Category Archives: Historic Preservation

Bill Hosley: A Long Island History Museum Tour


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We caught the 7 am ferry from New London CT to Orient Point for a day on eastern Long Island (which was part of Connecticut for most of the 17th-century and was economically and cultural connected into the 19th).

Our destination was the Southampton Historical Museum’s 9th annual “Tour of Southampton Homes.” You know – “the Hamptons” – a famous haunt of the 1/10th of 1%.

So how does the work of local history perform in a place like that? The House Tour was awesome and what you might expect – folks with flashy estates opening up their houses to voyeurs like us – at $100pp – a chance to see inside the lifestyle of the astonishingly provisioned. Continue reading

Historic District Designated in Central Harlem


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West 130-132nd Streets Historic DistrictThe New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has recently designated the Central Harlem – West 130-132nd Streets a Historic District. This mid-block historic district represents Central Harlem’s residential architecture, and the social, cultural, and political life of its African American population in the 20th century.

To illustrate the significance of this diverse historic district, LPC launched an interactive story map called Explore the Central Harlem – West 130th-132nd Streets Historic District. Continue reading

Historic Buildings: Far Rockaway Fire House, Police Station


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Firehouse, Engine Companies 264 & 328

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has recently designated two historic buildings in Far Rockaway, Queens as individual landmarks: the Firehouse, Engine Companies 264 & 328/Hook and Ladder 134 at 16-15 Central Avenue, and the 53rd (now 101st) Precinct Police Station at 16-12 Mott Avenue.

These buildings are outstanding examples of early-20th century civic buildings and represent a period of significant growth in Far Rockaway. Continue reading

Restoration of 1720s Jean Hasbrouck House Begins


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Jean Hasbrouck House in July 2017, Phase one of the project to restore the original 18th-century roof framing of the Jean Hasbrouck House (ca. 1721) in New Paltz, at Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) has begun.

The Jean Hasbrouck House is a specific and rare example of traditional Dutch 18th-century architecture. The house’s high-pitched gable roof spans twice the depth of other stone houses from the period and is one of a kind in the United States.

The house was named a National Historic Landmark in 1967 and serves as the flagship house of seven historic house museums comprising Historic Huguenot Street’s 10-acre National Historic Landmark District (awarded 1960). Continue reading

Historians Need to Keep Promoting History


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A post here on The New York History Blog last December summarized the work of University of Richmond historian Edward Ayers, who has been proactive in getting history out to the public.

Ayers served as president of the Organization of American Historians, 2017-2018, and in April, at the OAH’s annual meeting, delivered his presidential address, “Everyone Their Own Historian.”

You can see a video of his speech at the OAH website. It is useful because it goes into some of the same issues that the historical enterprise here in New York is confronting. Continue reading

Historic Albany Preservation Awards Announced


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historic albany logoThe Historic Albany Foundation’s 2018 Preservation Merit Awards will be given at the Women’s Club of Albany, 725 Madison Ave, Albany, on Thursday, June 7th at 5:30 pm.

For over 40 years, Historic Albany Foundation has worked to preserve and protect buildings that have architectural, historic or civic value, by providing technical assistance, education, and advocacy. Since 1976, Historic Albany has given annual awards for projects, individuals and organizations that demonstrate excellence and a commitment to preservation techniques and initiatives. Continue reading

Blenheim Covered Bridge: A Bridge to History


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Old Covered Wooden Bridge at North BlenheimNew York State has approximately 17,000 highway bridges. They are essential for traveling around our state and connecting our communities. Bridges – old and new – are part of community and state history. The story of the Blenheim Covered Bridge across the Schoharie Creek the town of Blenheim in Schoharie County is one of history, resilience, and restoration.

Completed in 1855, the 210-foot long wooden toll bridge served travelers and farmers. Its charter expired in 1891 and it was transferred to the State. New bridges rendered it obsolete and in 1931, after the State proposed to demolish it, Schoharie County purchased it and maintained it as a historic site – the longest single span wooden covered bridge in the world. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964. Continue reading

Coney Island Boardwalk Designated Landmark


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coney island boardwalkThe New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has designated the Coney Island (Riegelmann) Boardwalk in Brooklyn a Scenic Landmark in recognition of its cultural and historical significance.

Since opening on May 15, 1923, the Coney Island Boardwalk has been one of the best-known waterfront promenades in the world, providing access to the beach, amusements, and ocean views. Scenic landmark designation is expected to protect the boardwalk’s presence along the beachfront and preserve this iconic site for future generations. Continue reading