The iconic Erie building has been selected for induction in the hall in Medina, New York

Erie's Watson-Curtze Mansion has been selected for induction into the Medina Sandstone Society's Sandstone Hall of Fame. 

Representatives of the nonprofit, based in Medina, New York, about 44 miles west of Rochester, visited the Watson-Curtze Mansion on the Hagen History Center campus, at 356 W. Sixth St., on Sept. 5.

They recently notified Erie County Historical Society officials of their decision to induct the building into its 2019 class. Medina Sandstone Society officials plan to host an induction ceremony on Thursday at 2 p.m. at Medina's city hall.

The Medina Sandstone Society, founded in 2004, identifies and recognizes historical buildings based on their architectural beauty and other criteria.

"I had no idea they even existed until they called me and said, 'You've been nominated,''' Historical Society Executive Director George Deutsch said. "We received two separate nominations, but we don't know who nominated us. This particular sandstone hasn't been quarried commercially for nearly 100 years because the quarries played out."

St. Peter Cathedral, at 230 W. 10th St., is the only other Erie building included in the Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame, Deutsch said.

"They (Medina Sandstone Society representatives) came to look at the Watson-Curtze Mansion, and there are several other buildings around town that we took them to visit that are also made out of the same type of sandstone," Deutsch said. "For instance, the Erie Cemetery's three buildings are all made out of Medina sandstone."

The first commercial sandstone quarry opened in Medina, New York, in 1837. Early in the 20th century, there were 50 quarries covering 2,000 acres between Medina and Holley in Orleans County, New York, according to the Sandstone Society.

Those quarries employed about 1,200 workers including immigrants from Ireland, Poland, Italy, Germany and England.

Stone from those quarries provided paving stones and curbing for streets in Buffalo, Rochester, Cleveland and New York City. Stone was also used to create homes, churches, civic buildings and monuments.

Ron Leonardi can be reached at 870-1680 or by e-mail. Follow him on Twitter at