Preserve New York Grants - 2013

At its 2013 meeting, the Preserve New York grant program panel selected 13 applicants in 9 counties to receive support totaling $100,000. Many of these grants will lead to historic district designation, which will allow property owners to take advantage of the New York State and Federal Tax Credits for repairs and improvements they make to their buildings. With the announcement of the 2013 awards, the total support provided by Preserve New York since its launch in 1993 is over $1.8 million to 292 projects statewide.

Albany County

Historic Albany Foundation - $3,500
Historic Building Inventory

Settled in 1624 and established in 1659, Albany is one of the state’s oldest cities. Albany has many remnants of its 17th and 18th century settlement, often encapsulated within later buildings and hidden in 19th and 20th century neighborhoods. The inventory will include early vernacular residential and commercial buildings, well-known landmarks and estate houses, along with the outbuildings and support buildings that go along with the estates. Consultants Don Rittner and Walter Wheeler will complete the survey, which will include a map and database.

Erie County

Old First Ward Community Association, Buffalo - $8,000
Reconnaissance Level Survey

The survey will include some 1,200 properties in one of the city’s oldest riverfront neighborhoods. In the early 19th century the area was home to a large Irish community and today reflects that heritage as well as the contributions of African-American, Hispanic and Polish populations. Historic resources include industrial buildings, small vernacular homes, churches, transportation systems and Buffalo’s famed grain elevators. The project, to be completed by Clinton Brown Company Architecture of Buffalo, will result in the identification of individual properties and neighborhoods that could be eligible for State and National Register of Historic Places designation.

Preservation Buffalo Niagara, Buffalo - $10,000
Documentation for State and National Register Nomination

The Prospect Hill/Columbus Park neighborhood, comprised of homes built from the 1890s to the 1960s, was placed on the League’s Seven to Save list of endangered places in 2008 and included in the National Trust’s list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Major threats include demolition and intrusive transportation developments as a result of a proposed expansion of the Peace Bridge Plaza that serves the United States and Canada. Although numerous surveys have been completed, no designations have moved forward. The project, which will address more than 60 properties, will be completed by Bero Architecture of Rochester.

Kings County

Historic Districts Council, New York City - $6,000
Reconnaissance-level Survey

The Bay Ridge neighborhood, listed as one of the Historic Districts Council’s 2012 Six to Celebrate, has a rich history, reflected in its diverse building types: large, early mansions, blocks of masonry rowhouses, historic apartment buildings, and commercial thoroughfares. Survey completion will aid local advocates in better understanding the historic context of the neighborhood and identify houses and blocks with historic architectural integrity. Consultant Jacqueline Peu-Davallon will complete the survey.

Ontario County

1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse, Farmington - $10,000
Historic Structure Report

The timber-frame structure served as a Quaker Meetinghouse from 1816 to 1927 when it was moved and converted to a barn. In 2006, it suffered damage in a windstorm. The meetinghouse retains much of its historic fabric and is nationally significant for its associations with social justice movements and religion. The historic structure report, to be prepared by John G. Waite Associates, Architects, of Albany, will guide the restoration of the property. Preliminary phases of the preservation of this building were carried out with the assistance of a $120,000 loan from the League’s revolving loan fund, the Endangered Properties Intervention Program.

Geneva Business Improvement District, Geneva - $9,000
State and National Register Nomination

The Geneva Downtown Historic District is characterized by three major streets of predominantly three- to four-story brick commercial buildings, constructed between c.1860 and 1930. Anchor buildings include the 1894 Smith Opera House, the 1906 United States Post Office and the Dove Block, which is associated with famed painter Arthur Dove. The nomination will be completed by Johnson-Schmidt Architects of Corning. If successful, the project will extend the benefits of State and Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credits to additional properties and bolster the city’s revitalization efforts.

Monroe County

Landmark Society of Western New York, Rochester - $10,000
State and National Register Nominations

Up to four potential districts have been identified in Rochester’s 19th Ward, each including from three dozen to over 300 mostly residential properties. The area boasts late-19th to early 20th century residences, major public buildings, several small parks, and three commercial areas. The ward has blocks of solid Colonial Revival, Foursquare and Bungalow homes, some designed by prominent local architects. The project will be completed by Preservation Studios of Buffalo and TKS Historic Resources of Babylon. It is being carried out in partnership with the 19th Ward Community Association to foster improvements and greater stability in this historic multi-racial community.

Montgomery County

Village of Canajoharie - $7,000
Historic Resources Survey

This Erie Canal community is ripe for revitalization, with the recreational Canalway trail running through it, a largely intact downtown and surrounding residential neighborhoods. In addition to a rich industrial heritage, the community has links to the abolitionist and women’s rights movements of the 19th century. A survey of the Village could lead to the designation of a National Register historic district, which would open the door to financial incentives, including tax credits, for historic building rehabilitation and economic development. Preservation consultant Jessie Ravage will complete the survey.

Mohawk Valley Collective, Fort Plain - $10,000
Historic Structure Report

Unity Hall, the former First Universalist Church in Fort Plain, is a late 19th-century building that has stood vacant for 20 years, yet remains in relatively good condition with an intact interior. The sanctuary is on the upper level of the church, with a sloped floor, pocket doors, organ, and monumental Arts and Crafts stained glass windows. The report, to be prepared by Syracuse preservation architecture firm Crawford & Stearns, will complement ongoing planning and fundraising for Unity Hall’s restoration and rehabilitation.

Niagara County

City of Lockport, Lockport - $6,400
State and National Register Nomination

The proposed High Street-Locust Street Historic District includes approximately 120 primarily residential properties with especially notable examples of Italianate, Queen Anne and Colonial Revival design constructed of local brick. The area grew with the coming of the Erie Canal and then railroads, causing considerable industrial expansion. Lockport’s homes reflect both 19th century prosperity and long-term stability. The project, to be completed by Clinton Brown Company Architecture of Buffalo, will result in homeowner eligibility for use of New York State Tax Credit for needed rehabilitation projects.

Schenectady County

Vale Cemetery Preservation, Inc. - $8,100
Historic Landscape Report

Vale Cemetery has a noteworthy collection of buildings, structures, headstones, and landscape features, including mature trees, a small lake, ravine, woods, headquarters house, and small private burial plots. Many of the meandering paths throughout the cemetery are overgrown due to maintenance limitations, although the area around the graves is always well-maintained. This historic landscape report, to be completed by landscape architect Robert Toole, will inform efforts to improve access through the cemetery and adjacent park.

Sullivan County

Beaverkill Neighbors Association - $5,000
Cultural and Historic Resources Survey

Along with 19th century commercial and mixed-use buildings, Livingston Manor has a WPA-era Central School and a 1950s fire station. The Little Beaver Kill Creek flows under Main Street and joins the Willowemoc Creek in Livingston Manor. These creeks have flooded many times in recent years, threatening the hamlet’s historic buildings. This reconnaissance-level survey, to be completed by Neil Larson of Larson Fisher Associates, is the second phase in the Town of Rockland survey initiated by the Historic Inventory Project of BANA (Beaverkill Area Neighbors Association).

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
Historic Landscape Report - $7,000

Yasgur Farm was the the site of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival. The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts includes large parking fields, the Pavilion Stage which can accommodate up to 15,000 concert-goers, and a museum dedicated to the history of the 1960s and the Woodstock Festival. The Center for the Arts has accumulated land associated with the festival in an effort to preserve the viewshed and original landscape features, and plans to seek National Historic Landmark status. Patricia O’Donnell of Heritage Landscapes will complete the project.