Tag Archives: OPRHP

Paul Bray: Help Abandoned State Heritage Areas


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Heritage Areas MapA few years ago a delegation of environmentalists and officials from the Adirondack Park visited Lake Baikal in Russia.  So large that it is often mistaken for a sea, Lake Baikal is the deepest and largest (by volume) freshwater lake in the world, and thought to be the world’s oldest as well. Famous for its crystal clear waters and unique wildlife, the lake is under threat by pollution, poaching and development.

An Adirondack lawyer on the trip told me that they had a boat ride with a group of Russians. One of the Russians said to him “Why are we wasting our time with Americans? Russia has a culture that produced great writers like Dostoyevsky, Pushkin, Turgenev and Chekhov, great musicians like Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, and Rimsky-Korsakov and great dancers like Baryshnikov, Nureyev, and Nijinsky. What has America contributed to the world?” Continue reading

Updated Model Preservation Law For NY Municipalities


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New York State ParksThe New York State Historic Preservation Office (OPRHP) and New York State Department of State, in partnership with the Preservation League of New York State, have developed an updated model local preservation law to help municipalities preserve historic resources in their communities. The model law is available on the agency’s website here.

The new model law details procedural steps for local landmarking decisions and review of proposed alterations to historic properties, and new standards for municipal process and public participation in the protection of historic resources. New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales said that the Department of State has worked closely to ensure that the Model Law can be used by towns, villages and cities of any size. Continue reading

Should the History Community Lobby?


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nycapitolShould the New York State history community lobby in Albany and if so, for what? These questions occurred to me as I recently participated in two days of lobbying. The events were arranged by Parks & Trails New York and the Open Space Institute’s Alliance for New York Parks on Park Advocacy Day, and by the Tourism Industry Coalition for Tourism Action Day.  The former is works essentially on behalf of NYS Office Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP) while the latter consists of 23 organizations including 9 counties, 2 cities, New York and Syracuse, one region, the Finger Lakes, and hospitality organizations. Continue reading

Senate Budget Plan Hits NY State Historic Sites


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New York State ParksThe one-house budget resolution passed by the Republican controlled NYS Senate last week denies $92.5 million in funding for state park and historic site repairs and upgrades included in the Executive and Assembly budgets.

Advocates say the funding, which builds on the $200 million provided over the past two years, is critical to revitalize New York’s beleaguered system of state parks and historic sites, which saw a record 60 million visitors last year. Continue reading

NYS Parks, Historic Sites Visitation Tops 60 Million


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OPRHP-1The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) today announced that more than 60.1 million people visited New York state parks and historic sites in 2013, and campgrounds had the busiest year on record.

Visitation topped 60 million for the second year in a row despite the fact that some of state’s most popular parks were temporarily closed for repairs due to Superstorm Sandy. Continue reading

Take The Online Survey:
NYS Historic Preservation Plan Input Sought


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New York State ParksThe New York State Division for Historic Preservation, including the State Historic Preservation Office, is updating the state’s historic preservation plan, which provides a blueprint for strengthening and expanding preservation efforts across the Empire State.

Public input is an important component of the planning process and they are taking a two-pronged approach. They have developed an online survey (available through the survey link) as well as a more in-depth questionnaire (see below).  Those with an interest in New York’s history can take the public survey online here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NYSPreservationSurvey

 

33 Sites Recommended for State, National Registers


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unnamedThe New York State Board for Historic Preservation recommended the addition of 33 properties, resources and districts to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. State and National Register-listing can assist property owners in revitalizing the structures, making them eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as matching state grants and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits. Continue reading

2013 NYS Historic Preservation Awards Announced


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logo_nys_parksThe New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced the recipients of the 2013 New York State Historic Preservation Awards. Established in 1980, the State Historic Preservation Awards are given each year to honor excellence in the protection and rejuvenation of New York’s historic and cultural resources.

The awards were announced at what was apparently a private ceremony held in the visitor center at Peebles Island State Park in Waterford. This year’s award recipients include: Continue reading

Carol Ash Elected to Palisades Park Conservancy Board


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Carol_Ash_2013_0Former Palisades Interstate Park Commission Executive Director and New York State Parks Commissioner Carol Ash has been elected to serve a three-year term on the Palisades Parks Conservancy Board of Directors.

During her career in the fields of natural and cultural resources preservation, Carol Ash has served as the first director of the Office of Environmental Policy and Management for the Port Authority of NY and NJ, the NYC Regional Director of the NYS DEC, the PIPC Executive Director, and the NY State Parks Commissioner. Continue reading

20 Nominations Made for NYS, National Registers


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New York State ParksThe New York State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended the addition of 20 properties, resources, and districts to the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

“Survival of these noteworthy places is crucial in preserving the great diversity of New York’s communities,” said Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “Placing these landmarks on the State and National Registers of Historic Places will offer well-deserved recognition along with tools to help them last into the future.” Continue reading

Busing New York:
Field Trips and Local Paths Through History


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field-trip_students_busOn May 30, 2013, I wrote about a high school teacher who took a class to Greece and wondered how that teacher would go about creating a visit to New York State. He used a travel agent because multiple paths through Greek history exist and he could pick the one he wanted. One might think that something similar could be done in New York but consider the following examples.

The Historical Society of Rockland County has numerous bus trips throughout the year. They sell out and are well received. They also are mainly in Rockland County which the Society, of course knows well. After that post about Greece, I received a private email which I am authorized to share. The Society would like to expand its bus programs beyond the county but encountered problems. Continue reading

17 Nominations for State, National Registers


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New York State ParksAt the end of June, the New York State Board for Historic Preservation recommended the addition of 17 properties, resources and districts to the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

Listing these properties on the State and National Registers can assist their owners in revitalizing the structures, making them eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as matching state grants and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits. Continue reading

Saratoga, Capital Region Sites Hosting Geocache Challenge


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New York State ParksThe Saratoga/Capital District Region of New York State Parks is hosting 50 all new geocaches in 16 state parks and historic sites, and will hold a drawing for prizes for those participants who successfully complete the geocache challenge by finding any 35 of the 50 geocaches.

The geocache challenge will begin Memorial Day Weekend and extend through Veteran’s Day, November 11th.  The goal of the extended event is to bring people out to experience state parks and historic sites and to introduce patrons to the family-oriented sport of geocaching. Continue reading

Volunteer Now For “I Love My Park Day” on May 4th


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ILoveMyPark_HPSlideVolunteers can now sign up for the second annual “I Love My Park Day” on May 4th – a statewide effort to help clean up and beautify New York’s state parks and historical sites. At last year’s event, thousands of New Yorkers pitched in to paint, plant, clean, build, and make repairs across the state.

This year’s volunteer effort is especially important as many of our parks are still recovering from damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. New York’s parks are one of our state’s most treasured assets, and this event helps ensure that New Yorkers and visitors to our state can continue to enjoy and appreciate New York’s natural beauty. To find an event near you and sign up, click here.

27 NYS Nominations Made for Registers of Historic Places


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New York State ParksThe New York State Board for Historic Preservation recommended the addition of 27 properties, resources and districts to the State and National Registers of Historic Places, including a Livingston County church where the American Red Cross got its start and a Rockland County complex that was central to the nation’s textile industry.

“The multi-faceted story of New York can be traced in its many distinctive buildings and unique landmarks,” said Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “It is an honor to help preserve these unique landmarks by listing them on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.” Continue reading

Four Freedoms Park, NY State’s Newest, Opens


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The newest New York state park, located on Roosevelt Island in the East River New York City, has opened. Four Freedoms Park, which is New York’s 214th state park, is tribute to the life and work of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a former governor of New York State who as President led our nation out of the Great Depression and guided America during World War II. The Park opened to the public on October 24.

The four-acre park is the last design of the iconic American architect Louis I. Kahn – the only design by Kahn in New York City. The park features a granite plaza at the southern tip of Roosevelt Island, tree-lined paths and a bronze bust of Roosevelt by acclaimed portrait sculptor Jo Davidson.

The name of the park refers to a speech delivered by President Roosevelt on January 6, 1941, in which he described his vision for a world founded on four essential human freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.
 
The Park has been decades in the making. Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Mayor Lindsay announced the project in 1973, appointing Kahn as its architect; Kahn died unexpectedly shortly after completing the Park’s plans and the City of New York’s financial troubles dampened momentum for the project. More than 30 years later, former Ambassador to the United Nations William vanden Heuvel and the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy spearheaded a philanthropic effort to revive the park, enabling construction to begin in 2010.

The Park will offer a free interactive digital educational resource that visitors will be able to access on any mobile device. It will provide a multi-media narrative critical to understanding President Roosevelt’s significance, and was designed with the encouragement of the National Endowment for the Humanities with the help of historians and FDR scholars. For more information visit: http://www.fdrfourfreedomspark.org/

With the addition of Four Freedoms, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation operates 179 state parks and 35 historic sites. Four Freedoms will be the first new State Park in New York City since East River State Park opened in Brooklyn in 2007 and the first new State Park in the state since the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park opened outside of Poughkeepsie in 2009. Park maintenance, programming and security will be provided cooperatively by State Parks, Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, and the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.

Staatsburgh Historic Site Renovations Underway


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Thanks in part to New York State’s recent $134 million investment in New York Works Projects aimed at putting New Yorkers back to work and restoring and repairing state parks and historic sites, the east portico and estate wall of Staatsburgh State Historic Site, in Staatsburgh, DUtchess County, will soon receive a much-needed restoration of its grand estate wall and historic entrance portico.

The projects are expected to take a year to complete. New York Works is designed to reinvent state economic development with innovative new strategy that will put New Yorkers back to work rebuilding the state’s infrastructure. The Task Force will help create tens of thousands of jobs by coordinating comprehensive capital plans, overseeing investment in infrastructure projects, and accelerating hundreds of critical projects across the state.

During the estate wall and east portico projects, house tours will continue to be offered, the site’s museum shop and exhibit gallery will remain accessible. House tours are given Thursday through Sunday, between 11am and 5pm (last tour starts at 4pm) through October, and during special holiday hours in November and December. Additionally the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has created a “virtual tour” video that will enable all visitors to see highlights of the mansion’s interior while hearing about the architecture of the house and the people who lived and worked at the mansion in its heyday (1895-1920).

Formerly the country estate of Ogden Mills and Ruth Livingston Mills, the opulent Beaux Arts mansion was expanded and decorated to its present size of 79 rooms in 1895 by renowned architect Stanford White, of the well-known architectural firm, McKim, Mead & White. Part of White’s renovation included the building of a grand, two-storey portico entrance, which dominates the view of the house as one approaches from the road, and clearly communicates the wealth and importance of its occupants. After more than a century of continual use, this part of the house is in need of structural and aesthetic rehabilitation. Also included in the NY Works Project plans for Staatsburgh are repair of the estate wall and the mansion’s roof.

To visit Staatsburgh State Historic Site, please call 845-889-8851 or visit their website. House tours are available Thursday through Sunday, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm in season (April through October) with additional special hours in the holiday season and winter months.

Staatsburgh State Historic Site is located on Old Post Road in Staatsburg, off Route 9 between Rhinebeck and Hyde Park. The historic site is one of six historic sites and 15 state parks administered by New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – Taconic Region.

Lecture: The Excavations of Fort Orange


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Dr. Paul Huey, now retired as archeologist for the New York State Historic Sites system (Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation) who will present a talk on the history of Fort Orange and the excavation in 1970 and 1971 of archeological remains of the fort ahead of the construction of Interstate 787, an event which inspired a revival of interest in the history of Albany in the Dutch period.

Fort Orange was a trading center built by the Dutch West India Company in 1624. The fort was located outside of Beverwijck (present-day Albany), to the south and near the river bank. In 1647, Petrus Stuyvesant, representing the West India Company as director of New Netherland, began to allow private traders to build houses inside the fort. Other traders built houses close to and outside the fort, which Stuyvesant considered to be illegal.

Consequently, Stuyvesant established the settlement of Beverwijck as a town at what he considered a satisfactory distance away from the fort. The fort and all of New Netherland were taken by the English in 1664 during peacetime. The fort was retaken briefly by the Dutch who then returned it to the English, and it was finally abandoned in 1676 by the English. The English then built a new fort on the State Street hill in Albany.

The event is hosted by The Friends of the New York State Library and will take place on September 26 2012 from 12:15pm – 1:15pm at the 7th floor Librarians Room, at the New York State Library, Madison Avenue, Albany, NY. To register for the program, go to: http://www.forms2.nysed.gov/nysl/trngreg.cfm

Illustration: Location of Fort Orange on today’s Albany’s riverfront from Len Tantillo’s Visions of New York State. Digital copy courtesy The People of Colonial Albany Project.

2012 Hudson River Valley Ramble Events Set


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The 2012 Hudson River Valley Ramble will be held on the weekends of September 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, and 29-30, 2012, with more than 165 events from the Capital District to New York City.

The Ramble aims to bring people outside to enjoy our distinct cultural heritage and the natural resources of the Hudson River Valley. It also serves as an economic boost for the regional economy. Nearly 150 environmental, land conservancy, trail and historic preservation organizations, New York State historic sites and parks, as well as the National Park Service participate by offering events, and many are free of charge and family friendly.

Guided hikes, cycling and kayaking tours, historic site walks, festivals and river explorations are examples of some of the types of events that will be available for every ability level. With all that the Ramble has to offer, you’ll have no problem finding a Ramble adventure near you. 
For a complete listing of events, visit www.hudsonrivervalleyramble.com. Copies of the program guide can be found in the August issue of Chronogram magazine or at various tourist destinations throughout the Hudson Valley. They may also be downloaded directly from the web site.

The Hudson River Valley Ramble is presented by the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area and Hudson River Valley Greenway, in partnership with the NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the NYS Office of Tourism, the National Park Service, and nearly 150 organizations hosting Ramble events throughout the Hudson River Valley.