Preserve New York Grants - 2005

At its August meeting, the Preserve New York Grant Program panel selected 16 projects in 12 counties for support totaling $76,600. Preserve New York is a partnership grant program of the Preservation League of New York State and the Architecture, Planning and Design Program of the New York State Council on the Arts.With the announcement of the 2005 awards, the total support provided by Preserve New York since its launch in 1993 is over $1,000,000 to 176 not-for-profit groups and municipalities in support of their important local initiatives.


West Side Neighborhood Association, Binghamton

Grant of $6,500 toward the cost of preparing a nomination to the State and National Registers of Historic Places for a proposed historic district in Binghamton’s West Side neighborhood. The district will include over 700 properties exemplifying a rich mix of late 19th and early 20th century architectural styles executed by some of the city’s leading architects. Much of the area is part of the historic Abel Bennet Location, a farm estate of the city’s first mayor. The nomination will be completed by consultant Mary Joan Kevlin of Norwich, Connecticut, who spent several semesters in Binghamton while teaching a survey course at Cornell University’s preservation program.


Roycroft Campus Corporation, East Aurora

Grant of $5,000 toward the cost of preparing a historic structure report for the Copper Shop of the Roycroft Campus, a National Historic Landmark. The 14 remaining buildings and structures of the campus are the physical embodiment of the artistic community founded in 1895 by author and entrepreneur Elbert Hubbard. Inspired by the English Arts and Crafts movement, Roycroft remains the best preserved and most complete complex of buildings in the United States exemplifying the “guilds” that evolved as centers of craftsmanship and philosophy. The Copper Shop was built in 1902 as a blacksmith shop by the Roycrofters themselves according to Hubbard’s instructions. The building was enlarged in 1910 and again in 1918 when it became the copper goods production facility of the arts community. The report will be prepared by Hamilton Houston Lownie Architects of Buffalo and will guide critically needed structural repairs and a restoration program for the vacant building so that it can serve as a visitors center, artisan workshop and the organization’s offices.


Friends of Historic Herkimer County, Herkimer

Grant of $7,000 toward the cost of preparing a historic structure report for the 1834 Herkimer County Jail, a National Register listed building which was included in the Preservation League’s 2005 Seven to Save endangered properties list. An excellent example of Federal style civic architecture and constructed of local limestone, the building may be best known as the jail that in 1906 held Chester Gillette, who has been accused of a sensational murder. Gillette’s story became the basis for Theodore Dreiser’s novel An American Tragedy. The jail closed in 1977 and has received minimal care since 2000. The report, to be completed by Crawford and Stearns, Preservation Planners and Architects of Syracuse, will provide a much needed rehabilitation plan to allow the building to reopen for museum and office functions.


Sackets Harbor Area Cultural Preservation Foundation, Sackets Harbor

Grant of $4,000 toward the cost of completing a historic structure report for the 1839 Stone Hospital at Madison Barracks, an Army post begun in 1817 but whose origins relate to the War of 1812. The handsome limestone building was one of the first permanent US Army hospitals in the nation. Abandoned after WWII, the former hospital has suffered significant deterioration, due in part to its location of the Lake Ontario shore. The report will guide its proposed reuse as a military heritage center with office and community meeting spaces. Holmes King Kallquist and Associates of Syracuse, who have already completed structural stabilization plans for the hospital, will prepare the report.


Society for Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

Historic Fort Greene Association, Brooklyn The grants of $3,000 to the Society of Clinton Hill and $4,000 to the Historic Fort Greene Association will go toward funding survey work in both neighborhoods to be conducted by architectural historian Andrew Dolkart of New York City. The two neighborhood organizations are working together on initiatives that will provide increased review and protection of historic resources which are threatened by development pressures in Brooklyn. The survey will update documentation done in the 1980s and support efforts to expand New York City-designated historic districts so that the boundaries align with the areas designated as State and National Register historic districts. Residential and commercial property owners have seen the positive impact that local historic district designation has had on the stability and improvement of the area over the last twenty years, and are interested in extending increased protection to additional blocks.

Green-Wood Historic Fund, Green Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn

Grant of $3,000 will support the preparation of a nomination for National Historic Landmark designation for the cemetery which was established in 1838 as the third rural cemetery in the US. The 478-acre cemetery is the burial site of an extraordinary number of historical figures and contains many monuments designed by well-known sculptors and architects. Over the past few years the organization has worked to increase public access by scheduling longer visiting hours and offering a variety of programs including classes for schools which focus on natural history, science, art and local and national history. Staff is also working to establish portions of the cemetery as Audubon sanctuary areas by taking various measures to attract waterfowl. A number of monuments and structures have also been restored. Green-Wood Cemetery is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Designation as a National Historic Landmark will help attract other resources for the preservation of the cemetery. The consultant for the project is Marian Pressley, of Pressley Associates, Inc., located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums, Syosset

Grant of $7,500 toward the cost of preparing a cultural landscape report for the 15 designed acres of the former estate, “Muttontown Meadows” in the Village of Muttontown. The main house, Nassau Hall, was built in 1904 and is believed to be the first country house commission of the architectural firm Delano and Aldrich. The grounds are attributed to the firm and were created between 1904 and 1914. Elmore Design Collaborative of Springfield, Massachusetts, will complete the report, which will guide the restoration of formal gardens and ornamental features of this actively used county park.


Harlem Preservation Foundation, Harlem

Grant of $4,000 will support reconnaissance-level survey work that will update work carried out in 1985 to identify and prioritize historic resources that should be designated as local landmarks. The consultant is Eugene Norman, former chairman of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The survey area is focused on the Central Harlem “valley” between 110th-125 Streets from north to south and Park Avenue to Morningside/Manhattan Avenue from east to west. Mr. Norman noted that his work will be conducted in an entirely different economic setting from that of 1985 since it was almost impossible to get loans for projects 20 years ago. The current re-development boom has increased the threat to historic resources and made residents more aware of the need to protect the architecture of Harlem. The Preservation League has worked with the Harlem Preservation Foundation in selecting the Church of St. Thomas for the Seven to Save Endangered Properties list for 2005. This project will build on the increased neighborhood visibility created by the advocacy for St. Thomas.


Constitution Island Association, Constitution Island, West Point

Grant of $3,000 toward an archaeological survey of portions of Constitution Island. The Island played a major role in the Revolutionary War as the anchor point of the legendary chain that was stretched across the Hudson River to what is now from West Point in order to prevent the British from traveling up the river. Fortifications and barracks on the Island pre-date the military use of West Point. Through identification of the location and extent of Native American and Revolutionary War resources, the project will allow the Military Academy and the Constitution Island Association to plan for the protection and management of the cultural resources. The survey will be conducted by Alexander Archaeological Consultants from Wildwood, Georgia, who have completed earlier studies of the site.

Town of Montgomery

Grant of $6,800 will support documentation of individual sites identified as being most intact and vulnerable in a recently-completed reconnaissance-level cultural resource inventory of historic farmsteads. The work follows the revision of the Town’s comprehensive plan, and will serve as a planning tool to address increasing development pressures. Survey results will inform the work of the Historical Commission and Planning Board in their project reviews and will also be used to nominate the farms as landmarks. While many communities have used open space protection programs to save agricultural land, the Town of Montgomery is using historic preservation to designate and preserve properties according to the integrity of the architecture and landscape. The consultant is Neil Larson of Larson & Fischer Associates based in Woodstock.


Fly Creek Area Historical Society, Fly Creek

Grant of $2,300 toward the cost of preparing a State and National Register of Historic Places nomination for approximately 100 late 18th to mid-19th century properties in the historic mill hamlet of Fly Creek near Cooperstown. The project is supported by Preservation Colleague group Otsego 2000 and will be completed by Jessie Ravage, Historical Research and Writing, of Cooperstown, New York. Its findings and the landmark designation itself will be especially important in addressing potential impacts of proposed Department of Transportation road work along NYS Route 28, the hamlet’s main thoroughfare.


Seneca County Historian’s Office, Waterloo

Grant of $7,000 toward the cost of completing a cultural resources survey of properties associated with Abolitionism and African American life between 1820 and 1880 in Seneca County. The survey will identify the homes, churches, business places and other sites significant to the lives of freedom seekers and their sympathizers throughout the county. The research will be completed by Judith Wellman, Historical New York Research Association of Fulton, and the results will be used for planning, heritage tourism activities and landmark designations. This project is the fourth countywide survey associated with the nationally significant themes of Abolitionism and the Underground Railroad supported by the Preservation League.


Village of Ellenville

Grant of $7,500 toward the production of an historic structure report for the Hunt Memorial Building which will document alterations made over time, assess building conditions and outline possible adaptive uses. Preserving and listing the Hunt Building on the State and National Register of Historic Places was the first preservation advocacy work undertaken by local residents. Their efforts to save the 1915, Classical Revival-style building were inspired by the campaign to save the Dutch Reformed Church in Newburgh, a project which received assistance from the Preserve New York Grant Program in 2002. Over the past five or more years, the Village of Ellenville has participated in and initiated a number of projects which are aimed at assessing and capitalizing on local resources. A new use for the Hunt Memorial Building will contribute significantly to the overall improvement of Ellenville’s business district. The report will be produced by Marilyn Kaplan, principal of Preservation Architecture in Albany.

Stone Ridge Library, Stone Ridge

Grant of $4,000 will partially support an historic structure report which is an important aspect of strategic planning work currently underway. The Stone Ridge Library consists of two 18th-century stone houses located in the Stone Ridge Historic District. As with many historic libraries, issues include: the best use of existing space, structural issues; an electrical system that needs updating to accommodate 21st century technology, and additional space needed for public programs and a growing need for storage. The report will provide the board of trustees with an overall understanding of the needs of the buildings and assist with the identification of priorities. The work supports the Preservation League’s interest in maintaining municipal functions on main streets, and the site is one of many libraries facing the challenge of meeting modern needs in historic facilities. Historic Preservation consultant Melissa Thompson of St. Remy, New York will produce the report.


Town of Cortlandt, Cortlandt Manor

Grant of $2,000 toward the cost of completing a survey of the local historic and rural roads throughout the Town of Cortlandt. The survey, which supports the Preservation League’s Public Policy work on transportation issues, will document the built and natural features of approximately 22 miles of roadways which are characterized by stone walls, mature trees, narrow widths, and one 1897 metal truss bridge. The project will be prepared by Larson & Fisher Associates of Woodstock. The results will advance the town’s strategies to protect its scenic and rural qualities in the face of development pressures.

GrantsPLNYS StaffPNY