Construction has begun on a new 3,140 square foot building at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo. It will house all the records of the cemetery dating back to 1849. Also included within the building will be the records of Lakeside Cemetery in Hamburg; St. Matthew’s Cemetery in West Seneca, and Williamsville Cemetery in Williamville which are operated by Forest Lawn.
The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation got the project started with $500,000 but the total cost of construction is slated at $1.6 million. The center will also be named for Margaret L. Wendt. It will be located on Main St. near where the barn of pioneer Erastus Granger is located. Mr Granger’s estate was purchased to establish Forest Lawn in 1849. The new center will resemble Granger’s barn.
More than 1.2 million records from all four cemeteries will be at the center including leather-bound interment books, maps, photographs and deeds. Another $500,000 will go into the digitization of the records that will take at least another year.
Construction of the center is expected to be completed in spring of 2014.