The Preservation League of New York State has released its annual list of the seven “most threatened” historical sites.
State lawmakers and members of the historical community gathered Tuesday at the Legislative Office Building in Albany as the Preservation League of New York State announced seven sites it hopes to save. It’s the latest installment of an advocacy program that dates to 1999.
Albany area Democratic Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, of the 109th district, says The League is crucial to preserving New York’s history.
“The seven to save is definitely a way to bring prominence to seven historical sites each year. Aside from the prominence it really helps to draw the attention and hopefully the investments,” says Fahy
Another Capital Region Democrat, John McDonald, of the 108th district, praised The League’s efforts. He says the New York State Historic Preservation Tax Credit has proven vital.
“Yes we extended it five years. Yes we decoupled from the federal government, to make sure developers are able to fully maximize their investment, which is going to lead to greater investment in our communities. ” :13 McDonald
Preservation League President Jay DiLorenzo says the “Seven to Save” program is based on a nomination process with advocates applying for recognition.
“All of these local grassroots groups, always local people getting together identifying these resources as important and then coming to The League and saying hey, we might need your help on this,” says DiLorenzo
From those applications, DiLorenzo says, a volunteers from The League’s board make recommendations.
In Albany, the South-End Groesbeckville Historic District’s Acting President Kim Alvarez says the district is thrilled to have made the list. She says it’s facing an uptick in vacant historic properties. Many buildings in Albany are now tagged with an official red X, signifying their disrepair.
“These red x’s, while well intended, to signify potential internal hazards to first responders has unfortunately had resulting impact in increasing a sense of blight, calling attention to disinvestment,” says Alvarez
Alvarez says with the help of The League the district will be able to get the buildings up to code.
The Watervliet Shaker Historic District is also on The League’s list. Just north of Albany, the location is home to the first Shaker settlement in the United States. Shaker Heritage Society Executive Director Starlyn D’Angelo says tourism to sites like the Shaker settlement is vital to the state’s economy.
“With its proximity to Albany International Airport and all the major transportation corridors in the area, it should be a natural gateway to the region,” says D’Angelo
Other sites recognized this year are Wells Barns in Rochester, Jamestown Arcade, Enlarged Erie Canal Schoharie Aqueduct in Fort Hunter and the Lehigh Valley Railroad Roundhouse in Manchester.