Preserve New York Grants - 2016
At its 2016 meeting, the Preserve New York grant panel selected 26 applicants in 18 counties to receive support totaling $202,000. Many of these grants will lead to historic district designation or expansion, allowing property owners to take advantage of New York State and Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credits.
With the announcement of the 2016 awards, the total support provided by Preserve New York since its launch in 1993 is over $2.2 million to 346 projects statewide.
Grants are listed below by county.
Preserve New York, a signature grant program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the Preservation League of New York State, provides support for historic structure reports, building condition reports, cultural landscape reports, and cultural resource surveys.
An applicant must be a 501c3 not-for-profit group or a unit of local government. State agencies and religious institutions are not eligible to apply. The program requires a 20% cash match toward the total project cost. Grants are likely to range between $3,000 and $10,000.
The Preserve New York Grant Program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
For more information or to discuss your application, please contact the League’s Preservation Associate or Director of Preservation.
Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc., Albany - $4,000
Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence Building Condition Report
The Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region is dedicated to researching, preserving and promoting the history of the anti-slavery and Underground Railroad movements. Since 2004, the group has been working to restore the Stephen and Harriet Myers residence on Livingston Avenue in Albany’s Arbor Hill neighborhood. Built in 1847, this three-story Greek Revival brick building with a full basement was built by John Johnson, an African American sloop captain. African American abolitionists Stephen and Harriet Myers, central figures in the Capital Region’s Underground Railroad movement, lived in the house during the mid-1850s. The Project secured a Preserve New York grant in 2007 for the completion of a historic structure report that focused primarily on the building’s exterior. A $4,000 grant will enable preservation architect Lee Pinckney of Albany to complete a thorough interior condition assessment of the residence’s ten rooms to guide complete restoration.
Woodlawn Conservancy, Bronx - $6,000
Olmsted-Designed Cemetery Plots Historic Landscape Report
Established in 1863, the Woodlawn Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark, boasts one of the largest and finest collection of funerary art in the country. The Woodlawn Conservancy educates the public about the historic significance of the landmark and promotes best practices through its preservation trades internship program for high school students. A grant of $6,000 will allow the Conservancy to hire landscape architect Lauren Meier of Belmont, Massachusetts to prepare a Historic Landscape Report for two cemetery plots designed by the Olmsted brothers. This document will serve as a guide for the cemetery’s future interpretation of designed landscapes as memorial spaces.
Adirondack Historical Association/Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain Lake - $9,000
Log Hotel and Cottages Building Condition Report
The Adirondack Museum seeks to tell the story of the Adirondacks and its people through interpretation of its 24 buildings and 40,000 square feet of exhibition space – all contained within a 121-acre campus in Blue Mountain Lake. The Log Hotel and Annex Cottages, built in 1876 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, are original to the site and reflect the site’s history as a summer resort, while interpreting early Adirondack tourism. Maintaining and preserving these structures is an important part of the museum’s master plan. A $9,000 Preserve New York grant will allow the museum to hire Crawford & Stearns / Architects and Preservation Planners, PLLC of Syracuse to complete a condition report of the Log Hotel and Cottages, which will guide and prioritize repairs.
New York County
CIVITAS Citizens, Inc., Manhattan - $10,000
East Harlem/Pleasant Avenue Neighborhood Cultural Resource Survey
The Pleasant Avenue neighborhood in East Harlem played a significant role in the history of upper Manhattan from the late 1800s through the 1970s. By the 1930s, East Harlem housed the largest concentration of Italian immigrants in the country and was the first “Little Italy” in the nation. While the Italian roots of this neighborhood are still visible in its row houses, tenements, stores and churches, the area has recently become a magnet for Mexican immigrant families and businesses. Construction of the nearby Second Avenue Subway and pending rezoning pose a threat to the neighborhood’s historic character. A $10,000 Preserve New York grant will enable CIVITAS Citizens Inc., to hire preservation consultant Anthony W. Robins of New York City to complete a cultural resource survey of the area. This survey will build on a 2011 reconnaissance level survey by the Columbia Preservation Studio and provide additional support for a New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission historic district nomination or a National Register of Historic Places district nomination.
Ontario County Historical Society, Canandaigua - $9,000
Ontario County Historical Society Museum Building Condition Report
The Ontario County Historical Society museum was designed by the notable Rochester architect Claude Bragdon and constructed in 1914 as a museum and library. The building contains period rooms installed by the architect at the time of construction, as well as murals by Eloise Wilkin in the top floor children’s library. Wilkin was a visual artist, best known for her work in illustrating the “Little Golden Books” series. Although the Historical Society has undertaken routine maintenance, they wish to develop a strategic plan for stewardship of their century-old building. A $9,000 Preserve New York grant will enable the Historical Society to hire DeWolff Partnership Architects of Rochester to complete a comprehensive building condition report, with special attention to the building envelope and mechanical systems. This architectural firm has experience with the work of Claude Bragdon.
Village of Warwick - $9,000
Madison Lewis Woodland Cultural Landscape Report
The Village of Warwick was awarded a Preserve New York grant in 2007 for the completion of a cultural landscape report of the Madison Lewis Woodlands, an important natural space within the community that was once part of a local family estate. The first landscape report, completed by Heritage Landscapes of Norwalk, CT and Charlotte, VT, led to significant cleanup and restoration activities within the woodlands. It also, however, inspired the surrounding community to recognize a “natural jewel within its midst,” leading to an uptick in daily visitors and use by organizations and school groups, and in lectures and articles developed by the Village Historian and the Warwick Historical Society. A $9,000 Preserve New York grant will enable the Village to hire Heritage Landscapes once more, to complete a second cultural landscape report of the Woodlands. This report will focus on the entrance of the property, an Italianate formal space known historically as the “sunken garden.” The final report will detail recommended treatment for restoration and interpretation of this important space within a larger historic context.
Village of Valley Falls - $5,500
Village of Valley Falls State and National Register Nomination
The Village of Valley Falls, located in the town of Pittstown and incorporated in 1907, contains an impressive array of historic residential structures that date from the 1830s through the present day. Located on the Hoosic River, the village had a long manufacturing history including providing gunpowder during the Civil War, production of twine and rope, and an 1871 textile mill which burned in 2009. The village center has been previously evaluated for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, and municipal officials have expressed interest in affording residents the opportunity to utilize historic rehabilitation tax credits. A $5,500 Preserve New York grant will support a National Register Historic District nomination, to be completed by preservation consultant Jessie Ravage of Cooperstown.
Vale Cemetery Preservation, Inc., Schenectady - $10,000
Vale Cemetery Cultural Landscape Report, Phase III
Vale Cemetery in Schenectady, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a classic example of the rural cemetery movement in America. Burton Thomas, also known for his association with the Albany Rural Cemetery, designed the cemetery in 1857, incorporating lakes, scenic vistas and meandering paths as part of the design. Vale Cemetery also has a section reserved for African American burials, which is listed on the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom map of the National Park Service. Other notable features include a Grand Army of the Republic Plot and the monuments and graves of seven mayors, nine congressmen and two Medal of Honor awardees. A $10,000 Preserve New York grant will support the cost of hiring Robert Toole of Saratoga Springs to complete the third phase of a comprehensive cultural landscape report. Phases I and II were funded in part by Preserve New York grants in 2013 and 2015.
Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, Shelter Island - $9,000
Sylvester Manor Historic Outbuildings Building Condition Report
Sylvester Manor Educational Farm was awarded a Preserve New York grant in 2015 for a historic structure report of the Manor House, a significant piece of the historic 225-acre farm landscape on Shelter Island. The landscape illustrates themes of African American and Native American history, agricultural history, landscape design and archaeology. The completion of this report recommended that the nonprofit group take steps to complete building condition reports for six outbuildings located on the farm complex as part of a larger effort to complete historic documentation and inform planning at the site. A $9,000 Preserve New York grant will allow the Educational Farm to hire Jan Hird Pokorny Associates to complete building condition reports for each of the farm outbuildings. The firm also completed the historic structure report of the Manor House and made the recommendations for next steps in preservation planning.
Village of Owego - $5,000
Owego Central Fire Station Building Condition Report
The 1911 Central Fire Station is a landmark in the heart of downtown Owego, and the fire station’s tower can be seen throughout the community. The building retains much of its original details, including architectural elements and period furniture. In 2011, Tropical Storms Irene and Lee caused significant flooding in Owego and the building suffered extensive water damage. The hardest-hit areas of the building included the basement rooms, which have wooden pocket doors and were previously used as public spaces. The current state of disrepair limits community use. A $5,000 Preserve New York grant will help the village retain Crawford & Stearns / Architects and Preservation Planners, PLLC of Syracuse to complete a building condition report for the fire station. The report will guide the village in organizing and prioritizing post-flood repairs and maintenance of this important community resource.
Hubbard Hall Center for the Arts & Education, Inc., Cambridge - $12,000
Hubbard Hall Historic Structure Report
Hubbard Hall, a 19th-century opera house located in the Cambridge Village Historic District, is a unique cultural structure that provides an important arts-based community service in a rural area. The programming at the Hall consists of opera and theater performances, art exhibitions, movie screenings and other events. The mission of the organization extends beyond this, however, to include goals and ideals of historic preservation for the structure itself and the surrounding freight yard. Although the administrators of the Hall have engaged in preservation activities for the building since the early 1980s, a full historic structure report has not yet been completed. A $12,000 Preserve New York grant will enable the Hall to hire Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson Architects of Albany to complete a historic structure report for this significant building that serves a vital community purpose.
Town of Lyons - $9,500
Town of Lyons State and National Register Nomination
The Town of Lyons, which recently absorbed the Village of Lyons, contains an impressive mix of intact historic structures associated with the Erie Canal. Downtown Lyons, which is concentrated immediately north of the Erie Canal/Barge Canal features a large quantity of Second Empire-style buildings as well as others featuring Art Deco and Art Moderne decorative characteristics. A $9,500 Preserve New York grant will support the cost of a National Register of Historic Places nomination for downtown Lyons. Bero Architecture PLLC will complete the National Register nomination. Lyons is located within a qualifying census tract for historic rehabilitation tax credits, which will provide incentives to revitalize older residential and commercial buildings.
Village of Tarrytown - $4,000
Warner Library Building Condition Report
The Warner Library on Broadway in Tarrytown has served as a cultural fixture in the community since it was constructed in 1929. Originally, the steel frame structure with terrazzo floors and masonry exterior was a gift to the Villages of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow by Mr. and Mrs. Worcester Warner, founders of Warner and Swasey Precision Optical Instruments. The roofline of the library features elaborately carved decorative details. In 2007-8, the Library undertook a major interior restoration of the space in order to correct historically inappropriate changes made over the years. This included the removal of dropped ceilings and reconfiguration of the front reading rooms to their original appearance. A $4,000 Preserve New York grant will enable the Village to hire Donald MacDonald of Cold Spring to complete an exterior condition report of the Library. This assessment follows the interior assessment and restoration work and will identify and prioritize areas of concern that the Village must address to secure the future of the library.