ONEONTA – Bob Brzozowski, who led the Greater Oneonta Historical Society over the past decade as it redeveloped 183 Main St., the oldest surviving downtown block, into the society’s permanent home, the GOHS announced today.
The GOHS trustees recently the murals on the Dietz Street side the Brzozowski Oneonta History Wall in Bob’s honor. A community reception for Bob and his wife, Jane Bachman, will be held at the Oneonta History Center when it is safe to do so.
Brzozowski’s intention was known for some time, but he said he intended to remain in the job until his successor was selected. No successor was announced today.
Bob and his wife plan to remain in Oneonta and stay involved in local history and historic preservation, according to today’s announcement.
The retiring director joined the Board of Trustees in 2003, and he succeeded Sally Mullen as board president that year. In 2009, he was appointed executive director.
When he joined the board, 183 Main St., was a “construction site,” and as executive director he has been involved in its redevelopment into the Oneonta History Center. The building was opened to the public in June 2005.
“Much had to be done to the building,” he recalled. “We did have a few off-site programs such as walking tours of the City, but there were no exhibits. The collections of the Historical Society, which had started to expand, were housed at Hartwick College and in some cases in members’ homes.”
Since, the first floor has been renovated to include a gift shop, meeting space, a permanent exhibit as well as space for temporary exhibits. Today, there are three or four major exhibits a year, and monthly programs.
The second floor now houses the permanent collections. Soon, the Sally Mullen Memorial Suite will soon open there as a community resource center for local history. Brzozowski also obtained a legislative grant through state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, to complete the third floor ballroom.