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Red Cross chapter moves into new Syracuse offices

The large windows that now face out onto the 300 block of West Genesee Street in the early 1900's used to display expensive roadsters made by the Chalmers Motor Car Company in Syracuse. They now are part of the new offices of the Red Cross of Central New York.

That sense of history attracted the charity to the location when they needed a more practical office space than the former one at Herald Place.

"Back in the day they used to display cars here, and they have this wonderful ceiling, and we were really intrigued by it and were pleased there were a number of the original features still intact," says Red Cross chapter CEO Rosie Taravella. "Our landlord helped to re-purpose it back to its original grandeur."

The new office space is on one level, so it's easier to grab emergency equipment says longtime volunteer Bobbie Krukowski of Liverpool, who didn't like the layout of the last place.

"Going down the stairs it was a dark dank cellar," he recalls. "And this is nice here. It's a real wonderful set up."

And for Frank Childs, who teaches things like first aid classes, large classrooms work for him.

"You got a classroom of 20 people, you got to have room to have 10 mannequins on the floor and be able to operate around them. So having the larger rooms are going to be great for us," he says.

The offices are on a bus line, so they'll be convenient for disaster victims. And the large gallery just inside the front door was already used earlier this year when there were 200 spontaneous volunteers who wanted to help with the recent Mohawk Valley floods.