June 14, 2024
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Nominations for State and National Historic Places

Governor Hochul Announces Nominations for State and National Historic Places

Nominations Represent Varied Histories Highlighting Stories Across New York State

During Pride Month, Additional Documentation is Being Added to the National Register-listed Greenwich Village Historic District in New York City Recognizing its Significance in LGBTQ+ History

Sites Include a Casket Company Building in Syracuse, Commercial Row in Buffalo’s African American Heritage Corridor, Tuberculosis Research and Treatment Resources in Saranac Lake, and a Reinforced Concrete Building in Albany

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced recommendations by the New York State Board for Historic Preservation to add 17 properties and districts to the State and National Registers of Historic Places and an additional district to the State Register of Historic Places. The nominations include industrial buildings, public housing sites, and houses of worship. During Pride Month, the Board is recommending additional documentation be added to the National Register-listed Greenwich Village Historic District, which was originally added to the Register in 1979 but now includes extensive information about the district’s significant LGBTQ+ history.

“The first site to be recognized for LGBTQ+ history in the National Register of Historic Places was Stonewall Inn here in New York State,” Governor Hochul said. “Since 1999, we have been adding and expanding LBGTQ+ significant sites to the National Register so that we can tell a more complete history of our state. During Pride Month, we come together to reflect on our shared history and remember the people and places that have impacted us as New Yorkers.”

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Pro Tempore Randy Simons said, “Through new research, collaboration, and the agency’s Our Whole History initiative, we are telling more complete histories of communities throughout New York State. We are proud to partner on these projects which amplify the stories that have been hidden, expand our understanding of the past, and reinvigorate discussions of the future. Recognizing these sites through listing in the State and National Registers of Historic Places is an opportunity to share this history through honorific designations and also opens up their eligibility for various public preservation programs and incentives, such as matching state grants and federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits. With increased awareness and opportunities for support, historic resources can continue to contribute to the economic vitality and vibrancy of their communities now and in the future.”

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation Daniel Mackay said, “At the Division for Historic Preservation, we’re committed to highlighting and expanding our shared understanding of the state’s historic resources, to expanding our inventory of listings in the State and National Registers of Historic Places, and to connecting historic property owners and advocates with resources to help preserve and promote these remarkable assets. These projects are transforming communities, restoring pride of place, and reinvigorating underutilized spaces. We’re proud to be part of this ongoing and dynamic work.”

New York State continues to lead the nation in the use of historic tax credits, with $3.96 billion in total rehabilitation costs from 2018-2022. Since 2009, the historic tax credit program has stimulated over $13 billion in project expenditures in New York State, creating significant investment and new jobs. According to a  report, between 2018-2022, the credits in New York State generated 72,918 jobs and over $1.47 billion in local, state, and federal taxes.

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 118,000 historic properties throughout the state listed on the National Register of Historic Places, either 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 by the National Park Service 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.

Capital Region

Neemes Foundry, Rensselaer County The Neemes Foundry is a rare surviving artifact documenting Troy’s prolific iron operation, which made the city a top iron manufacturer in the United States in the 1800s. The building was constructed in 1886 for the Neemes Brothers company, which was established in 1873 and manufactured a wide variety of specialized iron products. These included the company’s own automatic stoker, which mechanically fed coal into locomotive boilers, as well as iron stove grates that were used internationally in an array of industries, such as sugar mills, the rail industry, and bakeries. The firm also provided castings for area textile manufacturers and ironworks. The Neemes Foundry bears a strong physical resemblance to other foundries and small industrial buildings of the period; for instance, the building has an open interior underneath a massive wood truss system used to provide for a wide, open workspace free of internal supports.

Selfridge & Langford Building, Albany County – Erected in 1911 and designed by noted Albany architect Charles G. Ogden, the Selfridge & Langford Building in the City of Albany is an excellent example of an early reinforced concrete building designed with a distinguished Neoclassical façade. The building was originally occupied by the firm of John Selfridge and Edward Langford, who operated a furniture retail and storage business from this location for more than half a century. The first floor originally contained a furniture showroom; after the company ceased retail sales in 1918, it was converted to office space. The upper floors were originally unfinished and could be partitioned off into individual units for its storage customers. Serving two distinct purposes, the architecture was designed to convey the appearance of fireproof construction while also being stylish and appealing to the customer. The Selfridge & Langford Building was completed by the Turner Construction Company, one of the early pioneers in the use of reinforced concrete for industrial buildings. It is one of only seven reinforced concrete buildings in the city.

Central New York

National Casket Company Building, Onondaga County The National Casket Company was the largest twentieth-century manufacturer and distributor of caskets and funeral supplies in the United States, and this building in the city of Syracuse is a distinctive, intact example of the company’s customized sales showroom, office, and warehouse space. National Casket Company grew from its origins as a local manufacturer founded in Oneida, New York, in 1876 into the largest supplier of caskets in the United States. The company had showrooms in more than thirty cities and offices throughout the northeast and Midwest, as well as in New York’s major cities. National Casket operated a sales office with showrooms in Syracuse about 1902 and constructed this building in 1930. The new building offered rapid transportation of its product from nearby Oneida, and a dignified and comfortable showroom; it played a pivotal role in the city’s funeral industry until the early 1980s. The building is also an elegant and highly intact example of the sales office typology developed by the National Casket Company in the early twentieth century. This typology combined “selection rooms,” offices, and warehousing in a single multi-story building that was replicated with stylistic variations throughout the 1920s and 1930s in several of the company’s northeast markets. The Syracuse building was designed by local architect Gustavus A. Young, who designed at least one other local showroom for National Casket, that in Albany, which was nearly identical to the Syracuse building.

Finger Lakes

Oakfield High School, Genesee County Located at a key intersection in the Village of Oakfield, Oakfield High School educated the local school children as the high school from 1927 until 1956 and then as an elementary school until 1971. Designed by Carl Ade, a Rochester architect who specialized in school architecture, the school building represents educational design standards of the 1920s, such as purpose-built classrooms, improved lighting and ventilation, and use of fire-proof materials. An important part of Ade’s design was the auditorium, which was used by community members when not in use by the school. The building continues to serve the local community as the School House Manor Apartments, which was converted in 1981, but still retains the original layout and much of the historic fabric.

Mid-Hudson

Black Walnut Island 2, Orange County The Black Walnut Island 2 site consists of roughly seven acres of high ground within the marshy region known as the “Black Dirt” or “Drowned Lands” of the Wallkill River Valley – an area historically rich with natural resources, including various species of fish and migratory birds. The Black Walnut Island 2 site provided an ideal habitation site for Indigenous groups taking advantage of the surrounding natural bounty and remains a well-preserved archaeological site representing over 4,000 years of human occupation. Limited excavations have revealed a variety of archaeological features and artifacts from repeated Indigenous use of this location. Pottery, hearths, projectile points, stone tools, and other artifacts have been recovered across the site representing three different eras: the late Archaic period (3000 BCE–1500 BCE), the Middle Woodland period (200 BCE–800 AD) and the Late Woodland period (800 AD–1600 AD). Today the Black Walnut Island 2 Site is mixed forest and fields surrounded by low lying farmland and wetlands. The site retains a high potential for further archaeological research.

Mohawk Valley

Dolgeville Universalist Church, Herkimer County – Located in the Village of Dolgeville, the Dolgeville Universalist Church was in built in 1895. Designed by Frederick H. Gouge, a prominent architect in Utica, the church displays elements of the Tudor Revival style (just becoming popular in the United States at the time) as well as elements from the widely used Queen Anne style. The church is an example of the period’s growing popularity for understated ecclesiastical style and the divergence away from the high Victorian Gothic Revival and Romanesque church styles.

New York City

Audubon Park Historic District, New York County The Audubon Park Historic District, located in Manhattan, was the site of a rural retreat for the family of John James Audubon. The area later experienced intense land speculation fueled by the creation of several transportation routes between 1872 and 1926, including the extension of Broadway to W 155th St, the Boulevard Lafayette, a new subway station, and Riverside Drive, along with its subsequent extension. These projects prompted a flurry of development, with firms quickly erecting new apartment buildings. The atypical shape of the district’s blocks presented a challenge to architects and builders, which resulted in the creation of innovative building plans and forms. The creation of the Audubon Terrace (1904-1932), a collection of institutions dedicated to the study of Spanish and Portuguese history and culture, set the visual tone for the neighborhood. The Neo-Renaissance Revival Style complex allowed architects to capitalize on a number of revivalist styles for their nearby apartment buildings, which range from Italian and French Renaissance to Gothic and American Colonial.

Boston Road Plaza, Bronx County Boston Road Plaza was built in 1970-72 in the Allerton neighborhood of the Bronx. It was designed by well-known modern architect Norman Dorf of Davis Brody & Associates, with a landscape design by Paul Friedberg Associates. The striking design was an attempt to demonstrate that bold architecture was possible even within the limited budgets of public housing. The twenty-story Brutalist-style tower features bold cantilevers that allowed the architects to vary the interior plans of the 236 apartments. An adjacent one-story community center is distinguished by a dramatic sawtooth roof and clearstory windows that provide ample light to the spaces within. Developments like Boston Road Plaza were the result of successive rounds of national legislation that expanded the ability of seniors to qualify for public housing and increased the funding provided for the construction of senior housing. They are also exemplary of the New York Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) “scatter-site" public housing program, which comprised smaller projects located within established middle-income communities where they could ostensibly “foster economic and ethnic integration and stable balanced communities.”

Boston-Secor Houses, Bronx County – Boston-Secor Houses is located in the Eastchester neighborhood, on the northeastern edge of the Bronx, and consists of four high-rise towers, a maintenance building, and a landscaped site. The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) complex was built in 1967-69 and designed by the architectural firm Ames Associates, with a landscape design by Leo A. Novick. Originally planned in 1950 as low-scale garden style apartments in the character of the community, the project was opposed by local groups who were against racial inclusion, then stymied by increasing costs. A revised design, which consisted of high-rise towers, was opposed again- this time by almost all groups: those who didn't want any public housing, those who didn't want Blacks and immigrants in the neighborhood, and those who opposed the “tower in the park” design. By the time the development of the towers was complete in 1969, White flight was in full force, and both the neighborhood and even the Williamsbridge branch of the NAACP opposed the project, the latter believing that its proximity to other increasingly segregated developments would lead to blockbusting. The Boston-Secor Houses illustrates significant themes in the history of public housing, including the impacts of racism, design, and city planning efforts.

Bush Terminal Historic District, Kings County (State Register only) Bush Terminal in Brooklyn was a groundbreaking industrial complex that integrated railroad and water transportation with industrial warehousing and manufacturing. It was the first integrated industrial complex to combine all of these elements under one owner, and it became the largest multi-tenant industrial property in the United States. Its success also greatly impacted how future industrial complexes were designed. Construction of the terminal began on the Brooklyn waterfront in 1895, with two major expansions in 1902 and 1905. The architecture of Bush Terminal reflects the rapid change in style and construction methods of industrial buildings around 1900. The earliest buildings were of traditional industrial architectural design: interiors of mill construction distinguished by massive wood beams and posts that were slow to burn in case of fire; exteriors designed in what has come to be known as the American round-arch style, characterized by flat brick façades punctuated by a regular rhythm of segmental- or round-arched window openings. Around 1905, the architecture of Bush Terminal made a rapid transition towards the use of reinforced concrete framing, which in turn allowed for novel exterior designs, particularly the abstracted Industrial Neoclassicism. The reinforced concrete buildings at Bush Terminal were the product of an innovative design team led by architect William Higginson and the Turner Construction Company. The historic district has been added to the New York State Register of Historic Places. However, as a majority of property owners in the district objected to the designation, it was not advanced to the National Park Service for the purpose of listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

Greenwich Village Historic District (Additional Documentation), New York County – The Greenwich Village Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 in the areas of Architecture, Art, and Literature at the national level of significance. The nomination drew directly from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report, which had been prepared in 1969, the same year as the Stonewall uprising. Although this report was a pioneer in documenting the cultural history of the district, discussion of LGBTQ+ place-based history was still some thirty years away- not recognized in the National Register of Historic Places until 1999, when the Stonewall Inn became the first site to be listed on the National Register for LGBTQ+ significance. This additional documentation adds significance to the Greenwich Village Historic District in the area of Social History: LGBTQ+, recognizing the district as one of the first neighborhoods in New York City that tolerated and gradually accepted an open gay and lesbian presence, which resulted in its emergence as an early, nationally significant, and widely recognized LGBT+ enclave. It also documents the numerous gay-related establishments and spaces that characterized the Village as a safe and welcoming place for LGBTQ+ people, recognizes the hundreds of notable LGBTQ+ individuals who lived or worked in the Village and found fame in various branches of the arts, woman’s history, social history, LGBTQ+ civil rights and other fields, and acknowledges the devastating impact of the AIDS epidemic on the Village’s substantial gay population. Funded by an Underrepresented Communities Grant from the National Park Service, this survey and nomination project also identified 283 specific resources within the existing district that have documented associations with LGBTQ+ history. The period of significance for LGBTQ+-related themes has been extended to 1996 to recognize the exceptional significance of the AIDS era.

Middletown Plaza, Bronx County Middletown Plaza was built in 1970-73 in the Pelham Bay neighborhood. Its outstanding Brutalist design was executed by renowned modern architect Paul Rudolph and its complementary landscape design by George F. Cushine. The project features a single fifteen-story tower with 177 apartments and an attached one-story community center, all executed with a cast-in-place béton brut concrete frame and split-ribbed concrete-block cladding. Rudolph’s design was based on his belief that even in a small apartment “areas of different activity should be articulated, separated,” along with the desire to have as many windows as possible, which led him to a design with a well-articulated exterior wall of windows and an irregular interior plan. Middletown Plaza is among the most sophisticated in New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) public housing catalogue. Developments like Middletown Plaza were the result of successive rounds of national legislation that expanded the ability of seniors to qualify for public housing and increased the funding provided for the construction of senior housing. They are also exemplary of NYCHA’s “scatter-site" public housing program, which comprised smaller projects located within established middle-income communities where they could ostensibly “foster economic and ethnic integration and stable balanced communities.”

North Country

Hale Cemetery, St. Lawrence County Some of the first New England settlers to this region established this burial ground in Norfolk in the 1820s, and its continued use for over 200 years makes it an archetypal example of a rural homestead neighborhood cemetery in northern New York. It is particularly notable for its exemplary stone wall and arch and evolution of funerary art from the early 1800s to the present.

Berkeley Square Historic District (Boundary Increase and Additional Documentation), Franklin County –In 1988, the original Berkeley Square Historic District nomination began the work of documenting some of the Village of Saranac Lake’s commercial buildings dating from 1867 to 1932. With the passage of several decades and additional research, a broader perspective has prompted a boundary increase and additional documentation. The new boundary encompasses twenty-eight additional resources that more fully illustrate Saranac Lake’s important role as a center for Tuberculosis research and treatment and expands the period of significance to 1954.

Western New York

Austin Street Police Athletic League (PAL) Center, Erie County Initially constructed as a firehouse in 1894, the building is significant for its function as the first Police Athletic League (PAL) Center in the City of Buffalo. Between 1955 and 1993, the Austin Street PAL Center provided Buffalo youth with recreational, educational, cultural, environmental, and juvenile delinquency prevention programming in a structured and supervised setting. In the 1950s and 1960s, the PAL operated several community centers throughout the city. The Austin Street PAL Center offered a variety of programs and spaces for city youth, including game rooms, arts and crafts classes, cooking classes, various lounge spaces, and a boxing program exclusively at the Austin Street site. The Austin Street PAL Center served as a social anchor for the neighborhood, reducing juvenile crime and increasing community connections amongst Black Rock neighborhood youth.

Commercial Row at Broadway and Michigan Avenue, Erie County Initially constructed as separate buildings, the Commercial Row at Broadway and Michigan Avenue in the heart of Buffalo’s African American Heritage Corridor, is significant as a collection of resources that span the development of Broadway from a fringe residential area of the 1840s to a thriving commercial corridor by the 1890s. Initially, the parcel was developed as the residence and carriage house of Dr. Frederick Dellenbaugh around 1840. By the 1880s, Dr. Dellenbaugh constructed a large Commercial Italianate-style building at the corner of his property, reflecting the area’s increasing development due, in part, to the horse-drawn streetcar line that ran down Broadway starting in 1885. The property remained in the family after he died in 1891, and a storefront addition was added to the house in 1899, further reflecting the changing neighborhood. In 1922, an auto garage was constructed, completely filling the remainder of the former Dellenbaugh tract. After a period of neglect and partial collapse, the buildings were rehabilitated beginning in 2020 for use as commercial space and apartments, including housing the NAACP Buffalo chapter offices.

Nies Block, Cattaraugus County The Nies Block is an excellent example of a large Commercial Italianate-style mixed-use building located in the City of Salamanca. Constructed in 1891, the building was owned by Charles Nies, a prominent pharmacist and business leader in the community. It housed Nies’s pharmacy and saloon, plus other commercial and retail operations, and had apartments and housing on the upper floors. The building is a notable local landmark for its prominent cornice and chamfered corner with a decorative arched pediment reading “Chaz. Nies.” Historically, the building was the site of pivotal negotiations between the Salamanca citizen’s committee (including Charles Nies and other Salamanca businessmen) and the Seneca Nation of Indians council in 1892. This meeting limited Seneca control over non-native development in the area through intentional manipulation methods by the committee and led to increased construction in the city.

Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church and Convent, Erie County Located in Buffalo’s Emslie neighborhood, Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church and Convent are notable examples of two specific building typologies. Built in 1914 to the designs of notable local architect Carl Schmill, the Sacred Heart Church is an example of a late Gothic Revival style and has structural trusses which allow for a broad nave without the use of side aisles; this is an uncommon design for Roman Catholic churches in the area. The Sacred Heart Convent reflects typical features of urban convents, dating back to the work of A.W.N. Pugin, including parlors and public spaces on the first floor, and smaller, private cells on the upper level. Closed in 1973, the church complex was abandoned since 2008, when it faced significant storm damage, leading to the demolition of the related school and rectory. Local advocacy efforts to save and renew the remaining Sacred Heart buildings have spurred a commercial tax credit rehabilitation project.

Wimbledon Road Historic District, Monroe County – The district in the Town of Irondequoit consists of thirty houses and one individually listed house that were all designed and marketed by Fred P. Tosch. The district represents residential development and the need for affordable housing in the Rochester area in the early 1900s resulting from an increase in workers and managers in local industries. The district is also significant for its use of Tudor, Colonial, and Dutch Colonial architecture with all houses sharing identical footprints but varying on the exterior so that no two adjacent houses were the same. Tosch also used a Master Model home that was co-sponsored by the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper to show the latest in technology and improvements that a prospective home buyer could expect with a Tosch-built house on Wimbledon Road.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which saw a record 84 million visits in 2023. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit   parks.ny.gov, download the free  NY State Parks Explorer app  or call 518.474.0456. Join us in celebrating our Centennial throughout 2024, and connect with us on   Facebook,   Instagram,  X  (formerly Twitter), and the  OPRHP Blog.

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