Preserve New York Grants - 2008

At its August meeting, the Preserve New York Grant Program panel selected 16 projects in 14 counties for support totaling $141,400. Preserve New York is a partnership grant program of the Preservation League of New York State and the New York State Council on the Arts. With the announcement of the 2008 awards, the total support provided by Preserve New York since its launch in 1993 is over $1.3 million to 207 projects undertaken by not-for-profit groups and municipalities throughout the state.


Preservation Association of the Southern Tier (PAST), Binghamton

Grant of $7,400 for a survey of religious properties in the city of Binghamton. The Broome County Historical Society recently initiated a countywide survey of houses of worship, and PAST will complete inventory forms for the 63 religious properties in Binghamton. These 19th and early 20th century buildings reflect a dozen denominations with a strong concentration of Eastern Orthodox churches. In addition, some 25 properties that appear to be eligible for landmark designation or are at risk will receive more detailed documentation. The survey will be completed by consultant Nancy Goblet of Sterling, Virginia, who will work with PAST’s Sacred Sites Committee.


City of Buffalo

Grant of $7,500 for a cultural resource survey of the Black Rock neighborhood in Buffalo. Located adjacent to the Erie Canal and the Niagara River, Black Rock was incorporated into Buffalo in 1832 and was a thriving residential and commercial center between the early 1800s and 1950s. Due to its waterfront location, Black Rock also was a strategic site in the War of 1812. The project will document approximately 50 houses, churches and commercial and public buildings. The results will be used for local revitalization efforts and future landmark designations.

Preservation Buffalo Niagara

Grant of $7,500 for a cultural resource survey of the North Prospect Hill neighborhood. This area was settled as early as 1840 and for the next 120 years developed as a largely residential neighborhood with important public and commercial buildings along Connecticut Street and Massachusetts Avenue. The neighborhood faces the dual challenges of disinvestment and institutional expansion, both of which can result in demolition. The survey will be completed by Buffalo architectural historians Francis Kowsky and Martin Wachadlo, and its findings will be used to respond to threats and to strengthen the neighborhood. This grant is the first project support awarded for Preservation Buffalo Niagara, a newly-formed preservation not-for-profit group which is building on the combined strength of formerly disparate groups to develop sound preservation policies for the 21st century.


Northville/Northampton Historic Landmark Commission

Grant of $5,500 for a reconnaissance-level survey of the town of Northampton, including the village of Northville. The commission initiated this project as Northampton becomes a second-home destination. The goal is to mitigate the tear-down threat, particularly to the remaining Methodist camp buildings in Sacandaga Park, to provide public outreach and education, and to protect the buildings. Andrea Becker, preservation consultant, will work with commission members to identify significant properties and complete historic resource inventory forms. The survey will provide prioritized recommendations for local and National Register designation, as well as recommendations for further study.


Preserve Our Past (POP), Little Falls

Grant of $6,000 for a reconnaissance-level survey of the city of Little Falls. Located in the Mohawk Valley, Little Falls is an active participant in State and Federal programs aimed at revitalizing Erie Canal communities. Formed in 2004, Preserve Our Past is contributing to the effort by promoting and protecting the city’s architectural and historic assets. The project will establish a historic context for Little Falls’ many distinguished homes, impressive public buildings and industrial complexes. The survey will be completed by Cynthia Carrington Carter of Syracuse, and the findings will help inform city planning and tourism initiatives.


Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project

Grant of $12,000 for a National Register of Historic Places nomination of the Wallabout Historic District. This project, to be completed by preservation consultant Andrew Dolkart, follows a previous Preserve New York grant for a survey of this neighborhood, bordered by Myrtle Avenue and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Threatened by encroaching development and tear-down threats, historic district recognition would protect the diverse historic residential buildings of the Wallabout, whose styles range from Greek Revival to Italianate and Romanesque Revival.


Village of Avon

Grant of $3,250 for a historic structure report of the 1856-1857 Five Arch Bridge, a historic railroad bridge in Driving Park in Avon. Constructed of local Stafford limestone, this National Register-eligible bridge is a largely intact example of early masonry railroad-related engineering in the Genesee Valley, built to avoid the dangers faced by timber bridges and viaducts from ember-spewing steam locomotives. The report, to be prepared by Bero Architecture of Rochester, will guide needed repairs and serve as a basis for landmark designation.


Landmark Society of Western New York, Rochester

Grant of $9,000 for a cultural resource survey of buildings and designed landscapes of the recent past constructed in Rochester’s Inner Loop central business district between 1940 and 1975. This area was reshaped after World War II, starting with the 1962 construction of the Midtown Plaza. Other contributing resources include One HSBC Plaza (1970), Manhattan Square Park (c.1971) and the Chase Tower (1973). The survey will be completed by Buffalo architectural historians Francis Kowsky and Martin Wachadlo. The results will inform the public and decision makers about the value of Rochester’s examples of American and International design with the prospect of landmark designations in the future.


Sea Cliff Landmarks Preservation Commission

Grant of $5,000 for a thematic multiple property documentation form of the village’s historic Methodist camp buildings. The village was first settled as a Methodist camp, which is reflected in its narrow streets, small lots, and modest 19th- and early 20th-century houses. The historic buildings of Sea Cliff are under tremendous development pressure, particularly as the income level of the village’s population rises and new residents look to expand their houses. Preservation consultant Nancy Solomon will build upon the work she completed in Sea Cliff with a previous Preserve New York grant by documenting the village’s historic 19th-century Methodist camp architecture.


Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

Grant of $13,000 to for an intensive-level survey of the East Village. The East Village lacks a comprehensive history of its development, and preservation consultant Andrew Dolkart will expand on reconnaissance-level survey work completed by the society’s staff and volunteers. Since the 1990s the East Village has changed from an affordable neighborhood to a desirable one for young professionals. Many historic buildings are threatened with demolition as developers have begun to plan large-scale new construction not compatible with the historic character of the neighborhood. Currently, New York City is planning to re-zone this neighborhood, and the report will help to inform that process.

New York Landmarks Conservancy

Grant of $20,000 to complete National Register nominations for ten architecturally significant synagogues in Brooklyn. Preservation consultant Anthony Robins will complete nomination forms for ten synagogues culled from a 2007 list of over 100 Brooklyn synagogues and former synagogues of architectural interest and integrity. Congregations in New York City often struggle with the cost of building maintenance, especially when faced with substantial demographic changes and levels of observance. Information gathered from this survey will also be used for lectures and tours highlighting Brooklyn’s religious heritage and will help qualify these congregations for rehabilitation grants.


City of Geneva

Grant of $14,500 for a historic structure report for the 1927 Gigliotti Gas Station. Designed by architect I. Edgar Hill who studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and whose career in Geneva spanned 1912 to 1933, this gas station combines elements of Classical Revival and Art Moderne design. The building has been deemed eligible for listing in the State and National Registers of Historic Places but is threatened with demolition and was included in the Preservation League’s 2007 “Seven to Save” list. Bero Architecture of Rochester will complete the report with emphasis on structural stability, soil contamination and opportunities for reuse as a component of the city’s downtown revitalization efforts.


Village of Milford

Grant of $5,250 for a cultural resource survey of the village of Milford. Located between Oneonta and Cooperstown on NYS Route 28, this village has experienced tremendous development pressures due to the construction of baseball camps and related amusement and accommodation facilities. However, Milford remains an intact 19th-century community with commercial and residential buildings reflecting its agricultural and rail-transportation history. The survey, to be prepared by Jessie Ravage of Cooperstown, will delineate a potential State and National Register historic district and complement village planning and tourism projects aimed at preserving Milford’s character in the face of highway development.


Pittstown Historical Society

Grant of $8,000 for an intensive-level survey of Pittstown’s historic farmsteads. Consultant Jessie Ravage will survey 25 farmsteads identified by the Pittstown Historical Society, with assistance from the State Historic Preservation Office, for inclusion in the proposed survey. Almost all identified farms have at least two or three intact historic outbuildings, such as barns, silos, dairy sheds, and icehouses. Sprawl and development threaten this agricultural community and landscape, with its wealth of intact historic farmsteads. The historical society will use this information to further its educational programs and submit applications to the National Register. The survey will also inform planning and preservation efforts.


Huguenot Historical Society, New Paltz

Grant of $10,000 for a historic structure report for the Freer House. Believed to date from 1694 and built by Hugo Freer, this structure has been part of the Huguenot Historical Society since 1955. Preservation consultant Neil Larson will complete the historic structure report, working with preservation architect Ted Bartlett of Crawford and Stearns. To date, the Huguenot Historical Society has completed historic structure reports for eight of its nine historic house museums. The Freer House historic structure report will allow the Huguenot Historical Society to move forward with its master site plan, integrating preservation and interpretive activities on a wider basis.


Village of Palmyra

Grant of $7,500 for a cultural resource survey and State and National Register of Historic Places project in the Village of Palmyra. Located in the transportation corridor of the Erie Canal and Route 31, Palmyra’s architecture reflects its prosperity between the 1820s and 1890s. Current economic revitalization efforts are closely linked to the Erie Canal, and Palmyra has embraced preservation as an economic development tool. The grant will expand a State and National Register Historic District listed in 1972. The project will be completed by the Clinton Brown Company of Buffalo and Cynthia Carrington Carter of Syracuse, and the results will also be used by Palmyra’s Historic Preservation Commission.

GrantsPLNYS StaffPNY