The $1 million acquisition gives ESL naming rights for 30 years and provides vital funds to enable groundbreaking for the project in January 2020.
Rochester, N.Y., June 12, 2019— ESL Federal Credit Union has acquired the naming rights to the new main entrance building—the ESL Federal Credit Union Pavilion—at the George Eastman Museum’s new visitor center. The new entrance will be more convenient, visible, welcoming, and accessible for guests. The visitor center will also include a new café and museum shop. Construction is expected to begin in January 2020 and be completed in July 2020.
“ESL Federal Credit Union has been a steadfast partner of our institution for many years,” said Bruce Barnes, Ron and Donna Fielding Director, George Eastman Museum. “We are thrilled to partner with them as we realize our transformative visitor center project. This is a great example of the power of the combination of local corporate support, individual philanthropy, and contributions from the State of New York.”
The ESL Federal Credit Union Pavilion will be a glass-and-steel structure in front of the west facade of the one-story building—originally George Eastman’s garage—where the museum’s café and shop are currently located. The structure is designed to allow the historic facade of the garage to be visible from both within and outside the pavilion. Through the new entrance, visitors will be served by a new admissions desk, gathering places, a redesigned café with additional seating in the historic Palm House, and a more focused shop.
“As an organization founded by Mr. Eastman and a longtime supporter of the museum, we believe it is in our shared interest to enhance the exceptional experience our community has come to know when walking through the doors at the George Eastman Museum,” said Faheem Masood, President & CEO, ESL Federal Credit Union. “The George Eastman Museum is a vital institution that helps preserve the art and history of photography and cinema, and Mr. Eastman’s inspiring life and legacy. He always believed that a community’s prosperity depends on the prosperity of all of its members. We believe that too and are honored to advance this transformative project.”
The visitor center project was initiated by a longtime museum patron with a $1.1 million donation, which was matched by a $1 million grant from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) in conjunction with the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. Fundraising efforts for the project are continuing.
“Improved accessibility has been a key objective of this project since its inception,” added Barnes. “The new entrance is close to the museum’s parking lot, and eight handicap parking spaces will be located nearby. The drop-off driveway will be graded to eliminate any curb in front of the entrance doors. Within the new pavilion and the renovated interior spaces, elevation changes will be accomplished with floors that will slope gradually enough so as not to require handrails—making the museum as welcoming as possible for all visitors.”
Flynn Battaglia Architects, of Buffalo, is designing the visitor center and will oversee the construction project. For more information and updates on the project as they become available, visit eastman.org.
Exterior rendering of the new George Eastman Museum visitor center with the ESL Federal Credit Union Pavilion inside
Interior rendering of the ESL Federal Credit Union Pavilion
Floor plan of the pavilion and new visitor center
About ESL Federal Credit Union
With nearly 100 years of locally-owned history, ESL Federal Credit Union serves as a full-service financial institution to approximately 360,000 members world-wide. The company provides personal, business banking, and wealth management services through its locally-based 21 branch network, telephone, mobile, online, and live chat center.
The Rochester-based financial institution employs more than 800 people in Rochester, New York and holds $6.4 billion in assets. The company has appeared on the Great Place to Work® Best Small & Medium Workplaces list for eight years since 2010. ESL Federal Credit Union is headquartered at 225 Chestnut Street, in Rochester, and can be found online at www.esl.org.
About the George Eastman Museum
Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States, located on the historic Rochester estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography. Its holdings comprise more than 400,000 photographs, 28,000 motion picture films, the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology, one of the leading libraries of books related to photography and cinema, and extensive holdings of documents and other objects related to George Eastman. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active publishing program and, through its two joint master’s degree programs with the University of Rochester, makes critical contributions to the fields of film preservation and of photographic preservation and collection management. For more information, visit eastman.org.