Albany, NY - June 13, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 28 sites have been nominated to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The Barge Canal Historic District was one of the properties, resources and districts across the state advanced for the historic designation by the New York State Board of Historic Preservation.
“New York’s rich history is among its greatest assets and remains a strong draw for this state’s fast-growing tourism industry,” Governor Cuomo said. “By nominating these sites as historic places, we are working to preserve that legacy for future generations, while also encouraging travelers from every corner of the world to visit and explore the sites that made New York the Empire State.”
The Barge Canal Historic District includes the four historic branches of the state’s 20th century canal system; the Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca canals – all much enlarged versions of waterways that were initially constructed during the 1820s. The district sprawls 450 miles over 18 counties and encompasses 23,000 acres. Past and present day photos of sections of the canal can be found here.
Individual nominations and photos of all 28 sites can be found here.
Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), said, “The nomination of the Barge Canal Historic District and other notable sites across the state to the State and National Registers of Historic Places builds on Governor Cuomo’s robust historic preservation record. Adding these to the Registers places them in distinctive company and is a momentous step in their long-term preservation and celebration.”
Brian U. Stratton, Director of the New York State Canal Corporation, said, “I commend the New York State Board for Historic Preservation for its nomination of the Barge Canal to be listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. All along New York’s Canals are communities, both large and small, that share a sense of identity and common heritage that stems directly from the Canal system. These nominations give this marvel of American engineering its rightful place in history and further it as a mechanism for spurring tourism, economic growth and environmental restoration.”
The New York State Barge Canal is a nationally significant work of early 20th century engineering and construction that affected commerce across much of the continent for nearly half a century. The Erie Canal, first opened in 1825, was America’s most successful and influential manmade waterway, facilitating and shaping the course of settlement in the Northeast, Midwest, and Great Plains; connecting the Atlantic seaboard with territories west of the Appalachian Mountains, and establishing New York City as the nation’s premiere seaport and commercial center. New York’s canals were enormously successful and had to be enlarged repeatedly during the 19th century to accommodate larger boats and increased traffic. The Barge Canal, constructed 1905-18, is the last and most ambitious enlargement.
Extensive research and documentation for the nomination, including an inventory of more than 200 canal structures, was prepared by the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, National Park Service Heritage Documentation Program, and Canal Corporation, in partnership with OPRHP.
Mike Caldwell, Regional Director of the National Park Service, Northeast Region, said, “The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor was recognized as an iconic national treasure by Congress in 2000. Since then, the National Park Service has worked very closely with the State of New York and local communities to plan and implement preservation and revitalization opportunities. This historic district listing will further enhance the Erie Canalway's stature as one of our nation's greatest and most recognizable heritage assets.”
State and National Register 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. Developers invested $1 billion statewide in 2013 to revitalize properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, while homeowners using the state historic homeowner rehabilitation tax credit invested more than $14.3 million statewide on home improvements to help revitalize historic neighborhoods.
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 90,000 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.
Additional State Review Board Recommendations:
Philip Livingston Junior High School, Albany – Designed by Albany architect Andrew L. Delehanty and completed in 1932 for a growing city population, the school building blends Colonial Revival and Art Deco styles and is an early example of the junior high school movement in New York State.
Jamestown Downtown Historic District, Jamestown – The collection of 101 contributing buildings is a small urban core of mostly commercial buildings, which reflect the city’s evolution from a small village in the 1870s to a bustling downtown of an industrial city with over 40,000 residents by the mid-1950s.
Corlies-Ritter-Hart House, Poughkeepsie – Built ca. 1872, the Second Empire-style home was associated with a series of families important to the history of local music education, performance, and commerce.
Dover Stone Church, Dover Plains – This geological formation of metamorphic rock situated in a densely wooded location in eastern Dutchess County was a celebrated and much-visited tourist destination in New York State by the middle decades of the 19th century.
Charles Morschauser house, Poughkeepsie – The Queen Anne-style home was built in 1902 for Charles Morschauser, a prominent trial lawyer during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and defense counsel in the nationally followed trial of Harry K. Thaw, accused of killing renowned architect Stanford White.
Violet Avenue School, Poughkeepsie – Completed in 1940, the Colonial Revival school is closely associated with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who influenced its design; it was built under the auspices of his New Deal school building program administered by the Public Works Administration.
The Zion Pilgrim Methodist Episcopal Church Site, Fishkill – The archaeologically significant historic resource in the Baxtertown area was the site of a church, erected ca. 1848, that served as the central religious and social gathering place of an early rural African-American community in the Hudson Valley.
Public School #60, Buffalo – Completed in 1922, PS 60 represents the evolution of the Buffalo public school system, first as a neighborhood elementary school erected and expanded as the city grew and later as a vocational training and community center.
First Presbyterian Church, Le Roy – Erected in 1825-26 and modified subsequently during the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, the church has stood prominently at the center of the village since its construction, offering a gathering place for the community.
Nassau Brewing Company, Brooklyn – The lager beer brewing complex dates to 1865, when an explosion of lager brewing was taking hold in Brooklyn, accompanied by the influx of German immigrants to the New York metropolitan area.
Pinckney Corners Cemetery, Pinckney – The cemetery provides important information about the region’s early 19th century settlement families and includes the graves of two Revolutionary War veterans and twelve War of 1812 veterans—a demonstration of the strategic nature of the region during that conflict.
First Unitarian Church, Rochester – Built 1961-62, this nationally significant example of Modern architecture was designed by internationally prominent architect Louis I. Kahn and is regarded as his breakthrough moment, where he transcended his position as a good modern architect to become one of the most influential architectural minds of the late 20th century.
North Star School #11, Hamlin – The rare surviving mid-19th century rural school building has been serving the community for its 170-year existence, first as school built in 1844, and then as a community center, beginning in 1952, and now as a local history center.
William Landsberg House, Port Washington – Built in 1951, this excellent example of modern residential architecture was designed by William Landsberg, a modernist architect, and distinctly illustrates his preference for openness, simplicity, efficiency, and natural materials.
New York County
Circle Line X, New York – Built in 1944, the Circle Line X started life as a Landing Craft Infantry (LCI) Large (L) in World War II, ferrying troops to island invasions in the Pacific Theater; after the war it was reconfigured as a sightseeing vessel, taking visitors on a 35-mile tour around Manhattan Island.
Colony Arcade, New York – The 1912 store-and-loft building was part of the development of the “Midtown Loft Zone,” as it was known historically, which flourished in the wake of the garment manufacturers' desire to be near the city’s major department stores as they moved uptown around the turn of the century.
High and Locusts Streets Historic District, Lockport – The neighborhood developed as a popular location for many of the city’s notable professionals, politicians and business people during a period of significant growth and today includes a highly intact collection of residential styles dating from 1840 through 1936.
Oakwood Cemetery, Niagara Falls – Established in 1852 to serve the needs of the growing community, the cemetery includes a section dedicated to “stunters,” or daredevils (successful and failed), who were drawn to Niagara Falls, where Annie Edson Taylor, first person to survive going over the falls in a barrel, is buried.
Hanover Square Historic District Boundary Expansion, Syracuse – The nomination expands the historic district created in 1975 to encompass many of the buildings vital to the city’s commercial life that were constructed in the early and mid-19th century to take advantage of the Erie Canal and the Genesee Turnpike.
West Brothers Knitting Company, Syracuse – The manufacturing building was constructed in 1906-1907 to house a growing knitting company started by Eugene and George West in 1890, as scores of diverse industries arose to drive the local economy as the city’s traditional salt industry fell into decline.
Residence at One Pendleton Place, Staten Island – The rare example of a High Victorian Italian-style villa on Staten Island was built in 1860 and was twice featured in the Horticulturalist magazine, a 19th century journal which helped popularize picturesque designs in the United States.
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Historic District, Schoharie – The district is composed of the former St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, an 1801manse, St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery, and the 1743 Old Lutheran Parsonage, which are all associated with the 18th century migration of Palatine German settlers to the Schoharie Valley.
Philip Argus House and Winery, Pulteney – The 1886 stone house and 1890 stone winery were built by Philip Argus, a German immigrant who recognized that the Finger Lakes area had similar weather and soil conditions as the wine regions of Europe and helped make winemaking a major part of the region’s economy.
The John Mollenhauer House, Bay Shore – Built in 1893, the excellent, and increasingly rare, example of a Shingle style estate was built as a second home for John Mollenhauer, a German immigrant and successful businessman known as the “Sugar King of Brooklyn.”
Ambrose Lapham House, Palmyra – Constructed 1869-1870, the Italianate style home was constructed for Lapham, a Palmyra native who made his fortune in banking in the Detroit area and selected Palmyra as a place to retire, remembering the rural, pastoral landscape of the Finger Lakes.
Glenwolde Park Historic District, Tarrytown – The subdivision of largely intact Tudor Revival and Colonial Revival-style homes was developed in the 1920s in response to the expansion of the local economy and the related increase in demand for housing.
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Hall of Records, Yonkers – The Neoclassical building, designed to mask its fireproof construction, was built in 1906 as a remote repository for Metropolitan Life’s records as it grew to become one of the largest insurance companies in the United States.
These nominations, along with the tens of thousands of buildings already on the State and National Registers, highlight the significance, depth and diversity of New York’s history. Celebrating and promoting New York’s historical assets is also a significant economic development driver for the State. The Governor has demonstrated his commitment to showcasing New York’s rich history and cultural significance by launching the State’s Path Through History initiative. The Path Through History initiative uses 13 themes to organize 500-plus heritage attractions across the State, including New York’s vast network of museums, historic sites, and other cultural institutions. Visitors can locate sites by looking for the Path Through History markers on major state highways, additional local signage, and online at www.paththroughhistory.ny.gov.