Technical Assistance Grants - 2015
The Preservation League of New York State offered the 2015 Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) program to strong statewide demand. Eligible groups compete for funds for technical studies carried out by preservation and design professionals including building conditions surveys, engineering/structural analyses, feasibility/reuse studies and specialized building conservation studies.
The Spring 2015 grant round awarded $19,923 to seven projects in seven counties.
The Fall 2015 grant round awarded $28,690 to ten projects in ten counties using $18,690 from NYSCA and a generous contribution of $10,000 from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. Funds from the Canalway were specifically distributed within the corridor, and recipients are indicated with an asterisk.
Each successful applicant is providing a $500 match.
The Technical Assistance Grant Program is a signature grant program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), and the Preservation League of New York State with additional support provided by the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.
The Preservation League of New York State launched the Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) program in 2012 to support discrete projects that preserve New York State’s cultural and historic resources.Grants of up to $3,000 are available to not-for-profit arts and cultural groups and municipalities managing historic sites, museums, arts facilities and other culturally important institutions that are located in historic buildings and structures open to the public.
The Technical Assistance Grant Program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For more information or to discuss your application, please contact the League’s Director of Preservation.
Gowanda’s Historic Hollywood Theater, Ltd.
A grant of $3,000 toward the cost of a feasibility reuse study for the loge (upper balcony) area of Gowanda’s Historic Hollywood Theater. The structure is a 1926 National Register-listed theater in the heart of downtown Gowanda. The volunteer group Gowanda’s Historic Hollywood Theater, Ltd. has meticulously restored the theater over the past ten years. Originally built to accommodate 990 people, this local attraction has been given new life as volunteers and preservationists have worked tirelessly to restore the structure to its original glory. TAG funding will support completion of a feasibility study for the loge area. Flynn-Battaglia Architects will serve as project consultants. This study is the last set of research and documentation the group requires in order to re-install fully restored and historically accurate theater seats on both the upper and lower floors. Gowanda’s Historic Hollywood Theater, Ltd. currently holds tours and events inside the structure and has engaged the public throughout its restoration. The Historic Hollywood Theater group received a $3,000 TAG award in 2012 for a feasibility study of the main level. This TAG award will allow them to move closer to their goal of finishing restoration and begin hosting movies, concerts and performances.
Hanford Mills Museum
A grant of $3,000 toward the cost of an engineering structural analysis for the main mill building. The Hanford Mills Museum, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a water and steam-powered site still operating today for interpretive purposes. The Mill began operating in 1846 and continued to grow, adapt, and meet the changing needs of the local rural population until 1967. The Museum now provides insight into energy, natural resources, and the history of social change in the Catskill Mountains through the interpretation of the buildings and operation of the Mill structure. The Hanford Mills Museum received a TAG award of $2,270 in 2012 for a building conditions study of the Walter J. Smith Hardware Store. The engineering structural analysis for the Mill will be completed by Curtis Wilsey of Quantum Engineering, who will evaluate current electric and fire detection systems.
Cider Mill Friends of Open Space & Historic Preservation, Inc.
A grant of $3,000 toward the cost of a building condition survey. The Kimlin Cider Mill was built in 1880 and acquired by the Cider Mill Friends of Open Space & Historic Preservation, Inc. in 2008. The Preservation League of New York State’s Endangered Properties Intervention Program helped fund that acquisition. Since then, the Friends have worked on stabilizing and restoring the Mill, as well as partnering with local schools and colleges to offer community service opportunities. The TAG funding will allow for an assessment of the multiple roofs of the Mill, which are all in various states of deterioration. The roof assessment will serve as a timely and appropriate step in the group’s preservation and restoration efforts. The project will be completed by Stephen Tilly Architects, Russel Watsky and Robert Silman Associates.
Town of Moriah
A grant of $1,923 toward the cost of a handicapped accessibility study. The Iron Center Museum, built in 1875 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, houses the Moriah Historical Society. The 19th century carriage house has been interpreted as a museum since 1998 and was originally part of the Witherbee-Sherman Mining Company waterfront complex. The site is a designated Lakes to Locks Scenic Byway & Lake Champlain Heritage Center serving over 2,000 visitors each year. David Whitford of AES Northeast will complete the handicapped accessibility study with TAG funding, leading to greater access to the first floor and second floor archives in the building.
Seneca Falls Historical Society
A grant of $3,000 toward the cost of a building condition survey. The Mynderse/Partridge/Becker House, built in 1855 and significantly remodeled in 1880, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and houses the Seneca Falls Historical Society. The Historical Society stresses the connection between local history and heritage to contemporary life in its mission by continuously interpreting the history of Seneca Falls in the context of New York State and the nation at large. The building, arguably the Historical Society’s most important resource, has deteriorated with age and now has several condition issues—particularly on the exterior. A condition survey, to be completed by Randy Crawford of Crawford and Stearns Architects with TAG funding, will serve as an updated assessment of the structure and provide the basis for planning to address future needs.
Corning/Painted-Post Historical Society
A grant of $3,000 toward the cost of a building condition survey. The Wixon Road Log Cabin, built c. 1855 and listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, serves as a prominent fixture in the Benjamin Patterson Inn Museum Complex at the Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lakes and is operated by the Corning-Painted Post Historical Society. The cabin, built by the Mack family during the Civil War, currently enables over 4,000 schoolchildren and 1,000 visitors each year to understand 19th century living in New York State. Due to the cabin’s age and log construction, the structure is experiencing notable condition issues such as shrunken chinking, rotting logs, and boring insect infestations. Johnson-Schmidt & Associates will complete a building condition assessment and measured drawings of the cabin with TAG funding, enabling the Corning-Painted Post Historical Society the opportunity to secure professional recommendations for complete future conservation of the structure.
Historic Huguenot Street
A grant of $3,000 toward the cost of an engineering structural analysis. The Federal-style LeFevre House, owned and operated by the nonprofit group Historic Huguenot Street, was constructed in 1799 and is part of the Huguenot Street National Historic Landmark District. The structure represents the development of architecture after the Revolutionary War and remains a lasting symbol of the Federal Style in the Hudson Valley. Currently, the house is not open to the public or actively interpreted because of structural issues that prohibit safe access. However, the building still houses the Historic Huguenot Street Portrait Gallery and a number of other important collections. TAG funding will enable Historic Huguenot Street to retain Ryan Biggs | Clark Davis Engineering to complete a structural and engineering assessment of the building. This represents an important step in stabilizing and restoring the building as well as planning for its long-term maintenance and care.
Projects marked with an asterisk were partially funded by the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.
Albany County Historical Association, Albany* - $2,780
Ten Broeck Mansion Building Condition Survey
The Ten Broeck Mansion in the Arbor Hill section of Albany was built in 1797-98 and is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The Albany County Historical Association operates the Mansion as a historic house museum that interprets the history and culture of Albany County as well as Brigadier General Abraham Ten Broeck and his family. General Ten Broeck, the original owner of the property, once served as a mayor of Albany and a New York State Senator. His former home in Arbor Hill demonstrates the important architectural trends of the early 1800s. A Technical Assistance Grant award of $2,780 will allow the Albany County Historical Association to retain Walter Wheeler of Hartgen Archeological Associates as a consultant. Mr. Wheeler will complete a Building Condition Survey that will update a 1975 Historic Structure Report of the Mansion. With this updated report, the Albany County Historical Association will be able to make informed decisions about adding new interpretive programming to various spaces in the building.
Bronx County Historical Society, Bronx - $3,000
Valentine-Varian House Handicapped Accessibility Study
The Bronx County Historical Society formed in 1955 to preserve the heritage of Bronx County in New York City. The Society operates the historic Valentine-Varian House as the Museum of Bronx History, the Bronx County Archives and an extensive Research Library. The Valentine-Varian House, built in 1758, is designated as a National Historic Landmark and today remains one of the oldest properties in the borough. This building is an important exhibition space for programming on the history of the Bronx and its people. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant award will allow Michael Devonshire of Jan Hird Pokorny Associates to conduct a Handicapped Accessibility Study of the House, thus providing the Society with a review of site conditions and guidance for how to increase the accessibility of the structure while maintaining its historic integrity.
Columbia County Historical Society, Kinderhook - $3,000
Luykas Van Alen Engineering/Structural Analysis
The Columbia County Historical Society seeks to demonstrate that the past must carry forward into the future through its programming and activities. In 2016, the Society will celebrate the centennial of its founding. The Luykas Van Alen House, an important resource maintained by the Society, was constructed in 1737 and is designated a National Historic Landmark. After receiving a Technical Assistance Grant in the Fall of 2014 for the completion of a Condition Assessment, the Columbia County Historical Society will now receive a second Technical Assistance Grant in the amount of $3,000 in order to complete an Engineering/Structural Analysis of the Van Alen House. Chad Lindberg of Taconic Engineering will complete the analysis and produce a report that will outline measures to stabilize the building and ensure that it can be used for programming for years to come.
Town of Westport, Westport - $2,995
Westport Heritage House Building Condition Survey
The Westport Heritage House, located within a National Register Historic District, links the town of Westport to the history, arts, and culture of the Essex County region. The building, a former Baptist Church, connects multiple generations and interests to foster a dynamic community and welcome visitors to Westport. There, they can discover and experience the Heritage House’s sense of place through interpretive programming that includes art exhibits, concerts, readings, and classes. A Technical Assistance Grant in the amount of $2,995 will enable the Town of Westport and the Westport Chamber of Commerce to retain Ashar Nelson of Vermont Integrated Architecture, who will complete a building condition survey of the Heritage House. This project will outline specific goals and directions for future building improvements and renovations to protect the historic integrity of the building and support its continued use.
Village of Brockport, Brockport - $3,000*
Emily L. Knapp Museum Handicapped Accessibility Study
The Village of Brockport is an Erie Canal community west of Rochester. The Village works to promote its history as a canal community that is rich with Victorian architecture, in part through exhibitions and programming at the Emily L. Knapp Museum and Library of Local History. The Museum is located on the second and third floors of the historic Seymour House, which also serves as the Village Hall and Village Court. The building was constructed in 1824 and is designated a local historic landmark by the Village. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant will allow Lindsay Yoder of Bero Architecture to complete a Handicapped Accessibility Study of the museum exhibition and programming spaces. Currently, the museum is not handicapped accessible but welcomes a number of visitors from both in and outside the Brockport community. Further, the Village collaborates with the College of Brockport Museum Studies Program to provide students a hands-on learning experience at the musuem. A Handicapped Accessibility Study will allow the Village to plan for modification of the building so that its history and culture will remain intact but accessible to all.
Dodge Pratt Northam Art & Community Center, Boonville - $3,000
Handicapped Accessibility Study
The Dodge Pratt Northam Art & Community Center in Boonville is housed in the former residence of Clark Dodge. The building, constructed in 1875, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and retains many of its Italianate architectural features. The building is also a contributing structure in the Boonville Village Historic District. The Dodge Pratt Northam Art & Community Center boasts an impressive array of arts and cultural programming for all age groups including arts classes, music lessons, performances, luncheons and dinner theater shows. The Center is the focus of many after-school programs and is a treasured resource within the community. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant award will allow Robert Heins and Associates to complete a Handicapped Accessibility Study of the side porch entrance to the building. This side porch, located directly next to an area for handicapped parking, is both original to the building and could potentially serve as an accessible entrance for the Art & Community Center. This study will produce a report that details the feasibility of installing an ADA compliant ramp while maintaining the historic character of the building.
National Women’s Hall of Fame, Seneca Falls - $3,000*
Seneca Knitting Mill Building Condition Survey
The National Women’s Hall of Fame was created in 1969 in Seneca Falls, the small canal community in Seneca County where the fight for women’s rights began. The Hall, a membership organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of American women, maintains an exhibition gallery, archive and research center. At present, the Hall is also working to transform the Seneca Knitting Mill into the Center for Great Women and the new home of the Hall. The Mill, built in 1844, is a contributing structure in the Seneca Falls Historic District and is a rare example of industrial revolution architecture. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant award will allow the Hall to retain Dirk Schneider of CJS Architects to complete a Building Condition Survey of the Mill’s mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems. This is an important step in the complete rehabilitation of the structure so it can serve visitors for many years to come.
St. Lawrence County
Town of Pierrepont, Canton - $2,555
Town of Pierrepont Museum Building Condition Survey
The Town of Pierrepont in St. Lawrence County operates a small museum in a former one-room schoolhouse building next to its town hall complex. The museum building was constructed in 1826 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There, visitors to the town can learn about the history of the area and the building through its exhibits, which illustrate life in the building’s original usage and context: the 19th century classroom. A Technical Assistance Grant of $2,555 will allow the Town to hire Dean A. Biancavilla of Holmes, King and Kallquist Architects and Associates to complete a Building Condition Survey of the museum. This survey will prioritize repairs and lay the groundwork for building maintenance so the Town will be able to expand their museum programming and utilize the space to its fullest potential.
Whitehall Skene Manor Preservation, Inc., Whitehall - $2,400*
Skene Manor Engineering/Structural Analysis
Whitehall, a canal community in Washington County, boasts the impressive Skene Manor as a tourist attraction and National Register-listed building within the Village limits. The building, a gothic-style castle constructed in 1874, served as the former home of New York State Supreme Court Judge Joseph Potter and was built with architectural ashlar stone quarried from the mountain it sits upon. Whitehall Skene Manor Preservation, Inc., an all-volunteer group dedicated to preserving the structure and promoting its Victorian history, saved the building from being dismantled and moved to another state in the late 1990s. A Technical Assistance Grant of $2,400 will allow Chad Reinneman of Ryan Biggs/Clark Davis Associates to complete an Engineering/Structural Analysis to identify the cause of damage to a second floor interior wall. The report will help Whitehall Skene Manor plan preservation and restoration efforts and use the structure for interpretive programs.
Arts Council for Wyoming County, Perry - $3,000
Arts Council for Wyoming County Engineering/Structural Analysis
The Arts Council of Wyoming County has its headquarters in a historic commercial building on South Main Street in Perry. The building was constructed in 1895 and currently serves as office, gallery, and movie screening space. The Arts Council is dedicated to enriching the lives of all Wyoming County residents through extensive arts and cultural programming as well as grants for artists and individuals. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant award will enable the Arts Council to work with Rick Hauser of In-Site Architecture to evaluate structural and condition concerns of the Arts Council headquarters. The report will recommend stabilization measures to allow the Council to care for its most important historic resource.