inception, including a roof and a brand new warming lodge that was opened in November 2015. The rinks components such as the boards, glass and refrigeration system were purchased by the Aurora Ice Association and is the same equipment used in the 2008 NHL Winter Classic between the Buffalo Sabres and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
As of the census 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).
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.
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 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.
In 2008 and 2009 additions and renovations totaling $24 million were made to the district's schools to address space and maintenance issues. 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.
The district gained approval on January 25, 2011, to begin contracting a roof repair project at the high school that would take place over the summer of 2011. The project did not have any tax impact on the community as it used funds from the district's emergency building repair fund and New York State Building Aid. The work was scheduled to begin on June 27, 2011.
East Aurora High School is known as one of the top schools in western New York, and is extremely successful in athletics (soccer and cross country) and academics.
- Randall James Bayer, botanist
- David DiPietro, New York state assemblyman
- Margaret Evans Price, illustrator, co-founder of Fisher-Price
- Abigail Fillmore, former First Lady of the United States
- Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States of America
- William Headline, former Washington bureau chief for CNN
- Karl H. Hinke, founder of Master Charge, later MasterCard; long-time resident of East Aurora who died in the village on December 30, 1990.
- Elbert Hubbard, writer, publisher, artist, philosopher, and founder of the Roycroft artist community. Died upon the sinking of the RMS Lusitania on May 7, 1915.
- Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the Boston Bruins
- Seymour H. Knox III, original owner of the Buffalo Sabres
- Joseph McKeen Morrow, Wisconsin state assemblyman
- Irving Price, co-founder of Fisher-Price and former mayor of East Aurora
- Helen Schelle, co-founder of Fisher-Price
- James Schuyler, New York School poet, moved to East Aurora with his family when he was 15. The town is the setting for two of his poems, "The Morning of the Poem" and "A Few Days".
- Albert Sharpe, All-American college football player
- Luke Tasker, CFL wide receiver
- Joe Slade White, political strategist
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 many homes in the village and surrounding towns.
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."
"A Prince for Christmas" was filmed in the village of East Aurora and premiered on the ION network on November 29, 2015.
- 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.
- "East Aurora Bee". 12 October 2011.
- "The Roycroft Inn, East Aurora NY - History". Retrieved 2007-02-15.
- "Fisher-Price Website". Retrieved 2007-10-03.
- "Toyfest". Retrieved 2008-03-16.
- "Village of East Aurora History". Retrieved 2007-10-03.
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "11 Most Endangered Places at National Trust for Historic Preservation". Archived from the original on 2006-09-28. Retrieved 2007-02-15.
- "East Aurora New York - Village History". Retrieved 2007-02-15.
- Village Board Minutes
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Cinema Treasures - Aurora Theater". Retrieved 2007-02-15.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Capital Facilities Project Overview". Retrieved 2010-04-05.
- "Capital Facilities Project History". Retrieved 2010-04-05.
- "Capital Facilities Project July–August 2008 Update" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-04-05.