Since 1836 when William K. Greene opened his first Amsterdam carpet mill, names like Stephen Sanford and Sons, McCleary Wallin & Crouse, and the Shuttleworth Brothers Company were synonymous with high-quality woven carpets. These mills used the North Chuctanunda Creek to power their machinery.
In 1920, a merger led to the creation of Mohawk Carpet Mills, and three decades later, Mohasco Industries was formed. By the late 1960s, however, the company had moved to Georgia, and the power house sat vacant for many decades. The good news - it’s now owned by the City of Amsterdam.
The City has already secured grant funding to establish a walking trail along the creek celebrating Amsterdam’s industrial history and natural beauty. A previous grant from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor produced wayside signage connecting the North Chuctanunda Creek Trail with the Mohawk Valley Pedestrian Bridge and Erie Canalway Trail.
The City contacted the League for help funding a conditions assessment and code analysis of the power house - to prioritize a list of repairs to the bridge and power house exterior, and to estimate construction costs. Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson Architecture and Preservation LLP of Albany will complete the analysis, and the City of Amsterdam will provide a $500 retainer for the firm.
Municipalities across the state reach out to the Preservation League because we are New York’s only statewide organization providing comprehensive – and predominantly pro-bono – services to New Yorkers seeking to identify, preserve, protect, reuse, and promote historic resources as community assets.
We were pleased to present an $8,900 grant from the League’s Donald Stephen Gratz Preservation Services Fund. This is the sixth grant from this fund, which was established in 2010.
The goal of the City of Amsterdam – to merge the natural landscape with industrial heritage to leverage community revitalization – is a perfect match for this fund.
Plans for the Mohasco Power House also complement the work of the League’s Industrial Heritage Reuse Program, which in 2014 produced a feasibility study for the reuse of Amsterdam’s Clocktower Building.
For too long, structures like these have stood as symbols of decline of upstate industry. Efforts like the study we’re funding today can help return these buildings to productive use, provide models for other communities across the state, and encourage municipalities to embrace and promote their industrial heritage.
Media coverage included: