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Grants announced for community-based historic preservation efforts

by jmaloni
Thu, Oct 4th 2012 04:45 pm

New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey has announced that 12 communities across the state will receive grants totaling $141,515 to support local historic preservation activities. The grants, funded from New York's share of the federal Historic Preservation Fund, are targeted to assist certified local governments - municipalities that have enrolled in a local-state-federal partnership to identify and protect historic properties.

To qualify for CLG designation, a municipality must enact and enforce local historic preservation legislation that complies with federal standards and maintain a qualified historic preservation commission.

"By incorporating historic preservation into local planning, municipalities that participate in the certified local government program are making a long-range investment in their community's quality of life and economic vitality," Harvey said.

Priority was given to projects that will strengthen local preservation capacity and have broad public impact. Many of the grants will help CLGs prepare detailed surveys of historic resources that may be eligible for the state and national registers of historic places. The surveys are important planning tools for municipalities that support economic development and education goals. The complete list of grants follows.

1. Brockport, Comprehensive Survey and Website Creation, $9,771

The project will create an updated survey of all national register-eligible properties within the village to validate information in the current downtown national register district and enable the CLG to develop future national register districts in residential areas, thereby increasing access to rehabilitation tax credits. Information from the survey will be available in a new website, a tool that will help increase public awareness of historic resources and access to information about the historic commission's work.

2. Buffalo, Downtown and the Belt Line "Preservation Ready" Survey Project, $60,000

City of Buffalo staff and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership are collaborating on a project that addresses the need to improve the competitiveness of downtown Buffalo for private investment and development. Survey work will update and expand the inventory of historic resources in downtown and in several nodes along the beltway. The project will also involve building condition studies of selected sites that will evaluate their condition and appropriateness for rehabilitation. The results will be used to create a "Preservation Ready" database/resource guide.

3. East Aurora, Reconnaissance Level Historic Resources Survey, $11,000

A "street-by-street" reconnaissance survey will provide an overview of the village's historic resources tied to the context of the village history. The information will provide essential background information for objective land use decisions. The survey will also result in recommendations for future intensive level surveys and designation of historic districts.

4. Ellenville, Identity, Awareness, Anchoring: Historic District Identification, $1,951

The CLG will build on previous survey work and designation efforts to educate the local community about the wealth of historic resources and the benefits of preservation by "branding" landmarked buildings in the village. The project includes the development and production of plaques, maps, brochures and signage. The commission will also develop PSAs for distribution via newspaper and other media.

5. Elmira, National Register Historic District Nomination for the Maple Avenue/Brand Park Area, $7,035

The City of Elmira and Historic Elmira Inc. are partnering to enlist the assistance of a preservation consultant to develop a national register nomination for the Maple Avenue-Brand Park Historic District. This project will build upon and utilize resources that both organizations have invested in during the past two years, including survey work and an historic structure report. The goal is to provide property owners access to rehabilitation tax credits, which will help with the revitalization of a neighborhood damaged by a tornado.

6. Great Neck Plaza, St. Paul's Church Complex NR Nomination and Preservation Commission Training Workshop, $6,000

Placing the 1924 St. Paul's Church complex on the national register would aid the Episcopal Church to seek funding for stabilization and repairs. The village considers the complex as a significant site in the historic landscape of the village and seeks to help protect the buildings. In addition, the CLG will hold a half-day workshop for the preservation commission on regulation, including design review, working with applicants, materials required for applications, how to evaluate proposals, and how to judge future impact of decisions on the historic district and the municipality in general.

7. Hamburg, Local Historic District and National Register Historic District, $5409

Survey work will support the goal of designating two historic districts. The CLG will hire a consultant to update surveys of Main Street and Union Street, completed in 2003, and to prepare a national register nomination for the main district historic district. National register status will increase property owners' access to rehabilitation tax credit programs.

8. Kingston, Kingston Historic Bluestone Survey Project, $17,000

The Kingston Historic Bluestone Survey Project will establish the condition of bluestone sidewalks existing bluestone in historic districts and heritage areas and take critical steps toward preserving historic infrastructure including making an inventory of existing bluestone in historic districts and heritage areas, including assessment of existing conditions and care of Kingston's bluestone and developing a sidewalk improvement plan to assist the city with prioritizing bluestone restoration.

9. Town of New Paltz, Time Lapse Photo Project, $1,601

The project will create 10-20 "time lapse" animated images and video clips that blend from a historic photograph to a recent photograph. The images will be used to demonstrate the changing appearance of historic buildings and the importance of maintaining historic character. The work is part of the development of a website on the historic properties in the Town and Village of New Paltz

10. Ossining, Historic District Markers Project, $2,018

The project seeks to build on the CLG's previous work to produce a walking tour brochure by placing historic markers at sites in the downtown Ossining and Sparta historic districts in order to advance tourism and heritage education.

11. Syracuse, Washington Square Neighborhood Survey Project, $10,500

Syracuse will complete a hybrid reconnaissance/intensive-level survey of the Washington Square neighborhood, part of an initiative to survey resources by theme and geographic area. The survey will add 800 resources to the CLG inventory, identify individual properties and districts that may be eligible for local designation and/or state and national register list, and help the city identify areas for targeted revitalization and focused code enforcement efforts.

12. Williamsville, Update of Reconnaissance Level Survey and Preparation of Intensive Level Survey, $9,230

The Village of Williamsville will update its 15-year old reconnaissance level survey and prepare an intensive level survey of historic resources. The results of these surveys will be used to identify the most significant and threatened properties, and will also be used to prepare nominations of properties for designation as local landmarks, historic districts, and for listing on the state and national registers of historic places. These designations will also serve as a tool to protect these resources and to guide commercial development within the Main Street corridor.

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