Above: At the junction of two historic turnpikes, the League's headquarters at 44 Central Avenue is one of the oldest remaining commercial buildings in Albany. Constructed prior to 1817, the building first served as a grain and feed store, and retains many of the architectural elements that illustrate its history. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in February, 2014.
The Preservation League: a long history of effective leadership.
"[In 1974] Most communities had no preservation law, didn’t know they needed one, and didn’t know how to go about it if they wanted one. In most parts of the state, activists had no one to turn to for guidance in launching a preservation campaign, had no technical help in saving an historic structure, and certainly had no common voice in Albany to advocate on behalf of saving the state’s rich cultural heritage."
Preservation League Trustee Roberta Brandes Gratz
"The First 25 Years"
In June, 1973, preservationists from across the state gathered for a weekend in the southern Albany County hamlet of Rensselaerville at the urging of the New York State Council on the Arts. They quickly came to a consensus: New York needed a private organization to provide a clear, unified voice for preservation in New York State, offer technical assistance and promote preservation ethics and practices.
In March, 1974, the Preservation League of New York State was incorporated. Its purpose was to communicate preservation ideals and help shape federal, state and local policies to encourage the protection, sensitive use and creative reuse of historic properties.
Now, the Preservation League is well-positioned to advance the above goals. We are the only statewide preservation organization in New York providing comprehensive and predominantly pro-bono services to those who wish to identify, preserve, protect, reuse, and promote historic resources.
The League has four decades of experience in building the capacity of local groups; educating New Yorkers through workshops, presentations, and seminars; promoting creative solutions for endangered properties; advancing public policies on the local, state, and national levels; and offering a statewide voice for preservation in the media.
Historic preservation is more relevant now than ever before. It plays a major role in revitalizing neighborhoods and communities, stimulating economic activity, and capitalizing on new sources of public and private investment. It offers a sustainable alternative to new development, conserves resources, and protects and promotes the qualities that make our communities distinctive places.
Our current programs successfully advance the cause of preservation. As we celebrate more than 40 years of achievements, we will continue, enhance and supplement these programs to attract new audiences, address new challenges, and take advantage of new technologies.