Planning Commission Liaison to the HPC
Jim Allein is a life-long resident of the Village of Lancaster. He appreciates the small hometown atmosphere which the village offers with its walkable neighborhoods and business district. He loves learning about the history of Lancaster and strives to preserve the historic village while allowing progress into the community. He is a 15 year member and past chair of the Village Planning Commission. He also serves as president for the Lancaster Opera House and vice president of the Lancaster Historical Society. Jim graduated from Houghton College in 1985 with a B.S. in education. He retired from the Town of Lancaster as Deputy Town Clerk in 2010 after working there for 15 years
Jeffrey has resided in the Village of Lancaster for the past decade and has served on the Historic Preservation Commission since November of 2022. His passion for history and desire to serve the community led to his pursuing a position as the Village Historian, which he was appointed in June 2022. When he is not working on something to do with history, Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, playing, and watching basketball and eating great food.
Sherry has been a member since 2012 and Vice Chair since 2013. Sherry and her husband have lived in Lancaster since 1995. Sherry’s love of old homes and interest in turn of the century architecture led to the purchase of a 1906 Queen Anne Victorian fixer upper. Sherry and her husband have been restoring the home since they purchased it in 1995, performing most of the work themselves. In 2009 their home was designated Lancaster’s First Local Historic Landmark. Their restoration work was also recognized by Preservation Buffalo Niagara in 2010 with an Excellence in Preservation Award. Sherry researched and wrote a nomination for the National Register of Historic Places resulting in her home being listed on the register in 2012. Sherry’s restored home has also been opened to the public for several local old home tours. Sherry has a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology. She is also a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. Sherry is currently employed as a mental health counselor, but her free time is spent continuing with the restoration of her home.
Caitlin Chaves Yates
Caitlin Chaves-Yates grew up in Lancaster, NY and has returned to live in the village after several years of living in Boston, Germany, and NYC. She has a PhD in Archaeology from Boston University, specializing in the archaeology of ancient Mesopotamia and Syria. She is also interested in more local archaeology and history. She enjoys visiting local historic sites and learning more about the past. She grew up in a historic home in the town of Lancaster and now resides in a 1920s home in the village with her husband, son and her cat.
Commission Member & Secretary
Emma started as the secretary of the Village of Lancaster Historic Preservation Commission and has gained the experience and knowledge to become a voting member of the Commission as well. She grew up in a historic home in the Village of Lancaster which inspired her to study architecture. Now a licensed architect who works in downtown Buffalo, Emma believes it is important to be involved in the community that she lives in and would like to see the Village of Lancaster remain a desirable locale in Western New York for both visitors and residents.
Joseph W. Keefe
Joseph W. Keefe is an attorney practicing law on Central Avenue in Lancaster. He is Vice Chair of the Commission and lives in the Village of Depew. He also serves on the Lancaster Town Planning Board and the Lancaster Rural Cemetery Board. He graduated from St. Mary's High School, Canisius College and University at Buffalo Law School. He has 2 children and 2 grandchildren.
Mike has served on the HPC since 1988; 2008-2018, as Chair succeeding James S. Keysa, Founding Chair. He is an architect, first registered (NY) in 1984 and currently practices with a firm that specializes in historic preservation and adaptive reuse of older buildings. His involvement in local projects of note includes the current conversion of the Richardson Complex, the former State Mental Hospital, into the Hotel Henry Hotel and Conference Center; the Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Serviceman’s Museum at Erie Canal Harbor; exterior restoration work at ECC City Campus; and the restoration of the McKinley Monument for the City of Buffalo. Mike also serves as a Trustee of the Hull House Foundation, a board that oversees the operation and stewardship of the Hull Family Home and Farmstead Museum (1810) in Lancaster, NY.
Among the successes of the Commission over his tenure on the HPC has been a successful compromise solution for the widening of Broadway through the Historic District; the nomination and listing of 10 Village structures to the National Register of Historic Places; the oversight of façade renovations along Central Avenue for the NY Main Street Grant Program; countless interaction and project reviews with homeowners, property owners and businesses; and most recently, the successful nomination and listings of the Central Avenue District and the Broadway District to the National Register of Historic Places.
Alternate Commission Member
Michael Russ and his wife first moved to Lancaster in 1991. Since then, Mike has been active with the Lancaster Depew Soccer Club and with Lancaster Unleashed, a group dedicated to bringing a dog park to Como Park. Mike became interested in the History of Lancaster when he discovered his third great grandfather was Matthias Schwartz, one of the town’s earliest settlers, and who’s family had run a general store on Old West Main Street in the 1890’s.
Alternate Commission Member
Nancy has lived in the Village of Lancaster since 1982. She has been active in the community as a Girl Scout Leader and a Religious Education Instructor at Saint Mary of the Assumption Parish. She has been employed as support staff for Lancaster Central School District since 2008. Nancy’s love of history and historic preservation is demonstrated through her involvement in genealogy and historical re-enactment. She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Lancaster Historical Society. Along with her husband, Nancy enjoys traveling the country to visit small towns and tour historical sites.