Sites represent diverse histories, including 'Violet Kings' of Hudson Valley, 19th century canal in Southern Tier, vivid pink house & an internationally known tableware manufacturer started by 19th century upstate religious community
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced the New York State Board for Historic Preservation recommended adding 18 varied properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places, including a Hudson Valley village once famed for its violet industry, an early home in Long Island's African-American community, remnants of a 19th century canal that helped fuel the Southern Tier economy, and offices of an internationally known upstate tableware company founded by a 19th century religious community.
"These historic locations highlight so much of what is exceptional about New York and its incredible contributions to our nation's history," Cuomo said. "By placing these landmarks on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, we are helping to ensure these places and their caretakers have the funding needed to preserve, improve and promote the best of this great state."
State and National Registers listing can assist owners in revitalizing properties, making them eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as matching state grants and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.
Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Erik Kulleseid said, "The nominations highlight the broad diversity of our state, its people, and their stories. This recognition helps support ongoing efforts made by many people over the years to protect and appreciate New York's fascinating history."
Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation at State Parks Daniel Mackay said, "The Division for Historic Preservation is committed to designating and supporting historic places that represent the histories of our state's diverse population."
Previous register designations recently have included African American burial grounds, archeological sites associated with free black communities, industrialist Andrew Carnegie's legacy of New York City libraries, a Hudson Valley golf club established to counter anti-Semitism, and a Catskill site linked to the early history of professional baseball.
Since the governor signed legislation to bolster the state's use of rehabilitation tax credits in 2013, the state and federal program has spurred investment of billions of dollars in completed rehabilitations of historic commercial properties and tens of millions invested in owner-occupied historic homes.
The State and National Registers are the official lists of buildings, structures, districts, landscapes, objects, and sites significant in the history, architecture, archaeology and culture of New York and the nation. There are more than 120,000 historic properties throughout the state listed on the National Register of Historic Places, individually or as components of historic districts. Property owners, municipalities and organizations from communities throughout the state sponsored the nominations.
Once the recommendations are approved by the commissioner, who serves as the State Historic Preservation Officer, the properties are listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and then nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, where they are reviewed and, once approved, entered on the National Register.
More information, with photos of the nominations, is available on the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website.
Sites in Western New York include:
•Lafayette Flats, Buffalo, Erie County – Constructed in 1897, the 36-unit Classical Revival-style apartment building helped provide housing to the city's growing middle class up until the time of World War II, when the increasing availability of automobiles allowed more residents to move to suburban areas.
•Niagara Lithograph Company, Buffalo, Erie County – First constructed in 1903, this two-story brick printing plant reflects the city's role in the growth of the lithograph industry. After a merger, the plant continued to run until closing in 1992. In 2018-19, the formerly vacant building was rehabilitated for use as apartments, offices, and health care related services.
•Our Mother of Good Counsel Roman Catholic Church Complex, Blasdell, Erie County – Dating from the early 1950s, this Gothic Revival-style church, parochial school and convent is one of the most intact representations of a mid-20th century church complex in the towns south of Buffalo.
•The Pink House, Wellsville, Allegany County – Built in 1866, this Italianate-style villa also includes intact historic-period features including marble statuary, an ice-house, a three-story carriage barn, a gazebo, and a building known as the Fossil House, where original owner Edwin P. Hall stored his extensive fossil collection that now resides at the New York State Museum in Albany and the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh. Still in family ownership, the home retains its original pink exterior color that gives it its name.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, recreational trails and boat launches, which were visited by a record 77 million people in 2019. A recent university study found spending by State Parks and its visitors supports $5 billion in output and sales, 54,000 private-sector jobs and more than $2.8 billion in additional state GDP. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit parks.ny.gov, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.