For Immediate Release
Dan Keefe | Brian Nearing
December 04, 2020
State Historic Preservation Board Recommends 16 Nominations for State & National Registers of Historic Places
Sites Represent Diverse Histories Including Origins of Rail Electrification in Metro NYC, A Small-Town Baseball Grandstand, and Pioneering Tabulating Machines/Computer Technology
The New York State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended adding 16 varied properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places, including a former Hudson Valley power plant that first electrified the New York City rail system at the turn of the 20th century, a rare surviving 1920s wooden baseball grandstand in a Southern Tier village, and a factory complex in the Mohawk Valley that fueled the evolution of mechanical office technology from early typewriters to the dawn of the computer age.
"The nominations reflect the incredible history found in our state and the stories forged by its people," said Erik Kulleseid, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. "Securing this recognition will help protect and preserve such places so this history can be carried safe and intact into the future.”
State and National Registers listing can assist owners in revitalizing properties, making them eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as matching state grants and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.
“These latest nominations continue the Division for Historic Preservation’s (DHP) commitment to designating and supporting historic sites that represent the histories of our State’s diverse population,” said Daniel Mackay, Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation at State Parks.
Previous register designations have included African American burial grounds, industrialist Andrew Carnegie’s legacy of New York City libraries, a Hudson Valley golf club established to counter anti-Semitism, and a Catskill site linked to the early history of professional baseball.
Other listings have included portions of a Hudson Valley town that was home to the 'Violet Kings,' remnants of a 19th century canal in the Southern Tier, and the site of an internationally known tableware manufacturer started by members of a 19th century upstate religious community.
In recent years, the DHP also has received three Unrepresented Communities Grant from the National Park Service to support the NYC LGBTQ Historic Sites Project in New York City. This has resulted in New York leading the nation in listing of sites associated with LGBTQ+ History on the State and National Register.
DHP was also awarded a Underrepresented Communities grant to undertake a survey of historic Puerto Rican casitas in New York City. The National Park Service recently also awarded DHP an African American Civil Rights grant to study a 20th Century civil rights site in western New York, a project that will likely expand to other Upstate counties.
In cooperation with local and regional preservation advocacy organizations, the DHP is studying Buffalo’s traditionally African American eastside neighborhoods and LGBTQ+ sites in Rochester. Both these studies will likely lead to additional State and National Register listings.
The DHP also is advancing designations associated with the role that women have played in shaping our state, from the Suffrage Movement to Women’s Liberation.
Since the Governor signed legislation to bolster the state's use of rehabilitation tax credits in 2013, the state and federal program has spurred investment of billions of dollars in completed rehabilitations of historic commercial properties and tens of millions invested in owner-occupied historic homes.
The State and National Registers are the official lists of buildings, structures, districts, landscapes, objects, and sites significant in the history, architecture, archaeology and culture of New York State and the nation. There are more than 120,000 historic properties throughout the state listed on the National Register of Historic Places, individually or as components of historic districts. Property owners, municipalities and organizations from communities throughout the state sponsored the nominations.
Once recommendations are approved by the Commissioner, who serves as the State Historic Preservation Officer, the properties are listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and then nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, where they are reviewed and, once approved, entered on the National Register.
More information, with photos of the nominations, is available on the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website.
Harder Manufacturing Company – Albany Woolen Mills, Rensselaer County – Built during 1906-1907, this brick industrial building reflects the former role of the textile industry in the riverfront City of Rensselaer. The factory and its local work force once made shirts, underwear, sweaters, jackets and blankets, before industrial production ceased in 1967.
Village of Coxsackie Cemetery, Greene County – Established in 1826, this cemetery reflects residents who helped shape the early history and development of the village, and includes the graves of veterans of the American Revolution, War of 1812 and the Civil War.
Brockport West Side Historic District, Monroe County – Covering more than 300 buildings in the village, the district spans 87 acres that reflect residential growth from the 1820s through the mid-1960s. Residences were built in a variety of styles, including Greek Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Queen Anne, Craftsman and Colonial Revival.
Eagle’s Nest Estate, Suffolk County - The former Gold Coast summer estate of business tycoon William K. Vanderbilt II was initially listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. This update adds four acres to the current 43-acre listing to include former staff housing and landscaped grounds later known as Normandy Manor. The site on Northport Harbor includes a grand estate, marine museum, and a former seaplane hangar. The property is currently operated as the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum.
Nassau County Courthouse, Nassau County – Constructed between 1938-40 under the Public Works Administration, the Modern Classic-designed complex features Berea sandstone cladding and friezes. Also present are bas-relief sculptures by Albert Stewart, a prolific Works Progress Administration sculptor.
AME Zion Church and Mt. Zion Cemetery, Ulster County – Home to the oldest African American congregation in the city of Kingston, the church was founded in 1848, with the current structure dating to 1927-29 as replacement after a fire. The cemetery is about a mile away from the church and has burials dating to the 1850s, making it the city’s second-oldest African American cemetery.
New York Central & Hudson River Railroad Power Station, Westchester County – Located on the east bank of the Hudson River in Yonkers, this coal-fired power plant opened in 1907 as part of efforts by the railroad to electrify the rail network in Manhattan and its northern suburbs after steam engines were banned in Manhattan due to safety concerns. It was designed by Reed & Stem, one of the firms also responsible for the design of Grand Central Terminal. Sold to Yonkers Electric Light & Power Co. in 1936, the power plant operated until 1963 and is currently vacant.
Wethersfield, Dutchess County – This 1,000-acre country estate, created between 1937 and 1977 by Chauncey Stillman, includes a Georgian Revival-style residence, a stable/carriage barn, and ancillary farm buildings, set in an area of formal gardens and sculpture, forests, agricultural fields, and carriage drives. The estate is now overseen by a foundation and is open to the public in season. Stillman was the wealthy scion of an illustrious New York City banking family with an interest in conservation, religion and the arts.
Library Bureau – Remington Rand-Sperry UNIVAC Manufacturing Complex, Herkimer County – The plant complex played a critical role in the American evolution of mechanical office technology, starting with library furniture in 1906, continuing into tabulating machines and card catalogues during the 1920s and 30s, and culminating in the mid-1950s with the manufacture of the UNIVAC, the first general-purpose electronic digital computer designed for business applications. Stephen’s Chapel, Otsego County – Constructed in 1889, this simple one-story religious building in the farming community of Maple Grove reflects efforts by the Episcopal Diocese of Albany to expand the church into rural areas of the state. The church was decommissioned in 1961 and is now a private residence.
New York City
Row Houses at 854-858 West End Avenue and 254 West 102nd Street, Manhattan – Located on a corner lot, these four Queen Anne and Romanesque style rowhouses were built in 1892-93 and are the sole surviving examples of a type of site planning used on such city lots. The technique maximized use of lot size by creation of a side street house, while also allowing for creation of a prestigious corner house.
Church of Heavenly Rest and Chapel of the Beloved Disciple, Manhattan – Built between 1926 and 1929, this building was created by architect Hardie Phillip in collaboration with engineer Emil Praeger and leading artists, sculptors, and artisans. The Jazz Age-influenced Gothic design features Deco-style metalwork, mosaics, sculpture, and an array of stained-glass panels executed in a kaleidoscope of dazzling colors.
Malone Downtown Historic District, Franklin County – Reflecting the growth of this St. Lawrence Valley community from the 1840s through the 1950s, this area includes more than 60 commercial, religious and government structures. The district reflects the village’s later development as a regional transportation hub in the later-19th and early-20th centuries.
Tahawus Masonic Lodge, Essex County – Constructed in 1911, this building of fire-proof construction is one of only three buildings in this Adirondack community of Au Sable Forks to survive a devastating 1925 fire. The building is now run by a foundation as a cultural center, and has office space, a gallery and a ballet studio.
Nichols Park, Tioga County – This 20-acrea village park dates to its creation by a private citizen during the 1860s. It has as its centerpiece a 1920s wood grandstand, a rare surviving recreational building type. Based on a preliminary survey of early-20th century, wood-frame baseball grandstands in small municipal parks, this appears to be one of only three surviving buildings of this type in New York State and the only one with the distinctive chevron form and period concession shed.
Western New York
Main Street Historic District, Niagara County – Located in the north end of Niagara Falls, this 33-acre area contains more than 50 commercial, religious and educational buildings that reflect community development from 1855 to 1974. The period covers the growth of the railroad and industry, followed by the advent of automobile culture, and reflects mid-century main street improvement efforts by the community.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, recreational trails and boat launches, which were visited by a record 77 million people in 2019. A recent university study found that spending by State Parks and its visitors supports $5 billion in output and sales, 54,000 private-sector jobs and more than $2.8 billion in additional state GDP. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit parks.ny.gov, connect on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.