Sites Reflect Varied Histories, Including Black Social History, Manufacturing, Religious and Civic Organizations, and Private Residences
New York Leads Nation in Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits for Register Properties
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the state Board for Historic Preservation has recommended adding 23 properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places and making one crucial amendment to the documentation of another. The nominated properties include two Buffalo schools where a local Black Power organization developed its own curriculum, a Catskill retreat for Jewish elites, and the facility of a Western New York Prohibition-era bootlegging company. The state Board has also recommended adding documentation of the slaveholding activities of the Revolutionary War general, U.S. Senator, and prominent regional landholder Philip J. Schuyler to the designation of his Albany home and state historic site, Schuyler Mansion.
"In New York, our diversity is our strength and I am very excited to see New Yorkers across the state are so actively engaged in preserving our heritage," Governor Hochul said. "These diverse additions to the historic registers will help ensure resources are available to protect historic sites so that the past can continue to inspire us today — and 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.
Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Erik Kulleseid said, "One of State Parks' most exciting functions is helping to preserve and promote New York's history. Securing State and National Registers recognition for such places provides resources and other potential incentives, such as state and federal tax credits, that will help keep this history alive and vibrant."
Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation at State Parks Daniel Mackay said, "Every time the State Review Board considers nominations, I am struck by the depth and breadth of our state's history. These nominations continue the Division for Historic Preservation's commitment to supporting historic resources that can benefit from investment driven by state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits. I am very proud of our work here, as the National Park Service has recently reported that New York State leads the nation in the use of such credits."
The National Park Service reported that between 2017 and 2021, 466 commercial projects in New York that qualified for tax credits represented nearly $3.8 billion in private investment. That figure is $1 billion more than the next closest state, Ohio. Last year, 52 commercial projects in New York State qualified for tax credits based on more than $505 million in private investment, outpacing all other states in the nation.
Over the last decade, the state has approved the use of rehabilitation commercial tax credits for more than 1,000 historic properties, driving more than $12 billion in private investment. National Park Service research on these tax credits indicates that between 2015 and 2019, the credits issued to New York sites generated 67,578 jobs nationally and more than $195 million in local, state, and federal taxes.
The New York 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 the state and the nation. Individually or as components of historic districts, New York has more than 120,000 historic properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Property owners, municipalities, and organizations from communities across 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 nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, where they are reviewed and, once approved, entered on the National Register. The nominations are available here.
- Additional Documentation for the Philip Schuyler Mansion, Albany, Albany County. Schuyler Mansion, a state historic museum, was the home of Philip John Schuyler, a Revolutionary War general, senator, and member of the local patrician aristocracy. When the building was added to the National Register in 1967, its documentation failed to include details relating to Schuyler's enslavement of human beings to amass his personal wealth and to build and maintain the mansion. Adding this documentation to the record is a step to remedy that shortcoming. Among the stories of the enslaved who lived at least part of their lives at Schuyler Mansion is that of Prince, who negotiated his own sale from a British officer to Philip Schuyler to save himself from captivity in a prisoner of war camp; Claas, Diana, Scipio, and Adam, who made their own bids for freedom among the British Army during the Revolutionary War; and Silvia, who found work after slavery as a fortune teller to support her children.
- Boardman and Gray Piano Company, Albany, Albany County. Boardman and Gray Piano Company is a four-story, L-shaped factory building in North Albany, constructed in 1853 and substantially reconstructed after a fire in 1860. With many of its industrial details still intact, the building is being converted to housing using historic preservation tax credits.
- First Presbyterian Church of Lansingburgh, Troy, Rensselaer County. This nineteenth-century church complex includes multiple building phases from 1823 to 1958. The centerpiece is a brick Romanesque Revival church that was expanded and remodeled several times since the original Greek Revival style church was completed in the 1840s. The most recent addition is a mid-century modern Sunday school completed in 1958. Its gradual expansion and development over nearly two hundred years is emblematic of the manner in which local religious communities have evolved.
- Schenectady Police Department, Schenectady, Schenectady County. This 1889 brick and terra-cotta faced building was originally constructed as a public school but was converted to a police station in 1929 and served that role until 1973.
- Mark House, Colonie, Albany County. This 1791 farmhouse was built by Isaac Mark, who had been granted a tenant lease by patroon Stephen van Rensselaer III that year; it was substantially rebuilt in the 1840s, still conforming to New World Dutch building traditions. The original 600-acre farm was a collection of smaller tenant farms that the family then leased out to other tenants, and it remained under the leasehold until the system was abolished in the mid-nineteenth century. It remained in the Mark family until 1881.
- Captain Joseph Allen House, Catskill Vicinity, Greene County. This is the well-preserved 1814 Federal-style home of Joseph Allen, a Revolutionary war privateer, naval captain, and trader.
- Gooding Farm, Eagle Bridge, Rensselaer County. This is a ca. 1840 brick Greek Revival farmhouse, with 42-acres and twelve outbuildings. It represents an exceptionally intact example of a nineteenth-century farm operated by one family for nearly 100 years.
- Sweet Homestead, Copake, Columbia County. This is a well-preserved ca. 1845 timber-framed Greek Revival farmstead with several historic outbuildings.
- Fancher World War II Memorial, Murray Vicinity, Orleans County. This eight-foot-tall monument stands in the hamlet of Fancher, Murray Township, Orleans County. Located at a prominent intersection, this monument of local Medina sandstone was dedicated in 1949, features a clock on each of its four faces, and a plaque commemorating ten local servicemembers killed in World War II.
- Hickey-Freeman Company Building, Rochester, Monroe County. The Hickey-Freeman Company began as a high-end men's clothing manufacturer in the 1890s in Rochester. The first portion of this factory was built in 1912, with expansions in the 1920s, 1940s, and 1950s. It continues to manufacture high-end men's suits at this location.
- Fairview Cemetery, Naples, Ontario County. This ca. 1800 cemetery was established by the first European settlers in the village.
- North Bergen Presbyterian Church, Bergen, Genesee County. This 1834 structure is an example of a small rural stone and stucco church. A bell tower, an addition and other improvements in succeeding decades demonstrate the modest but still important expansions of the church's role in this small community.
- Central Naples Historic District, Naples, Ontario County. The Central Naples historic district includes 246 buildings in the core of of this small upstate village that contribute to its character. Consisting of buildings in various architectural styles of the mid-19th to early 20th centuries, the district contains numerous commercial, civic, residential and religious structures from the period.
- Naples South Main Historic District, Naples, Ontario County. The Naples South Main Street district is a collection of 93 well-maintained late nineteenth century and early twentieth century residences that represent modest versions of Second Empire, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, American Foursquare and Craftsman architecture.
- H. M. Quackenbush Factory, Herkimer, Herkimer County. The factory is significant for its association with one of the village's most important industries of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The factory was a prominent manufacturer of metal products invented by local entrepreneur Henry Marcus Quackenbush. Among the most popular was the spring-loaded, handheld nutcracker. Built in phases between 1874 and 1996, the largest part of the factory was designed in the Romanesque Revival style by Utica architect Frederick Gouge.
- Goff, Way, and Brand Leaf Tobacco Warehouse, Elmira, Chemung County. Designed by noted architect Joseph Considine and built in 1908, this three-story brick and timber-framed structure served as a processing warehouse for a prominent tobacco packing company until 1928 and has remained largely unaltered as a visible reminder of the Southern Tier's once thriving tobacco industry.
- Stowell House, Elmira, Chemung County. This ca.1850 wood-frame home is an intact, well-preserved example of transitional Greek Revival/Italianate residential architecture reflecting historic styles once popular, but now rare, in this Elmra neighborhood.
- Max and Johanna Fleischmann House, Fleischmanns, Delaware County. The property (now known as Spillian) is the only surviving house of six summer "cottages" used by the Fleischmann family of Cincinnati, Ohio, and New York City. The Fleischmann family had an enormous impact on recreational development in this area of Delaware County and encouraged other late nineteenth century leading figures in arts, business and politics to summer in the Catskills. The house was built in 1886 and is an exceptionally intact example of a Gilded Age summer "cottage" in the Stick and Shingle style.
Western New York
- The B.U.I.L.D. Academy. Established in 1966 with the help of community organizer Saul Alinsky, B.U.I.L.D (Build Unity, Independence, Liberty, and Dignity) was established in Buffalo as an organization that used local strategies to dismantle racial discrimination in many aspects of urban life. B.U.I.L.D. emerged at a time when nationwide efforts to end racial inequality coincided with an influx of African Americans to Buffalo. It drew on the ideology of Black Power to develop a more assertive and relevant response to a wide variety of issues faced by Buffalo's Black community. Over its nearly twenty-year existence, B.U.I.L.D. focused on a variety of issues, including employment, job training, labor discrimination, education, condemned and vacant buildings, parks, policing, and racial uplift. Among all of B.U.I.L.D.'s efforts, the organization placed a central emphasis on community control and input to achieve positive change for Black communities on Buffalo's East Side. As an expression of Black desire for improved public education for Black children, B.U.I.L.D opened its own primary school within the Buffalo Public School system, known as the B.U.I.L.D. Academy. The State Review Board has recommended the two locations of the B.U.I.L.D. Academy for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places:
- Buffalo Public School # 32 (PS 32) aka B.U.I.L.D. Academy, Buffalo, Erie County. The 1913 Public School #32 served as a B.U.I.L.D. Academy from 1969 to 1977. The building, with a 2009 addition, is also significant as a well-preserved example of an early twentieth-century school in the Tudor Revival style.
- Buffalo Public School # 92 (PS 92) aka B.U.I.L.D. Academy, Buffalo, Erie County. The 1961 PS#92 served as a B.U.I.L.D. academy from 1977 to the time of B.U.I.L.D.'s dissolution in 1983. The building was built in the mid-century modern style.
- Hall Apartments, Niagara Falls, Niagara County. The Hall Apartments is significant as a representative example of an early twentieth century mixed-use medical office and residential building. Dr. Frank Hall, a prominent physician, commissioned the three-story building in 1928, constructed by the W.S. Johnson Building Company, as both an office for his practice and a residence for his family. The building consists of two medical offices and commercial space on the ground floor, and apartments on all three stories and the basement. The Hall Apartments is associated with the growth and development of Niagara Falls during the early twentieth century and for its illustration of middle-class apartment living at a time when the city emerged as a thriving industrial center.
- The Sagamore Apartments and Shops, Niagara Falls, Niagara County. Designed by architects Kirkpatrick & Cannon, the three-story SagamoreApartments is a mixed-use building, rendered in a Tudor Revival style once typical of early twentieth century apartment development. Eugene C. Butler, a local florist, commissioned the three-story apartment building in 1926 as both a storefront for the family business and a personal residence, along with two multi-car garages and a new greenhouse. In 1927, the one-story multi-unit commercial building was constructed on the site, capitalizing on the prominent commercial location. The property reflected the growth and prosperity of the city of Niagara Falls during the early twentieth century.
- Illinois Alcohol Company Building, Buffalo, Erie County. The Illinois Alcohol Company Building is associated with the brewing and distilling industry in Buffalo during the first half of the twentieth century and played a role in a large, illegal bootlegging operation during Prohibition. Constructed by local contractors Chesley, Earl & Heimback in 1920, the reinforced concrete building was originally intended to serve as the Bison City Storage Company warehouse. During Prohibition, the building was the centerpiece of an illegal bootlegging ring led by the Illinois Alcohol Company between 1925 and 1929. Taking advantage of the building's nondescript appearance, original glass block windows, concealed vehicular loading docks, and the railroad loading dock to the west, the Illinois Alcohol Company managed to conduct an extensive bootlegging operation for several years. Once this illegal scheme was discovered, the resulting year-longtrial uncovered the involvement of several corrupt local and state government agents, railroad workers, and the company.
- Buildings on Niagara Street at Fourth Street, Niagara Falls, Niagara County. This small district is significant as a collection of mixed-use buildings that reflects the history of what was once a dense commercial corridor on Niagara Street during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The street is a primary artery through the City of Niagara Falls, and the buildings were originally part of a much larger commercial neighborhood. This small district contains some of the only remaining examples of this important late nineteenth and early twentieth century building typology. The district encompasses six buildings on Niagara Street between Third Street and Fourth Street. One notable building is the former home of the Niagara Gazette newspaper, built in 1914.
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 78 million people in 2021. 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.
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