Chautauqua Institution


On a typical afternoon in Bestor Plaza, one can find Chautauqua’s Community Band entertaining a crowd, children selling lemonade or playing an instrument, newsboys selling the daily newspaper and families gathering for picnics.

Whether you are a year-round resident or a first-time visitor, Chautauqua is a vibrant community that encourages exploration of the natural and built environment and engagement with your neighbors.

The Chautauqua Community page is designed to keep the public informed on community news throughout the year and provide basic information on services, environmental initiatives and volunteer organizations.

Chautauqua Institution

A 300-acre community located in rural western New York adjoining Chautauqua Lake, Chautauqua Institution performs many of the normal municipal functions, including the provision of public water and sewer, a police force, a volunteer fire department, emergency medical services, health clinic and a daily newspaper, as well as the maintenance of roads, gardens and public buildings. Click here for a full list of services available to the public.

Chautauqua Institution contains over 1,000 parcels of private property as well as over 100 public facilities. 

The Chautauqua Women’s Club website

The Chautauqua Women’s Club was organized in 1899 for literary, education and religious purposes and continues to provide a variety of programming, including the Contemporary Issues Forum, Contemporary Issues Dialogues and the Professional Women’s Network.

The Smith Memorial Library of Chautauqua Institution anchors the southern end of Bestor Plaza.

The state-of-the-art Cohen Recording Studio is located on the lower level of Smith Memorial Library.

Chautauqua Property Owners Association website

The Chautauqua Property Owners Association serves as a communication link between individuals who own residences on the grounds and the administrative officers and trustees of Chautauqua Institution. As such, it has primary responsibility to represent to the Institution the interests and needs of the owners.

The following is a list of community services available at Chautauqua Institution:

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2016 Season Information

A Livable Community

Chautauqua Institution is the recipient of the 2010 Silver Award from the International Awards for Livable Communities. Endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme, the LivCom Awards is the world’s only awards competition focusing on international best practice regarding the management of the local environment.

Designated both a National Historic District because of the characteristics of Chautauqua, the place, it is also designated as a National Historic Landmark because of its contribution to American culture. Chautauqua joined seven other iconic American places as the recipient of the Heritage Award from the Urban Land Institute. In presenting the award ULI stated “If the physical archetype for traditional neighborhood developments in the United States is colonial Charleston, Savannah, or Annapolis, the holistic prototype has always been Chautauqua…Its appeal derives not from its historical quaintness, but from its relevance to life today.”

Chautauqua Institution has also been honored by the American Institute of Architects for its commitment to historic preservation and by Chautauqua County for its leadership role in innovative energy-saving techniques.