The New York State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended adding 20 varied properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places, including the Manhattan apartment of a prominent African American LGBTQ playwright, an exotically designed former New York City movie palace, and a former New York City feminist headquarters created when women had few places to meet outside the presence of men.
"The nominations reflect the state’s commitment to supporting the incredible and sometimes overlooked history forged by the diverse people of New York,” said Erik Kulleseid, commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. "Securing recognition for such places will help to protect and preserve this history so that it can be carried safe and intact into the future."
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.
"These latest nominations continue the Division for Historic Preservation's (DHP) commitment to designating and supporting historic sites that represent the histories of our state's diverse population," said Daniel Mackay, deputy commissioner for historic preservation at State Parks.
Two new listings in New York City were supported by Underrepresented Community Grants from the National Park Service meant to increase listings associated with people and communities that are inadequately represented in the state and national registers.
In recent years, the DHP has received four such federal grants to support the NYC LGBTQ Historic Sites Project in New York City. There are now 11 LGBTQ register listings in New York City and Long Island, eight of which were supported under this grant program. This has resulted in New York leading the nation in listing of sites associated with LGBTQ history on the State and National Register.
Since Gov. Andrew Cuomo took office in 2011, the state has approved use of rehabilitation commercial tax credit for more than 1,000 historic properties, driving more than $12 billion in private investment. More information is available here.
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 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.
In Western New, sites include:
•The Buffalo Club, Erie County – Founded in 1867, this social club was highly influential in the development of the City of Buffalo in the aftermath of the Civil War, and counted significant political, industrial and civic leaders among its members, including former U.S. presidents Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland. The club served as the unofficial seat of the federal government after the 1901 assassination of President William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in the city, when Vice President Theodore Roosevelt and the cabinet used club offices to conduct affairs of state.
•Harrison Radiator Corporation Co., Niagara County – Established in the City of Lockport in 1910, this business – by the 1930s – was the world’s largest manufacturer of automobile radiator and heat transfer equipment. During World War II, the plant developed and manufactured engine turbochargers that enabled high-altitude aerial bombing. During the early years of the space program, the company created heat exchangers for astronaut spacesuits used for manned space flights. The factory operated until 1995 and is now used for various commercial and office purposes.
•John Kam Company Malt House and Kiln House, Erie County – Built in 1901, the brick buildings are rare examples of the cutting-edge pneumatic malting and kiln processes for the brewing of German-style beer. The company was one of the largest malt producers in the U.S. in the 19th and early 20th centuries and is significant in Buffalo’s long beer brewing history associated with immigrants from Germany and central Europe.
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 that 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.