New York Continues to Lead the Way in Recognizing Diverse History
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended adding 21 properties, resources and districts to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The nominations, which reflect the striking diversity of New York's history, include the Mount Hope Cemetery in the Finger Lakes where both human rights pioneers Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony are buried, four sites significant in African-American history, and an Off-Off-Broadway theater in New York City that is important in LGBT history.
"The Empire State proudly celebrates its diverse culture and rich heritage, and with the addition of these significant sites to the Registers of Historic Places, we will continue to honor all of the great things that make New York, New York," Governor Cuomo said. "Listing these landmarks will honor the contributions made by so many New Yorkers throughout our vast history, and helps advance efforts to preserve and improve these important historic sites for future generations."
State and National Registers listing can assist property owners in revitalizing buildings, making them eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as matching state grants and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits. Since the Governor signed legislation to bolster the state's use of rehabilitation tax credits in 2013, the state and federal program has spurred $3 billion of investment in historic commercial properties.
"State and National Register listing is an important step in appreciating the value of our history," said Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. "Historic preservation is an excellent tool to create jobs, promote tourism, expand housing and encourage private investment, all while preserving natural resources."
The State and National Registers are the official lists of buildings, structures, districts, landscapes, objects and sites significant in the history, architecture, archeology and culture of New York State and the nation. There are more than 120,000 historic buildings, structures and sites 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 the recommendations are approved by 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 and photos of the nominations are available on the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website.
- St. Casimir's Roman Catholic Complex, Albany: Construction of the church and rectory began in 1896 to meet the spiritual, academic and social needs of the Polish-American immigrant community of Albany. A four-story school was built in 1904-05, and a convent was added in 1923.
- Saugerties and New York Steamboat Company Warehouses, Saugerties: Constructed ca. 1875-80 by the Saugerties and New York Transportation Company, the warehouses provided freight storage for the village's steamboat industry, where access to the Hudson River, as well as its proximity to the Catskill region, allowed the village to thrive as a busy port for water borne freight, business travelers, and vacationing passengers bound for the Catskills.
Central New York
- The North Salina Street Historic District, Syracuse (boundary expansion): Originally listed on the National Register in 1985, the district is being expanded by more than fifteen full and partial blocks of buildings that are similar in architectural character and historical significance.
- Oswego & Syracuse Railroad Freight House, Oswego: The 1848 limestone structureis the earliest railroad building built in Oswego and one of only a few New York State rail buildings of similar age.
- Fairport Public Library, Fairport: Built in 1938 with funds provided by the local Perinton Patriotic League and the Depression-era federal WPA program, the library was the culmination of a long struggle to establish a permanent free public library that began with a collection of books in a local tavern. It also contains an important example of a WPA mural.
- The G.W. Todd-Wilmot Castle Company Building, Rochester: Built in 1909, the building is associated with two businesses significant in Rochester's commercial history: The G.W. Todd Company, which invented a patented machine to protect checks from forgery; and the Wilmot Castle Company, which produced medical sterilizing equipment at the site from 1918 to 1955.
- Mount Hope Cemetery, Rochester: Established by the city in 1838, the cemetery contains the graves of numerous individuals who shaped the city, including several of transcendent importance: women's rights advocate Susan B. Anthony; abolitionist Frederick Douglass; musician/educator William Warfield; landscape designer Fletcher Steele; anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan; Lillian Ward, social activist and founder of public health nursing; and Seth Green, often referred to as the "Father of Fish Culture in the United States."
- Bethel Christian Avenue Historic District, Setauket: The neighborhood of residences, social hall and cemetery formed around the Bethel A.M.E. Church embodies the history of people of mixed Native American and African American background from the early 19th century into the current era.
- The Ellis Squires Jr. House, Hampton Bays: The oldest surviving dwelling in the hamlet is named for its first owner and builder, Ellis Squires Jr. (1761-1854) and his wife, Jerusha Rogers Squires (1766-1837), who likely built the house in 1790, providing for a family of seven children and establishing a network of descendants and a community that became known as "Squiretown" in the 19th century.
- The William Farnum Boathouse, Sag Harbor: The 1915 boathouse is the only intact building strongly associated with William Farnum (1876-1953), a prominent early 20th century actor who began acting on the stage at the age of 10, became a silent film star, and successfully transitioned to sound films.
- Old Bethel Cemetery, Brookhaven: The cemetery was founded in 1848 by a vibrant African and Native American community in Setauket seeking to establish its own institutions as gradual manumission in New York during the early 19th century allowed individual African and Native Americans more freedom to worship and bury their dead as they wished.
New York City
- Caffe Cino, Manhattan: The 1877 building housed Caffe Cino from December 1958 to March 1968, when it was the first venue of importance to continuously stage Off-Off-Broadway theater and was critical in the development of gay theater and supporting gay playwrights at a time when depicting homosexuality on stage was illegal.
- The Harlem African Burial Ground, Manhattan: Beginning in the mid-1660s and continuing until the last known internment in ca. 1856, this segregated burial ground was the first and only African cemetery in Harlem and the only known cemetery of its kind in Upper Manhattan. The 0.42-acre archeological site along the Harlem River has significant potential to inform our understanding of the lives and deaths of free and enslaved Africans.
- The Holy Cross African Orthodox Church Pro-Cathedral, Manhattan: The West 129th Street building was acquired and redesigned in 1931 to serve the growing African Orthodox Church, a denomination established 10 years earlier in response to paternalism and discrimination within the Protestant Episcopal Church.
- The Spear & Company Factory, Queens: The 1906 factory is associated with two important manufacturing companies in Queens: The Regal Spear Company, which specialized in hats and caps for men and children, and the Columbia Wax Products Company, which made novelty candles.
- The Lefferts Manor Historic District, Brooklyn (boundary expansion): The district was originally listed on the National Register in 1992, and the new nomination adds 19 properties that were also constructed on land that was part of the Lefferts Family estate - which was developed into an urban residential neighborhood of single family residences in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
- The Talcottville Cemetery, Leyden: One of the earliest cemeteries in the county and the second oldest in the town of Leyden, its burials date to as early as 1812 and contains the gravesites of early and important members of the community.
Western New York
- Temple Beth Zion, Buffalo: Built between 1964 and 1967, the Neo-Expressionist complex consists of a sculptural oval-shaped synagogue, a long rectilinear religious school building, a smaller rectangular sisterhood chapel, and a spacious auditorium. It is one of three synagogues designed by prominent Modern architect Max Abramovitz (1908-2004) during his long career. It is also significant for its stained glass designed by renowned artist Ben Shahn.
- Ziegele-Phoenix Refrigeration House & Office, Buffalo: The 1888 complex is the last surviving component of the once-sprawling Ziegele (later Phoenix) Brewing Company, one of Buffalo's most important brewing companies. The building is notable for its illustration of German Rundbogenstil style architecture.
- Shea's Seneca Building, Buffalo: The 1929 building is a rare example of a community theater development, which features a larger commercial building anchored by a movie theater. Shea's Seneca Building was built by Michael Shea, a local theater magnate who erected six movie palaces in Western New York in the early 20th century.
- The Kreiner Malt House and Grain Elevator, Buffalo: The intact example of a malting facility is primarily composed of buildings constructed and operated between 1925 and 1936 by the Kreiner & Sons malting company, a locally important company that supplied malt to local brewers for much of the 20th century.
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