Preserve New York Grants - 2015

At its August, 2015 meeting, the Preserve New York grant program panel selected 14 applicants in 11 counties around the state to share $114,990 in funding. With the announcement of the 2015 awards, the total support provided by Preserve New York since its launch in 1993 is just over $2 million to 320 projects statewide.

Albany County

City of Albany Department of Development & Planning - $4,900
Survey of Western, Washington, and Central Avenues between South Swan and South Lake Avenues

This survey area contains buildings of mixed residential and commercial use from the early 19th to mid 20th century. Several of the buildings within the survey area were designed by noteworthy architects such as Marcus Reynolds, Ernest Hoffman and McKim, Mead & White. Western and Central Avenues were important early turnpikes, linking Albany to western New York. Western Avenue was the Great Western Turnpike, founded in 1799. Central Avenue linked Albany with Schenectady in 1801.This project is part of the City of Albany Department of Development and Planning’s preservation planning effort, which will lay the groundwork for future National Register districts. The survey will build upon a 2009 survey of Lower Washington Avenue, also funded by Preserve New York. The neighborhood is within a qualifying census tract for the NYS Rehabilitation Tax Credits. Historic Albany Foundation, a local preservation advocate, will complete the survey and provide updated maps.

Cayuga County

Seward House Museum - $10,000
Cultural Landscape Report

The Seward House, built in 1816 and a National Historic Landmark, was the home of William Henry Seward from his marriage in 1824 until his death in 1872. Seward served as the Secretary of State under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. He was also Governor of New York and a United States Senator. The Seward House has been interpreted as a museum since 1955, four years after William Henry Seward III donated the site to the Emerson Foundation. Today, the house and gardens are a popular Auburn destination. The Cultural Landscape Report will focus on background and evaluation of the grounds around the house, and provide recommendations for future archeological work. The report will also discuss landscape development and long-term management of the natural resources that complement the architectural significance of the site. Hartgen Archeological Associates will complete the report.

Chautauqua County

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation - $9,090
Lakeview Avenue Historic District National Register Nomination

The Lakeview Avenue neighborhood in Jamestown has an intact collection of late 19th and early 20th century homes. These homes were built for the city’s wealthy residents with a view of Chautauqua Lake in the distance and many still retain their architectural integrity. More than two decades ago, Bero Architecture PLLC of Rochester completed an intensive-level survey of the Lakeview homes. This project will revisit the 1993 survey in order to create a National Register Historic District. It will also expand the survey boundaries for the NYS Rehabilitation Tax Credit-eligible community and further the mission of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation by encouraging investment and homeownership within the city. Bero Architecture will complete the nomination.

Chemung County

Elmira Downtown Development, Inc. (EDD) - $8,500
North Main and West Water Street Historic District Nomination

This area of downtown Elmira, although small in scale, has a number of intact buildings that reflect Elmira’s late 19th and early 20th century commercial development. This survey project will create a National Register Historic District, enabling property owners to take advantage of the NYS Rehabilitation Tax Credit. Elmira Downtown Development wishes to encourage investment in downtown commercial buildings as well as upper floor residential use. This project represents a new chapter of support for historic preservation in downtown Elmira. Johnson-Schmidt and Associates of Corning will complete the nomination.

Erie County

Landmark Society of Western New York - $8,500
Elmwood (East) Historic District Nomination

The Elmwood neighborhood in Buffalo was subdivided into two potential National Register Historic Districts in 2011: the Elmwood Historic District – West and the Elmwood Historic District – East. The Elmwood Historic District – West project received $7,500 in Preserve New York funding in 2011 to nominate the area to the NYS and National Register. This designation became one of the largest historic districts in New York State and inspired widespread neighborhood use of the NYS Historic Homeowner Tax Credit. The current effort to nominate the Elmwood Historic District – East will build off the success of the earlier district nomination and unite the two sides of Elmwood Avenue, which share a similar development history and architectural character. Clinton Brown Company Architecture of Buffalo prepared the National Register nomination for the Elmwood Historic District – West, and will follow up by completing the nomination for the Elmwood Historic District – East. The Landmark Society of Western New York is sponsoring this project in cooperation with Preservation Buffalo Niagara.

Monroe County

Town of Greece, Department of Development Services - $9,800
KodaVista Neighborhood Intensive Level Survey

The KodaVista neighborhood was developed in the 1920s as a residential area for Eastman Kodak employees as part of the Kodak Employee Realty Corporation. Development continued into the mid-20th century, and although the neighborhood is currently bound by big box commercial development and a major thoroughfare, the streets within the neighborhood remain intact with few architectural alterations. The community is in a NYS Rehabilitation Tax Credit-eligible census tract and could become the only National Register Historic District in the town of Greece. This project fits into the town’s master plan objective of preserving historic resources and promoting neighborhood revitalization.

Maplewood Neighborhood Association - $7,500
Maplewood Neighborhood Historic District Expansion

The Maplewood neighborhood rose alongside the historic Maplewood Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. The neighborhood contains buildings from the mid-19th century through the 1920s, reflecting the popular styles of the era such as Tudor Revival, Queen Anne, Shingle, Arts and Crafts, and Colonial Revival. The growth of the Eastman Kodak Company near the Maplewood neighborhood also contributed to its growth. This survey project will expand the current Maplewood Historic District, which included main boulevards and avenues such as Seneca Parkway and Lake Avenue. The Maplewood Neighborhood Association is eager to see more of the area officially designated as historic and plans to interpret this expansion through walking tours and updated website information. Bero Architecture of Rochester will complete the project.

Montgomery County

Montgomery County Department of History and Archives - $10,000
Montgomery County Rural Resources Reconnaissance Level Survey

This project will serve as the first phase of the creation of a standardized, broad-based survey of rural resources in Montgomery County. This first phase will include surveying the county’s westernmost towns of St. Johnsville, Palatine, Mohawk, Minden and Root. The rural resources in question are significant within the larger geographic and cultural setting because they are located among historic land divisions and transportation corridors, namely the nationally significant Erie Canal. The project will help the county develop a preservation plan to highlight its rich history. If the survey leads to National Register designations, property owners could qualify for the NYS Rehabilitation Tax Credit. The survey will not include village centers or resources previously listed on the National Register. Jessie Ravage of Cooperstown will complete this project.

Village of Palatine Bridge - $9,000
Village of Palatine Bridge Reconnaissance Level Survey

The Village of Palatine Bridge is a small municipality located on the north side of the Mohawk River, across the river from the larger and more industrially developed Canajoharie. The necessity for a Canajoharie “bedroom community” spurred the initial development of the village, and the “Palatine Bridge” provided easy access to factory jobs across the river. Today, Palatine Bridge retains notable domestic architecture and a few municipal and commercial structures. The survey project will lay the groundwork for a future National Register District nomination. Palatine Bridge is within a NYS Rehabilitation Tax Credit eligible census tract. Jessie Ravage of Cooperstown, NY will complete the project.

Niagara County

City of North Tonawanda - $3,200
Lumber Baron Historic District Nomination

The City of North Tonawanda was a hub for lumber distribution in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Niagara River served as a conduit for lumber from the Great Lakes and the “Lumber Baron” neighborhood borders the river. This neighborhood is primarily made up of single family homes with a community cultural center and is situated within an eligible census tract for the NYS Rehabilitation Tax Credit. As part of its strategic plan, the city is seeking to encourage economic development and neighborhood stabilization. Homeowners in the prospective district are eager to use the NYS Rehabilitation Tax Credit and the city believes that this incentive will reinforce homeownership and community stability. Kiersten Minnick of Buffalo will complete the project.

Schenectady County

Vale Cemetery Association - $7,500
Cultural Landscape Report (Phase II)

Vale Cemetery has a remarkable collection of buildings, structures, headstones and landscape features. These features include mature trees, a small lake, ravine, woods, crematorium, headquarters house and small private burial plots. The area around the graves is always well maintained, but many of the meandering paths throughout the cemetery are overgrown due to maintenance limitations. This project will build on Phase I of the Cultural Landscape Report, funded in part by an $8,100 Preserve New York grant in 2013. Phase I focused on the paths and trails throughout the cemetery. Phase II will assess the vegetation, structures and maintenance concerns of the cemetery. This project aligns with the Vale Cemetery Association’s strategic plan and site needs, particularly because it includes collaboration with the City of Schenectady on how their side of the park relates to the cemetery. Landscape Architect Robert Toole of Saratoga Springs will complete the project.

Schoharie County

Village of Schoharie - $10,000
Village of Schoharie Reconnaissance Level Survey

Schoharie was not incorporated as a village until the year 1819, but the history of the area goes back to the early 18th century. The buildings within the village reflect this history, dating from the early 1700s to the late 20th century. The area suffered devastating flooding during Hurricane Irene in 2011; many Main Street businesses were damaged and homes evacuated. Four years later, the community continues to show resiliency and pride in its history and architecture as it recovers from the flood. This survey project closely aligns with the Village’s strategic plan and economic development programs. The eventual creation of a National Register Historic District will allow residents to take advantage of the NYS and Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credits. Jessie Ravage of Cooperstown, NY will complete the project.

Suffolk County

Higher Ground Inter-Cultural & Heritage Associates, Inc. - $7,000
Bethel Christian Avenue/Laurel Hill Historic District Intensive Level Survey

The Bethel Christian Avenue/Laurel Hill Historic District has been locally designated by the Town of Brookhaven for its extensive Native American and African American history. The community began developing as residents migrated to surround the Bethel AME Church and Cemetery. Houses were either relocated or built on unusually large lots. The practice of shared community gardening provided year-round food for families. This history is clearly evident in the remaining physical elements of the cultural landscape, but the community is threatened by development pressure. Local historic designation has not halted demolition or new development. This project will create an intensive level survey of the area, documenting the community history and its built environment. Judith Wellman of Historical Research Associates in Fulton will complete this project.

Sylvester Manor Educational Farm - $10,000
Historic Structure Report

The Sylvester Manor House on Shelter Island is part of the larger Sylvester Manor complex, which includes 225 acres of significant landscapes (designed and agricultural), outbuildings, and other structures, including an impressive 1910 windmill. The site’s significance includes its architectural value, African-American history, Native American history, landscape design, historic farming resources, archeological resources, and extensive collection of family artifacts. It was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This project is an important first phase of the Manor House historic structure report. The House has not previously had this type of report completed by an architect, although it has had historical and archeological study. The report will lead to more comprehensive preservation planning initiatives for the site. Michael Devonshire of Jan Hird Pokorny Associates in New York will complete the project.