The National Women's Hall of Fame announced Tuesday it will begin work on the second phase of a $25 million rehabilitation of the Seneca Knitting Mill.

Located in Seneca Falls, the rehabilitation project of the 170-year-old limestone structure aims to preserve the architectural history of the state's early mills while at the same time creating a future home for the hall.

Funding for the three-phase project has accrued approximately $4 million in matching federal, state and local grants. Recent fundraising efforts have netted the hall $250,000 in matching funds from the Town of Seneca Falls.

Gilbane Building Company won the construction award and will begin cleanup and stabilization of the site before installing a new roof on the mill in April. Phase I stabilization was accomplished by MRB Associates with approval by the New York State Historic Preservation Office.

Grants for the project have been secured from the Save America's Treasures program of the National Park Service, state Environmental Protection Fund, Empire State Development Corporation, New York State Canal Corporation and state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Environmental Protection Fund.

Created in 1969, the hall is the nation's oldest membership organization dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the achievements of American women.

"Rehabilitation of the Seneca Knitting Mill will transform the property into a state-of-the-art facility that will become a vibrant educational venue where visitors, scholars, tourists and the community can discover inspiration in the history of women's struggles," read a statement from Jill S. Tietjen, hall president.

Staff writer Carrie Chantler can be reached at (315) 282-2244 or carrie.chantler@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @CitizenChantler.

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