Sites Represent Diverse Histories Including the ‘Violet Kings’ of the Hudson Valley, A 19th Century Canal in the Southern Tier, A Vivid Pink House and An Internationally Known Tableware Manufacturer Started By A 19th Century Upstate Religious Community
New York (STL.News) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Board for Historic Preservation has 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,” Governor 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 State 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.
Greenwich School District School No. 11, Center Falls, Washington County – Opened in this rural community in the 1850s, this one-room schoolhouse served one of the mill hamlets that developed along the Battenkill River during the 19th century. The school closed in 1944 and is currently vacant.
Central New York
Amboy District No. 2 Schoolhouse, East Amboy, Oswego County – This one-room schoolhouse was built in 1895 and served this region until declining attendance forced its closure in 1952. The school was moved to its present location in the 1970s as part of a road project.
Foster-Hubbard House, Syracuse, Onondaga County – Constructed in 1872, this Italianate-style house was designed and built by prominent local architect, builder, and industrialist Simon DeGraff.
West Broadway Commercial Historic District, Fulton, Oswego County – This area contains eight brick commercial buildings that are the only remaining area of the city’s late-19th century and early 20th century commercial architecture.
Oneida Community Limited Administration Building, Oneida, Madison County – Originally constructed in 1926, this Collegiate Gothic-style commercial building was expanded in 1948 and 1965. An internationally known manufacturer of silverware, cutlery, and tableware, the company was an outgrowth of the Oneida Community, a utopian religious communal society established in Oneida in 1848. The religious community dissolved in 1880, and became the silverware company Oneida Limited, which remains in business, although manufacturing is now done overseas. Administrative and corporate functions remain in Oneida.
George and Addison Wheeler House, East Bloomfield, Ontario County – First listed on the National and State Register of Historic Places in 2005, the listing for this early 19th century residence and farm property is being expanded to include a historic barn that was recently acquired.
Hannah and George W. Jones House, Ovid, Seneca County – Built in 1873, this Italianate-style residence retains its architectural features. Built for a local wealthy couple, the building was later used as a funeral home.
Mary E. Bell House, Center Moriches, Suffolk County – Currently a museum, this two-story frame house was built in 1872 by an African American family and reflects the history of Long Island’s African American community and the establishment of a nearby African Methodist Episcopal Church in the 1840s. The home fell out of family ownership in the 1990s and was threatened with demolition in 2009 before the Town of Brookhaven took ownership.
Rhinebeck Village Historic District Expansion, Rhinebeck, Dutchess County – Covering more than 250 buildings, sites and structures, this historic district expansion includes residential areas associated with the village’s once-thriving violet growing industry as well as a neighborhood established for African American and Irish American residents, areas excluded when the district was originally listed in 1979. It includes the Platt Avenue area that during the early 20th century made the village an important center of the national violet growing industry. While the area’s many violet greenhouses are now gone, the district still includes the grand former residences of major producers, such as “violet kings” Ethan A. Coon and Julius Vonderlinden.
Zion Episcopal Church, Dobbs Ferry, Westchester County – First constructed in the 1830s in the Gothic Revival style, and expanded in the 1850s and 1870s, the church remains in use and is the oldest religious building in Dobbs Ferry.
Hildreth Homestead, Herkimer, Herkimer County – This farm property includes an Italianate-style home and barn that dates to the 1860s and reflects the growth of the region’s agricultural sector.
New York City
Frederick Law Olmstead Sr. Farmhouse, Staten Island, Richmond County – The architect, writer and social critic lived in this home on the South Shore of Staten Island as a young man between 1848 and 1855. Olmstead is known for designing Central Park and Prospect Park in New York City, as well as the Niagara Reservation, which is now Niagara Falls State Park.
Oval Wood Dish Factory, Tupper Lake, Franklin County – Built between 1916 and 1918, the former factory complex is an example of the woodworking industry in the Adirondacks in the early 20th century. The business closed in 1967 after a warehouse fire.
Chenango Canal, Towpath and Lock 106 (Walker’s Lock), Chenango Forks, Chenango and Broome counties – This is a remaining 1.3-mile section of the Chenango Canal, built between 1834 and 1836, that once connected the Erie Canal at Utica to the Susquehanna River in Binghamton. Lock 106 was one of 116 locks that were constructed along its 97 miles, which also included 19 aqueducts, 52 culverts, 162 bridges and a reservoir system. The canal fueled the economy of the two counties until it closed in 1878 due to financial competition from the railroads.
Western New York
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 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.