Technical Assistance Grants - 2017

The Spring 2017 grant round awarded $39,540 to 14 projects in twelve counties. The Fall round awarded $26,100 to 9 projects in 9 counties. The successful applicants provided a $500 match toward the cost of their projects. With this announcement, support provided by the TAG program since its launch in 2012 totals $277,397 to 99 projects in 44 counties across New York State.


Delaware County

Catskill Center for Conservation & Development - $3,000
Building Condition Survey

The Catskill Center for Conservation & Development, founded in 1969, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect and foster the environmental, cultural, and economic well-being of the Catskill region. The Center provides environmental stewardship programming as well as events linking nature and culture, such as art shows and lectures. Their headquarters, named the Erpf Center after its former owner, Armand G. Erpf, is a late 1700s farmhouse that later operated as a tavern and survived a historic 1826 flood known as the Pumpkin Freshet. Over the years, areas of the building has deteriorated even with continued maintenance. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant will enable the Center to hire DADRAS Architects of Liberty and New York City to complete a building condition survey. This survey will help the Catskill Center prioritize repairs to the structure so they can continue to steward their important historic structure and provide community service.

Dutchess County

Akin Hall Association - $3,000
Building Condition Survey (Windows)

The Akin Hall Association built a small public library between 1898 and 1908 on Quaker Hill in Pawling that is actively used today as a free library, research center, and museum while hosting other events. The building is a unique mix of Late Victorian and Moorish architectural styles and was designed by J.A. Wood, who also designed other notable buildings in the Hudson Valley, the Catskills, and New York City. The library has a three-faced clock on the outside that sits atop a copper cupola, and many large, character-defining double-hung windows. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant will enable the Akin Hall Association to hire Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects of Albany to complete a window conservation assessment. By creating an immediate plan for historic window restoration, the Association will be able to prioritize repairs to the windows to maintain the historic appearance of the building.

Erie/New York County

SS Columbia Project - $3,000
Engineering/Structural Analysis

The SS Columbia is the oldest passenger steamer in the United States (not including ferries) and served as one of the last classic excursion steamboats in the country. The boat is also one of the last two remaining unaltered ships designed by Frank E. Kirby, a prominent naval architect in the early 20th century. The SS Columbia Project is fully restoring the ship as a floating venue for arts and education that will reconnect New York City to Hudson River cities and towns. The current phase of the project focuses on assessment and stabilization of the vessel’s superstructure. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant will enable the SS Columbia Project to hire Persak & Wurmfeld of Brooklyn to conduct an engineering/structural analysis of the ship’s upper decks. This project will calculate the strength of the steel and wood structural framing of the upper three decks, and compare these resources with modern safety codes in order to bring the ship into compliance before it sets sail again.

Livingston County

Livingston County Historical Society - $2,290
Specialized Conservation Study (Hazardous Materials Survey)

The Livingston County Historical Society presents, promotes, preserves, and values the rich history of Livingston County via its collections, programming, and partnerships. The Historical Society is one of the oldest organizations of its kind in Western New York, and is housed in a former cobblestone schoolhouse. The building is a contributing structure in the Geneseo National Historic Landmark District. In 2010, NYSCA and the Preservation League provided funding through the Preserve New York grant program for the completion of a historic structure report; this funding was supplemented by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund. The current phase of the rehabilitation involves plans to make the space fully accessible, and a hazardous materials survey is required. A $2,290 Technical Assistance Grant will enable the Livingston County Historical Society to hire 56 Services, Inc. of Buffalo to complete an asbestos survey, and allow the applicant to move forward with rehabilitation plans while maintaining best safety practices.

Montgomery County

Schoharie River Center - $2,000
Building Condition Survey

The mission of the Schoharie River Center is to instill a love of learning, arts, and science in adults and children of all ages, as well as to promote the values of stewardship for the local environment. The Center seeks to encourage a positive and responsible involvement of youth in their communities through music, art, science, and cultural programming. Schoharie River center stewards several historic buildings as part of its mission, one of which is the former Methodist Church in Burtonsville. Built in 1856 in the Greek Revival style with post and beam timber framing, the building is one of two remaining religious structures of this style in the small Montgomery County hamlet. While the Center already utilizes this former church for programming and events in the summer months, a building condition survey will help establish priorities for repair and updates so the building can be used year-round. A $2,000 Technical Assistance Grant will enable Schoharie River Center to hire Keith Cramer of Albany to complete this condition study to guide the renovation process.

Mohawk Valley Collective - $3,000
Handicapped Accessibility Study

The Mohawk Valley Collective seeks to rehabilitate local historic landmarks and buildings, revitalize neighborhoods, and provide preservation advocacy, education, planning, and technical assistance to communities and individuals in Montgomery County. The Mohawk Valley Collective regularly sponsors arts and cultural programming in various historic spaces. Historic Unity Hall is a former church building that the group rescued from demolition and is now working to rehabilitate for use as a year-round arts and cultural center. While MVC regularly hosts concerts in the Hall during their lively “Summer Music Series,” the building is not handicapped accessible – this prevents many individuals from enjoying the space. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant will enable Mohawk Valley Collective to hire Crawford & Stearns Architects and Preservation Planners of Syracuse to complete a handicapped accessibility study of the Hall. This will help MVC plan for accessibility upgrades while maintaining the historic integrity of the building.

Putnam County

Reed Memorial Library - $3,000
Building Condition Survey (Windows)

The Reed Memorial Library in Carmel was constructed in 1913 and remains largely unchanged since that time, with the exception of upgrades for modern technology. Patrons and visitors note the important role of the library as a community asset, and the Library Board makes consistent care and maintenance of the historic building a priority. The original windows in the library building, however, have deteriorated to a degree that hampers their efficacy. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant will allow the Reed Memorial Library to hire Walter Sedovic Architects of Irvington to complete a window conservation study of the library. This will assist the Library Board in determining how to repair the historic windows without compromising their integrity, allowing the building to remain architecturally unchanged.

Schenectady County

Schenectady County Historical Society - $2,350
Building Condition Survey

The Schenectady County Historical Society operates the Mabee Farm Historic Site in Rotterdam Junction, the only living history site in Schenectady County. The Mabee Farm is an extant example of a Mohawk Valley home from ca. 1705, and SCHS utilizes this historic resource as a way to interpret the story of Schenectady County’s first settlers and their influence on the later development of the region. The small brick house at Mabee Farm is an integral piece of the historic site. A $2,350 Technical Assistance Grant will enable the Schenectady County Historical Society to hire Walter Wheeler of Troy to conduct a building condition survey of the brick house at Mabee Farm. This will prioritize repairs to the structure, but also offer guidance for new modes of interpretation, allowing SCHS to enhance its programming at the site.

Schoharie County

Town of Wright - $3,000
Building Condition Survey

The Town of Wright in historic and rural Schoharie County owns the Gallupville House. Constructed in 1872 and opened as a hotel in 1873, it operated in this capacity until about 1920. From 1920 to 1967, the building was used by the Orion Lodge and the Grange. The Town of Wright acquired the property in 1967 and several years later, community residents formed the Gallupville House Association to maintain the historic property. Now, the building is utilized by the Town and the Association for various municipal and cultural activities. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant will enable the Town to hire Marilyn Kaplan of Albany to conduct a feasibility/reuse study. This will assist the Town and the Gallupville House Association in developing a long-term plan to preserve and enhance the building for cultural activities.

Klinkart Hall Arts Center, Inc. - $3,000
Feasibility/Reuse Study

Klinkart Hall Arts Center, Inc., is a nonprofit organization that seeks to preserve the historic Klinkart Hall in Sharon Springs, and revitalize the structure as an arts center that serves the local and regional community. The Hall was constructed in 1884 and initially housed a hardware store, village post office, and an opera house. In the spring of 2016, Klinkart Hall Arts Center, Inc. was awarded a $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant to hire Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson Architects of Albany to conduct a building condition survey. The condition survey revealed a list of rehabilitation priorities, including the need for a feasibility/reuse study. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant this spring will enable Klinkart Hall Arts Center, Inc., to follow this recommendation and continue to work with Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson produce a feasibility study. This study will determine the programming needs of the Center so that when construction begins, they are poised to make the best decisions for both the building and the organization.

Seneca County

Seneca Falls It’s a Wonderful Life Museum & Archives - $2,900
Engineering/Structural Analysis

The Seneca Falls It’s a Wonderful Life Museum & Archives interprets and promotes the 1946 film and its connections to the Town of Seneca Falls. The Museum also organizes historical and cultural activities, programs, and events for the public in their headquarters, the Fornesi Building (formerly the Seneca Theater). Constructed in 1913, it retains many of its historic features, yet Museum personnel have noticed worsening cracks in the floor, walls, and other signs of shifting and settling. A $2,900 Technical Assistance Grant will enable the Museum to hire Klepper, Hahn & Hyatt of Syracuse to complete an engineering/structural analysis of the property. The Museum intends to maintain the historic building, but must determine whether larger structural issues exist before beginning renovations.

Steuben County

One Seventy One Cedar, Inc. - $3,000
Specialized Conservation Study (Drainage & Moisture Assessment)

The 171 Cedar Arts Center in Corning was created in the late 1960s under the guiding principle that it offer a space where artists and the community could come together to “thrive and grow.” Years later, the Arts Center continues to serve Corning in this capacity. 171 Cedar offers art classes, exhibits, and other public programs all centered on visual arts. The Arts Center is housed in two historic buildings that were originally built as private residences in 1852 and 1865. The Center has worked to maintain, preserve, and rehabilitate these buildings over the years despite many challenges – even arson in the 1990s. At present, the main issue plaguing the two structures is water infiltration and drainage issues around and between the two buildings. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant will enable 171 Cedar to hire Fagan Engineers of Elmira to conduct a specialized engineering drainage and moisture assessment of the surrounding land. Understanding the drainage issues will allow the Arts Center to mitigate the problem and prevent further damage.

Suffolk County

Huntington Historical Society - $3,000
Handicapped Accessibility Study

The Huntington Historical Society preserves the heritage of the Town of Huntington through public education programs, museum collections and exhibits, and a regional research center. The Historical Society also promotes the preservation of other historic buildings and sites in town by partnering with local and regional institutions. The Historical Society’s headquarters is the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Building, constructed in 1892 as Huntington’s first library and a memorial to local men who died in the Civil War. In the early 2000s, the building became home to the Historical Society. With the help of the NYS Environmental Protection Fund, the Historical Society replaced the slate roof and began interior restoration of the building. Currently, the building is not accessible to those with mobility limitations, which cuts down on visitation and participation in programs. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant will enable the Huntington Historical Society to hire Croxton Collaborative Architects of Long Island City to complete a handicapped accessibility study. This will outline steps to make the site fully ADA compliant while still respecting and maintaining the historic integrity of the memorial building.

Wyoming County

Town of Orangeville - $3,000
Building Condition Survey

The Town of Orangeville is a small, rural farming community that was incorporated in 1816. In 1852, the First Calvinistic Baptist Society built a small church on donated land and used the space for worship until membership dwindled and the church was forced to close. In 1913, the Town purchased the vacant church building and began using it as their town hall. Later, in the 1950s, the building was converted into a garage for use by the Highway Department. Now, the building has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer usable by the Highway Department and in order to save it, town officials are considering new uses. A feasibility/reuse study, funded in part by the Landmark Society of Western New York, outlined a plan to turn the building into a community cultural center because such a resource is lacking in the area. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant will enable the Town to hire Clinton Brown Company Architecture of Buffalo to complete a detailed building condition survey. This will create a list of priority repairs and upgrades that will assist in bringing new life to the former church building.


Cattaraugus County

Gowanda’s Historic Hollywood Theater, Ltd. - $3,000
Handicapped Accessibility Study

The Gowanda Savings & Loan bank was built in 1925 adjacent to Gowanda’s Historic Hollywood Theater on West Main Street. The not-for-profit Gowanda’s Historic Hollywood Theater, Ltd. organization has been working to restore the historic theater since 2003 and recently purchased the Savings & Loan building. The group intends to rehabilitate this space to serve as a support facility for the main theater building. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant will enable the group to hire Foit-Albert Associates of Buffalo to conduct a handicapped accessibility study of the bank. This study is an important step in the rehabilitation process as the group works to make the building ADA compliant to provide public access for all.

Madison County

Cazenovia Public Library - $2,700
Feasibility/Reuse Study

The Cazenovia Public library provides an important public service to residents of Madison County, and is housed in a c. 1830 building. The public space is used for book circulation, cultural programming, events, and meetings. The success of library events has been limited by the size of the space, and the library board is seeking to expand into a historic barn next to the main building. A $2,700 Technical Assistance Grant will enable the Library to hire Teitsch-Kent-Fay Architects of Cazenovia to complete a feasibility/reuse study of the barn to determine the best way to rehabilitate the space. The study will enable the library to expand usable public space while maintaining the historic character of the building complex.

New York County

Hebrew Actors Foundation - $2,500
Engineering/Structural Analysis

The Hebrew Actors Foundation works to preserve the legacy of the Hebrew Actors Union and Union Hall, the last physical remnant of the Yiddish theaters of Second Avenue in New York City. The Actors Union was formed in 1887-88 and was the first performing arts union in the United States. At Union Hall, Yiddish-speaking immigrants took in performances by actors who spoke their native language, and enjoyed card games, social club meetings, and meals. A crack in the façade and other structural issues threaten the stability of the hall. A $2,500 Technical Assistance Grant will enable the Foundation to hire Old Structures Engineering of New York City to complete a structural analysis of the building. This report will “set the stage” for the Foundation to make repairs so the Hebrew Actors Union will thrive for years to come.

Orange County

Safe Harbors of the Hudson - $3,000
Engineering/Structural Analysis

Safe Harbors of the Hudson is a nonprofit organization based in Newburgh whose mission is to “transform lives and build community through housing and the arts.” Safe Harbors is working to restore the historic Ritz Theater so residents and community members can enjoy performing and visual arts events in the historic space. The theater is adjacent to Safe Harbors’ larger housing and arts redevelopment project in the city’s East End Historic District. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant will enable Safe Harbors to hire Proper & O’Leary Engineering to conduct an Engineering/Structural Analysis of the Ritz Theater. This study will evaluate the structural soundness of the theater and inform the plan for restoration and repair.

Orleans County

Cobblestone Society - $2,900
Engineering/Structural Analysis

The Cobblestone Society was formed in 1960 to celebrate cobblestone architecture in New York State. The Society owns three cobblestone structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as several wood-frame buildings that they maintain as exhibit and programming spaces. Farmer’s Hall is the largest and most significant of these wooden structures. The Hall was built in 1855 and served as a Universalist Church for many decades, but was moved to its present site in the 1970s. The Society believes that dismantling and reassembling the building led to structural issues that now limit its use. A $2,900 Technical Assistance Grant will enable the Society to hire Bero Architecture of Rochester to conduct a structural analysis and condition assessment of Farmer’s Hall to inform plans to stabilize and reinforce the structure for continued enjoyment by the community.

Putnam County

Boscobel House and Gardens - $3,000
Handicapped Accessibility Study

Boscobel was built from 1804-1808 as a private residence. The house was demolished in 1955 and reconstructed on the current site between 1956 and 1961. The efforts of a group of pioneers of the preservation movement made Boscobel a widely-known case study. Today, Boscobel is home to one of the nation’s leading collections of furniture and decorative arts from the Federal period. The house and gardens are open to the public for tours and other programs, but are not handicapped accessible. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant will enable Boscobel House and Gardens to hire Donald MacDonald of Cold Spring to complete a handicapped accessibility study so this preservation story can be experienced by all.

Suffolk County

Town of Riverhead - $3,000
Building Condition Survey

The Town of Riverhead owns several buildings that are maintained by East End Arts, an award-winning local group. East End Arts is committed to building and enriching the community through education, support, advocacy, and inspiration. The group offers classes and other arts programming to the public. The Benjamin Barn was constructed circa 1840 and is currently used as a storage and support facility, while the other structures on the grounds are used for classes, exhibits, and other arts programs. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant will enable the Town of Riverhead to hire Steward Preservation Services of Huntington to conduct a building condition survey of the Benjamin Barn. This is the first step in a plan to convert the barn from a storage space to a ceramics facility.

Tioga County

Village of Spencer - $3,000
Building Condition Survey

Nichols Park is open year-round for recreation, arts programs and other public events. The school district uses the park for baseball games and other activities, and the community hosts events there. The park features a 1920s grandstand that hosts craft shows, art exhibits, baseball games, and movie nights – a treasured feature of this community space. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant will enable the Village of Spencer to hire Crawford & Stearns Architects & Preservation Planners of Syracuse to conduct a building condition survey of the grandstand, the first step in restoring the structure to its original condition. The Village of Spencer is committed to preserving the 1920s character of the grandstand while ensuring its future utility.

Washington County

Fort Ticonderoga Association, Inc. - $3,000
Building Condition Survey

The Fort Ticonderoga Gatehouse is an important structure on the campus, situated along the road that leads to the main entrance of what was once known as Fort Ticonderoga Farm. The gatehouse evokes an English country estate, and was designed by Alfred Bossom, the architect of the Fort Ticonderoga restoration of the early 1900s. Built in 1909 to house support staff for the Fort, it still serves that purpose, but more than a century of severe winters have taken a toll on the building’s envelope. A $3,000 Technical Assistance Grant will enable the Fort Ticonderoga Association to hire John G. Waite Associates of Albany to complete a building condition survey of the gatehouse’s exterior, to ensure that the gatehouse can continue to support the Fort complex.

GrantsFrances GublerTAG