Throughout the Preservation League’s history, we have honored organizations, people, publications, and projects that exemplify the best in historic preservation. This year, eight standouts have been jury-selected to receive our Excellence in Historic Preservation award.

Communities all over New York State, from large cities to rural villages, benefit from historic preservation done well. Historic buildings can anchor communities, inspire civic pride, and drive tourism. Restoration work preserves history, creates jobs, and boosts our economy. The Preservation League takes great pride in shining a spotlight on those who are leading the way in this important work. Representing counties all over the state, these eight projects exemplify the best in the field of historic preservation.


Photo by Kim Smith Photo

Photo by Kim Smith Photo

Graycliff - Isabelle Martin House | Derby, Erie County

Completed in 1929, this Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home is situated on a bluff overlooking Lake Erie. After several decades of deferred maintenance and unsympathetic additions, a group of grassroots activists came together to save the property. The Graycliff Conservancy formed in 1997 and shortly after began working with architect Dirk Schneider of CJS Architects LLP to begin a thoughtful and thorough restoration. The League awarded Graycliff a Preserve New York grant and extensive technical services early in this restoration process, as well as naming the Conservancy an Excellence in Historic Preservation winner in 1999. A full restoration of both exterior and interior spaces of this publicly accessible landmark was completed in late 2018.

 
Photo courtesy of Home Leasing LLC

Photo courtesy of Home Leasing LLC

Eastman Gardens | Rochester, Monroe County

Originally built in 1917 as the Eastman Dental Dispensary, this historic treasure (a city, state, and federally designated landmark) had fallen into significant disrepair. In 1999, the Preservation League listed the site on its Seven to Save list and the Landmark Society of Western NY placed it on their Five to Revive list in 2013. Home Leasing LLC led a collaborative effort to transform the space into senior housing, addressing a major community need and helping to revitalize the block on which it stands.

 
Photo courtesy of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

Photo courtesy of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project | NYC

The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project is a pioneering cultural heritage initiative and educational resource that is comprehensively identifying sites connected to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history and culture in New York City. Launched in 2015 by preservation professionals, the project makes an invisible history visible by identifying extant historic LGBT locations. The project was catalyzed by funding from the National Park Service Underrepresented Community Grant Program, administered in collaboration with the New York State Historic Preservation Office, to increase diversity on the National Register of Historic Places. Based on its research, the project nominates LGBT sites to the National Register of Historic Places, curates walking tours, presents lectures, engages the community through events, and develops educational opportunities.

 
Photo courtesy of Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Inc.

Photo courtesy of Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Inc.

Knickerbocker Club: Centennial Renewal | NYC

The Knickerbocker Club is a significant example of early 20th Century ‘club’ architecture by the prominent firm Delano & Aldrich, and it remains essentially unchanged from its initial construction in 1915. Since 2011, the Knickerbocker Club has engaged Jan Hird Pokorny Associates to work on a variety of exterior restoration projects and a comprehensive exterior conditions assessment report. Work continued until late 2018, successfully addressing all of the major building envelope and structural issues, incorporating new equipment and technologies, and maintaining the original materials and aesthetic of the building — all while impacting the day-to-day operations of the club as little as possible.

 
Photo by David Miller

Photo by David Miller

RUPCO's East End Apartments of Historic Newburgh | Newburgh, Orange County

The East End Apartments consists of 45 mixed-income apartments in 15 buildings in a 4 block radius within the second largest historic district in New York State. The buildings have been restored in a meaningful and sustainable way, maintaining the historic fabric of this architecturally significant area and reducing blight. This project serves as an example of what land banks can accomplish when dedicated to historic preservation — it is important at a local, state, and national level. This project has not only increased the availability of affordable housing, but it has also spurred economic investment in adjacent properties.

 
Photo courtesy of Crawford & Stearns, Architects

Photo courtesy of Crawford & Stearns, Architects

Walton & Willett Stone Store - Cahill Landing | Oswego, Oswego County

Built in 1828, this building is the oldest (and perhaps the last remaining) ship chandlery located along Oswego Harbor. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and served many purposes over the decades. After falling into disrepair, pressure mounted to save the building and local contractor Anthony Pauldine stepped in rehabilitate the space, working with Crawford & Stearns, Architects to get the job done. It has been transformed into market rate apartment units, giving new life to this historic building, while retaining its original character.

 
Photo by David Miller

Photo by David Miller

The News Apartments | Troy, Rensselaer County

Formerly the Troy Record Building, this Dutch Colonial Revival building was developed between 1906-1908 on the east end of what is now the Central Troy Historic District. Serving the purpose of newspaper production continuously since its inaugural day of operation in 1909, the Record vacated the building in early 2015, leaving it unoccupied for the first time in over a century. The Rosenblum Company's extensive rehabilitation included a total restoration of the original Record building, as well as construction of a compatible new building to create a mixed-use site that anchors its corner of downtown Troy.

 
Photo by Undine Pröhl

Photo by Undine Pröhl

Neumann House, designed by Marcel Breuer | Croton-on-Hudson, Westchester County

This private residence was designed in 1953 by the famed modernist architect Marcel Breuer for Vera and George Neumann. Current owners Ken Sena and Joseph Mazzaferro acquired the property in 2014 and embarked on an extensive nearly four year-long restoration. Almost everything in the house had to be rebuilt or restored and the owners put in every effort to stick with Breuer's original intent. The Neumann House is a beautiful example of a local property with international importance — and thanks to a careful restoration, it is now a functioning home once again.

 

By highlighting the best preservation projects in New York State, the League recognizes the dedication and skill of the advocates, architects, and craftspeople that make preservation happen. These awards also serve as case studies for neighborhood revitalization, adaptive reuse, building restoration, and architectural excellence.