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A series of community meetings next month will help decide the fate of Rodman Hall’s 1,000-piece art collection.

The huge collection is in the hands of a registered charity called the Rodman Art Institute of Niagara after the historic gallery in St. Catharines closed in 2020. Earlier this year, it was revealed that the 19th century building century on St. Paul Crescent would be converted into a 13-room boutique hotel.

The community meetings will be organized with the help of international planning firm Lord Cultural Resources.

Meetings are scheduled for:

  • September 13 via Zoom at 6:30 p.m.

  • Sept. 15 at 5:30 p.m. at a location to be determined.
  • September 17 at 11 a.m. at Salem Chapel BME Church, 92 Geneva St., St. Catharines.

The Rodman Art Institute was established to protect and support the gallery’s collection, with the goal of establishing a new public art gallery.

Opened in 1960 as an arts center, Rodman Hall struggled financially in the 1990s before being purchased by Brock University in 2003 for $2 – with a commitment to continue running it as a art gallery for 20 years.

Brock ended his ownership in 2015, after opening his Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines.

The 2.88 hectare property was sold to developer Nino Donatelli in October 2020. Donatelli previously restored the 19th century Lybster Mill in Merritton, now called Stone Mill Inn. He also rehabilitated an old rubber factory on Glendale Avenue into a Keg restaurant.

Rodman Hall and its grounds are designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. No major modifications or additions are planned for the building.