The Penney Gallery

Contractors are hard at work creating what will become the Penney Gallery at the Erie Canal Discovery Center. The Penney Gallery will be the new home for the Niagara Collection of renowned area collector Charles Rand Penney who donated his amazing collection of over 5,000 historic treasures from Niagara County’s 200-plus year history to the Niagara County Historical Society, now called simply, the History Center. Mr. Penney’s previous philanthropic gifts include the donation of his huge collection of Charles Burchfield paintings to Buffalo State College which at that time helped create the Burchfield-Penney Art Center. The History Center itself had a long history with Charles Penney, who was a life member and served on its board of directors in the 1960s. Melissa Dunlap, executive director for the History Center described Penney as “the quintessential collector who not only collected objects, but preserved the story behind the objects.” Penney was a lifelong collector who had the financial wherewithal to travel the globe, and as such, the whole world was the subject of his collecting. In addition to helping to create the Burchfield-Penney and soon the Penney Gallery, Penney also gifted portions of his collections to the Castellani Art Museum at Niagara University, Buffalo Museum of Science, and other area well-known cultural facilities. The History Center began its plan to build the Penney Gallery in September 2008 when it received word from Charles Penney that he needed a new home for his collection and had hoped the Center would find a way to exhibit and store his treasure trove of commercial products, paintings by regional artists, local curiosities, ephemera and much more. Fast forward through two years of planning and fund raising, and the new Penney Gallery and Research Room at the Erie Canal Discovery Center is taking shape. The History Center is constructing a 1,500 square-foot mezzanine gallery at its 24 Church Street location and also is re-purposing an existing space to provide a new research facility to accommodate inquiries about and provide access to materials in Penney’s collection and in the History Center’s other holdings. These two new additions to the facility will provide the ability for the Erie Canal Discovery Center to expand its operation to be open 12 months of the year. The History Center is quick to credit Mark Glynn of Glynn Group Geotechnical Engineers for their assistance with planning and the financial help of its two largest supporters, the Grigg-Lewis Foundation and Niagara County through the NYPA Niagara River Greenway Commission. Doug Farley, History Center director of development noted the need for additional funding. “Ongoing care and preservation of a huge collection like this is going to be essential to our success. These are fragile assets that could turn to dust if not stored and handled with utmost care.” In order to raise additional funds for this purpose, the History Center is hosting the “Past, Penney and Future Gala,” to be held at the Center on August 20th. This will be the official opening dedication ceremony and will also celebrate the History Center’s 90th anniversary of service to the community. Businesses are encouraged to assist by becoming sponsors of the event and area friends and residents are asked to purchase tickets for the gala celebration, catered by Lockport Town and Country Club. For more information, contact the History Center at 434-7433.

More than a ‘Penney’s worth’ of open space in Bewley Building - The Buffalo News
More than a ‘Penney’s worth’ of open space in Bewley Building - The Buffalo News

More than a ‘Penney’s worth’ of open space in Bewley Building - The Buffalo News

LOCKPORT – When Lockport’s legendary collector Charles Rand Penney died, the loss was notable in the art world and made a difference to the hundreds of buyers who descended on his estate sale, which was so large it had to be held in a former hockey rink.But one little-noticed... - The Buffalo News


If you want to place an ad in the "Past, Penney & Future" Gala's keepsake program, call KAX Solutions & Services at 514.4567 or get the form at Attendees are coming from all over WNY and the program is a good way to get your name out there while supporting the History Center & the Penney Gallery.


Less than a month left. Get your tickets for the Aug 20 Penney Gala. A grand event marking the official opening of the gallery. Go to or call 434.7433 for tickets.

Many updates to the website.  Take a look!  More information about the "Past, Penney, and Future Gala".  See how you can...
Charles Rand Penney Gallery

Many updates to the website. Take a look! More information about the "Past, Penney, and Future Gala". See how you can be a sponsor, be a patron or advertise in the commemorative program, and of course purchase tickets. It is sure to be one of the premier events of the Summer.

The Latest Addition to the 24 Church Street Lockport, New York 14094 716.439.0431


The Penny Gallery is really taking shape. It is sure to be a great addition to the Erie Canal Discovery Center and The Niagara County History Center.


The logo for the Penney Gallery (our facebook picture) was drawn by Joseph Whalen. Thanks Joe!


24 Church St
Lockport, NY

Opening Hours

Friday 10:00 - 15:00
Saturday 10:00 - 15:00


(716) 434-7433


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