Category Archives: Historic Preservation

Adirondack Scenic Railroad Has Record Breaking Sales

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Adirondack Scenic Railroad Pumpkin TrainIn 2015, the Adirondack Scenic Railroad carried over 74,000 passengers, an all-time high for the 24-year old organization. If Spring 2016 sales are any indication, the Railroad projects that 2016 will break the previous year’s record.

The spring season kicked off March 26th with the Easter Bunny Express, a train ride geared for children and families, which travels from Holland Patent to Remsen. The event sold out over a month in advance the company said, even with additional added capacity. A total of four trips carried over 1,500 passengers. Continue reading

A Visit To Orange County’s Gomez Mill House

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gomez houseIf the walls of the Gomez Mill House could talk, what a story it could tell.

Despite the hard stone construction of the building, the sentiment is gentle: “If you have a warm heart, you are welcome.”

The alert observer will see hearts in the designs around the home and grounds, and in the artwork. It’s a place that has been witness to over 300 years of history: not only of Orange County, but of the United States. It has seen days as a business operation, sending construction materials to New York City; it has overheard secret intelligence meetings during the Revolutionary War; it has also been a working farm growing fruit and breeding purebred animals. Built by Jewish businessman Luis Moses Gomez, it’s also the oldest known Jewish dwelling in the United States. Continue reading

Battlefield Stewardship Workshops Planned

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crown point by john warrenHistorians, museums, cultural groups and community members are invited to join one of two workshops on battlefield stewardship to be held at two locations – Wednesday April 13, 2016 from 1 to 4 pm in the Schuyler Room of Saratoga Town Hall, and Thursday April 14th from 1 to 4 PM in the auditorium of Crown Point State Historic Site.

The workshop discussion will be led by Saratoga National Historical Park Superintendent Amy Bracewell. Keynote speakers Lindsey Morrison and Kathy Robertson from the Civil War Trust will share information about Campaign 1776 – a national initiative to foster the preservation and interpretation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields. Continue reading

New Book: Fading Structures in the Finger Lakes

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Tfading structures in the finger lakes bookhe new book Fading Structures in the Finger Lakes: Images and Verse (Fast Pencil, 2015) by Michael W. Duttweiler explores 24 structures in the Central Finger Lake Region. These structures once stood strong, but have since been run down and abandoned.

Each image is paired with a poem conveying the allure and intrigue of the deserted structures. Poems by Conant, Kilmer, Frost, Dickinson, Whitman, Tennyson and other well-known authors are included.

Duttweiler hopes that by conveying the beauty of these fading structures, local organizations will be encouraged to support historic preservation. Continue reading

Long Island Preservation Awards Announced

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289 east main streetThe Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities (SPLIA) will recognize two organizations and three projects for preservation excellence on Long Island at a ceremony to be held at 2 pm on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at SPLIA Headquarters in Cold Spring Harbor.

Also, filmmaker Jake Gorst will be presented the Huyler C. Held Award for Publication Excellence, followed by a screening of “Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion”. Continue reading

Gardens of Eden: Long Island’s Planned Communities

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gardens of edenRobert B. MacKay’s new book Gardens of Eden: Long Island’s Early Twentieth Century Planned Communities (2015, W.W Norton & Co.) examines Long Island at the turn of the twentieth century, and how it saw an explosion of architectural ambition.

Well-known for the country houses that bloomed through the Progressive Era as seasonal havens for the captains of New York finance and industry, Long Island also afforded people of more modest means the opportunity to strike out from the city.

Gardens of Eden tells the story of Long Island’s “residential parks,” richly gardened suburbs with such distinctive directives as the exclusive housing of teachers, public outreach by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a taboo on right-angled intersections. Continue reading

Grant Applications Available From Preservation League

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Preservation League of New York State LogoApplications are now available to eligible municipalities and not-for-profit organizations to compete for Preserve New York and Technical Assistance Grants (TAG), the signature grant programs of the Preservation League of New York State and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).

A total of $265,128 is available in 2016. This includes $255,128 in funding from NYSCA and $10,000 from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor for the TAG program. The League will disburse this amount over two grant rounds, Preserve New York and TAG in the spring, and an additional TAG funding round in the fall. Continue reading

Wild History Tales From St. Marks Place, NYC

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Tish and Snooky, punk rock boutique Manic Panic at 33 St. Marks Place.

“The street has provided generation after generation with a mystical flash of belonging… experiences of mortal peril, dissipation and adventure…” writes Ada Calhoun in her new book St. Marks’s Is Dead. Her wry and witty journey through history notes that each generation plunged in the excitement and grunge of the Lower East Side street proclaims its own moment “the golden age,” while bemoaning subsequent events as the death of the place’s “true essence.” That heart might be an immigrant’s dream, revolution, creativity, dissent, fashion experiment or altered consciousness.

Her bedlam of voices making these claims is entertaining and illuminating, the voluble chatter of participants, residents, business folks and dissidents who gave the street its gritty allure. Calhoun conducted over 200 interviews to assemble this history, and they range from obscure rantings of yesteryear to tales of the poor and famous. You will hear from Leon Trotsky, W.H. Auden, Debbie Harry, Klaus Nomi, street people, skate-boarders, drag queens and theater operators. Emma Goldman, famed anarchist, ran the Modern School for a while, where ardent revolutionaries could learn from the works of Mikhail Bakunin and Karl Marx. Pamela Moore, a pulp novelist of the 1960s described the creative invasion of the 1950s as “their own brand-new Beatnikville where the artists had moved in on the Slavic factory hands and all lived together in glorious, outrageous, dedicated poverty!” Continue reading