Gary Emerson Reveals Why People’s College In Havana Isn’t What It Sounds Like on This Week’s State of Greater Western New York Report – March 31, 2022

Have you ever wondered, where some of these fantastic buildings that we see scattered throughout the Greater Western New York Region come from? We’re going to explore the fascinating history – or, more appropriately, hic-up in history – concerning a very special building with a very unique story on this week’s episode of the State of Greater Western New York Report. Are you ready to discover more? Click the video below and you’ll find out that People’s College in Havana is not what you think it is.

Schuyler County Historian Gary Emerson returns to the broadcast to present the short happy life of an institution once known as “People’s College.” In the show’s first segment, he explains why the emerging Schuyler County wanted to feature an accessible college right in its very heart and some of the big names that sought to make it so. You’ll learn who Charles Cook is, his role in this venture, and why he pressed hard for a land grant from the Federal Government (that he eventually received).

In the second half of the show, Emerson reveals what happened to People’s College and what well-known university usurped its land grant, as well as the circumstances that destined People’s College to fail. He then tells the (much longer) story of Cook Academy, the institution that took over the huge building of People’s College, and who occupies that building is today.

Our guest happily answered questions from the live audience. In fact, these are probably some of the same questions you had. Would you like to be a member of our live audience so you can ask our guests questions? Click here to join the growing number of members who share your feelings on because then we can automatically send you the link to watch our shows live.

Theme music by mansardian courtesy of under Creative Commons License Attribution 3.0

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