Category Archives: Historic Preservation

A Source of New Ideas for Historic Preservation


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Historic preservation is a very important element of local history. There is a good deal of literature on the topic. But every now and then there is a new book which advances fresh ideas and puts the issue in a new light.

One such new book is Stephanie Meeks’ The Past and Future City: How Historic Preservation is Reviving America’s Communities (Washington: Island Press, 2016). Meeks is President and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She has made a number of presentations about the book where you can see the book’s major points. Continue reading

Johanna Yaun: Newburgh’s Dutch Reformed Church


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Dutch Reformed ChurchOn a summer day in 1998, I stood on Grand Street, waiting. First Lady Hillary Clinton’s press bus had broken down on I-87 and she was now several hours late.

When she finally arrived, she gave an impressive speech and pledged funds ($128,205) through the Save America’s Treasures program to stabilize the upper gallery of an A.J. Davis designed masterpiece, the Dutch Reformed Church.

At 14 years old, I was just beginning to take an interest in historic preservation. I was already aware that Newburgh possessed a vast array of historic structures, but Clinton’s visit was an inspiring notion that the ruins I had grown up around in the post-urban renewal era were finally getting the attention they needed and deserved. The work done with the grant stabilized the building and prevented what would have been an imminent collapse. Things were looking up for Newburgh’s historic district. Continue reading

Southern Tier: Free Preservation Grant Info Sessions


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Elmira Downtown Development, IncNot-for-profit groups and municipalities have been invited to attend one of three free information session on Preserve New York and Technical Assistance Grants (TAG), the signature grant programs of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the Preservation League. At each meeting, Erin Tobin, the League’s Director of Preservation, will explain the requirements of the grants, the process of applying, and discuss some successful previous applicants. Continue reading

24 New National Historic Landmarks Named


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department-of-interiorAs the National Park Service enters its second century of service, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the designation of 24 new National Historic Landmarks.

The National Historic Landmarks Program recognizes historic properties of exceptional value to the nation and promotes the preservation efforts of federal, state, and local agencies and Native American tribes, as well as those of private organizations and individuals. The program is one of more than a dozen administered by the National Park Service that provide states and local communities technical assistance, recognition and funding to help preserve our nation’s shared history, and create close-to-home recreation opportunities. Continue reading

Greenwich Village: Past and Present


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453-461-sixth-avenue-in-the-historic-districtOn a bitterly cold January morning in 1917, the painters John Sloan and Marcel Duchamps, along with friends, climbed to the top of Washington Square Arch to proclaim the secession of Greenwich Village from the United States. Thenceforth the neighborhood that stood as America’s repository of avant-garde art, literature and social enlightenment would be known as the Free and Independent Republic of Washington Square. The stunt defined the character of the Village, as it is popularly known to New Yorkers, for the ensuing half century. Continue reading

Seward/Mapes Homestead Raises $9k For Preservation


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seward-mapes-homestead-restoration-committee-president-roger-dowd-presents-florida-mayor-james-pawliczek-with-a-check-towards-preserving-the-homesteadOn Thursday, December 14th, the Seward/Mapes Homestead Restoration Committee of Florida presented the Village of Florida’s governing Board with a $5,000 check toward the restoration of the Seward/Mapes Homestead. Added to a $4,000 contribution made earlier in 2016, the organization raised a total of $9,000 toward a New York State matching fund grant for historic preservation. Continue reading