Play ADK has finalized its purchase of the former Branch and Callanan warehouse on Depot Street in downtown Saranac Lake, clearing the way for a capital project that will transform the space into a children’s museum and family resource center serving the greater Tri-Lakes region.
“This is a major milestone for Play ADK, but the true work of bringing this project to life is just getting underway,” said Beverly Bridger, co-chair of Play ADK’s Board of Trustees. “Our Board and staff are now focused on working with our funding partners and community leaders to keep the momentum going. A project of this scale requires broad support and we’re grateful to the community for helping us get this far.”
Play ADK purchased the property from HES Ventures. The 10,000 square foot historic warehouse will be expanded to 15,000 square feet to accommodate a children’s museum and family resource center. The museum will serve as an interactive, kid- and family-focused play center, offering exhibits and experiences to engage children in active and imaginative play; the resource center will provide parents with essential family services including parenting classes, peer support groups, WIC programming and more.
“We are incredibly excited to be part of Play ADK’s vision for the Depot Street property,” said Tim Reilly, owner of HES Ventures. “The creation of the children’s museum is not just transformational but will be equally or more historic than the Branch and Callanan’s construction and lumber businesses that occupied the property for over a century. We look forward to seeing continued momentum with Play ADK and the overall Depot Street redevelopment efforts.”
In addition to Play ADK, several projects aimed at revitalizing Saranac Lake’s historic Depot Street neighborhood are in the works, including a 65-unit mixed income housing complex and the new multi-use recreational path connecting Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake.
The purchase of the warehouse was made possible by a generous grant from the Cloudsplitter Foundation as well as contributions from donors in the community, local foundations and New York State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative and the North Country Regional Economic Development Council.
As rehabilitation of the Depot Street warehouse gets underway, Play ADK has established a temporary presence on Main Street in Saranac Lake. The space is managed by Tell Media and also hosts the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and exhibits by local artists. As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, Play ADK plans to host small play exhibits and other family-focused programming. Visit 84 Main Street, Saranac Lake, to learn more.
“Our storefront space gives us an opportunity to engage with the community and test out some of our exhibit ideas with kids and families,” said Rob Carr, Play ADK’s executive director. “More importantly, we want to be visible and provide people with a chance to meet our team, ask questions and share ideas.”
Fundraising will continue throughout the summer as Play ADK looks to secure funding to bring the project to completion. If you’re interested in supporting Play ADK with a charitable gift, or want to learn more, visit playadk.org or contact Rob Carr at [email protected] or (518) 304-7440.