Liselle LaFrance Named To Lead Historic Huguenot St


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Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) has announced the hiring of a new Executive Director, Liselle LaFrance.

LaFrance has served as the Director of Historic Cherry Hill in Albany for 26 years. In this role, she oversaw development of a long-range interpretive plan, including an award-winning tour, “The Rankins of Cherry Hill: Struggling with the Loss of Their World,” featured in the June 2003 issue of the Journal of American History.

Historic Cherry Hill was also the recipient of a 2009 “Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections” award from the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) and Heritage Preservation, and a 2014 Stewardship Award from the Historic Albany Foundation, and LaFrance received an individual 2014 Award of Merit from the Museum Association of New York (MANY). Continue reading

Historians File Protest for State and Local History


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new york acadamy of historyWho advocates for New York State history? I have frequently bemoaned the absence of a history agenda, an organized history community, and history advocacy day here. Last year, Ken Jackson, Columbia University and plenary speaker at the kickoff of the Path through History program, ridiculed that very program in his plenary address to the Great Hudson Heritage Network (GHHN). That plea was followed up by a letter to the Governor through the auspices of the New York Academy of History. Naturally, there was no response, not even a form letter. Continue reading

Brutalist Architecture Still Controversial After 50 Years


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orange county government buildingWhen I began my term as Orange County Historian, Ted Sly was kind enough to go over some of his most memorable moments in the post.

On one occasion around 2010, he explained, he met with members of the Paul Rudolph Foundation and toured them through the Government Center where they encountered hecklers, one of which shouted out from the office, “Tear it down! Tear it down!”

It wasn’t my first inkling of the animosity that has persisted in the community regarding the Orange County Government Center since it was dedicated in 1970 but I appreciated his warning. Continue reading

New Book: Saving the Shawangunks


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saving the shawangunksCarleton Mabee’s new book Saving the Shawangunk: The Struggle to Protect One of Earth’s Last Great Places (Black Dome Press, 2017) with foreword by Cara Lee of The Nature Conservancy takes a look at the grassroots fight to stop the construction of a 400-room hotel/conference center and 500 condominiums around Lake Minnewaska in New York State’s Shawangunk Mountains in the 1980s.

The authors argue that these efforts were a landmark victory for Hudson Valley environmentalists and became a blueprint for subsequent struggles to preserve open space against encroaching development. Continue reading

New York History Around The Web This Week


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Columbia Co: Gallery of Wreaths Exhibit, Auction


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christmas wreathHoliday Wreaths created by community members, organizations, local businesses and artists will be on display at the James Vanderpoel ‘House of History’ in Kinderhook Friday to Sunday, December 1-3 from noon to 4 pm, marking the 32nd Annual Gallery of Wreaths and Silent Auction to benefit the Columbia County Historical Society (CCHS), hosted by the CCHS Volunteers.

The Silent Auction helps support exhibitions and programs for county children and adults. In addition to participating in a Holiday Raffle, the public is invited to bid on live, dried, artificial and mixed-media wreaths all weekend. Continue reading