Governor Cuomo Announces 15 Nominations for State & National Registers of Historic Places
New York (STL.News) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo that the State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended adding 15 properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places, including a Staten Island family cemetery created for Gilded Age America’s richest man, the oldest existing Muslim mosque in New York City, the Hudson Valley home of a Colonial-era Tory who fled to Canada after the American Revolution, and a Fire Island community founded as a religious-affiliated resort more than a century ago.
“New York has a long and fascinating history, and these additions to the Historic Registers will help to recognize and celebrate what our State has to offer,” Governor Cuomo said. “These recommendations to the State and National Registers will also help to ensure resources are available as needed for these places and their stories to be protected and preserved to inspire future generations.”
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.
“The nominations reflect the State’s commitment to supporting the incredible range of history present across New York,” said Erik Kulleseid, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “Securing recognition for such places will help keep this history alive and vibrant.”
“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.
Since Governor Cuomo took office in 2011, the State has approved use of rehabilitation commercial tax credits for more than 1,000 historic properties, driving more than $12 billion in private investment.
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 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.
Peter Sander van Alstyne House, Columbia County – Also known as “The Tory House,” this Dutch Colonial brick residence was built in the Kinderhook area immediately before the American Revolution. It was occupied by Peter Sander van Alstyne, a Loyalist who served as an officer in the British army during the war. Afterward, he was compelled to leave New York for resettlement in Ontario, Canada, and this home and property were eventually confiscated. This home remains in residential use.
Gallatin Reformed Church and Cemetery, Columbia County – The Federal-style meetinghouse was built between 1823 and1824 to replace an earlier structure, and includes a parsonage, a church hall, and a cemetery with burials dating to the 1770s. Retaining its original character, the church reflects the Dutch Reformed religious heritage of the region, while the cemetery retains early and distinguished examples of funerary art.
Central New York
Upsilon Alpha Chapter, Chi Omega House, Onondaga County – This house was built near Syracuse University in 1910 and used as a women’s fraternal chapter house starting in 1919. It remained in use by the chapter, which is affiliated with the Chi Omega national women’s fraternity, until the chapter disbanded in 1992. The building recalls mid-20th century collegiate life for women.
Third Ward Historic District Boundary Expansion, Monroe County – Located in Rochester, this area represents a seven-block residential and commercial neighborhood known as Corn Hill that dates to the 1830s. The boundary expansion substantially enlarges the original district that was listed in 1974. Although it includes many resources similar to those already listed, it also documents and adds the African American presence in the neighborhood, which began in the 19th century and extended into the 20th century.
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and Cemetery, Genesee County – Constructed in 1869 and designed by prominent Rochester architect Andrew Jackson Warner, this Gothic Revival church in the village of LeRoy was built from locally quarried limestone and retains nearly all its original features. The property includes a cemetery that dates to 1826.
Point O’Woods Historic District, Suffolk County – Located in the center of Fire Island, this district encompasses more than 150 acres of a former Chautauqua resort founded in 1894 with support from Methodist church ministers. After it became a private, self-governing community, Point O’Woods maintained an emphasis on active recreation with the church at its core. Beginning with the resort’s early association with the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, women’s contributions have played an important role in the district’s history. Containing about 169 residences, this summer community is maintained without automobile roads and is characterized by a variety of large, shingled bungalows and beach cottages.
Gustav & Marion Fleischmann House, Westchester County – The Colonial Revival-style residence in Peekskill was built in 1927 and designed by prominent architect Chester A. Patterson. It was the home of Gustav Fleischmann Jr., a top executive with the Fleischmann Yeast Company that had a massive manufacturing and distilling plant in Peekskill that employed thousands of people before closing in 1977 after eight decades of operation there.
Child Welfare Association of Mamaroneck, Westchester County – Opened in 1927, this health care clinic was part of a national movement to address children’s welfare needs as many women left the home to join in the war effort during World War I. Reflecting its history in public health, the Colonial Revival-style building is currently a community health center.
New York City
Chevra Torah Anshei Radishkowitz, Brooklyn – This synagogue was constructed in the 1920s in the Brownsville neighborhood to serve Jewish immigrants arriving from Eastern Europe when the area was one of the largest settlements of such immigrants in the U.S. Reflecting the demographic change in the neighborhood, this building has been used as a church by the African American community since the mid-1960s.
Moslem Mosque, Brooklyn – Located in the Williamsburg neighborhood, this former Methodist church and social club was purchased for use as a mosque in 1931 to serve Lipka Tartar Muslim immigrants from Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania. LipkaTartar Muslims first settled in Lithuania in the 14th century. This is the oldest existing mosque in New York City, and is the first permanent place of worship for the American Mohammad Society, one of the oldest Islamic organizations formed in the United States.
St. Stephen’s Mission Church Complex, Bronx – The modest Gothic Revival church was built between 1900 and 1901 in the Woodlawn neighborhood, which grew as a residence for workers involved with the construction of the New Croton Aqueduct. St. Stephen’s is the oldest church building in continuous use in the neighborhood.
Vanderbilt Cemetery and Mausoleum, Staten Island – This 16-acre private cemetery sits atop Todt Hill, at 401 feet the highest natural point in New York City’s five boroughs and the highest elevation on the Atlantic coastal plain from Florida to Cape Cod. It was commissioned in 1883 by Gilded Age tycoon William Vanderbilt, son of Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt, and the richest man in America at the time of his death. Designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt and landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted, the massive granite mausoleum and grounds were reported to be the most expensive such facility in the country upon its completion in 1887. The cemetery remains in use for members of the Vanderbilt family. Fashion icon Gloria Vanderbilt was buried there in 2019.
Rockland Silk Mill, Steuben County – Located in Hornell, this former industrial facility dates to 1894 and helped establish the city as the nation’s second-largest silk manufacturer, earning it the title “City of Silk.” The facility was used by several such enterprises before closing in 1923.
Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat 40300, Tompkins County – Docked in Ithaca, this nationally significant 40-foot galvanized steel motorized lifeboat was built in 1940 in Curtis Bay, Maryland, as a prototype to replace then-standard wooden lifeboats used by the U.S. Coast Guard. As the Coast Guard’s first steel, all electric-welded motor lifeboat, the vessel was in service for nearly four decades on Lake Michigan. It is now in private ownership and currently functions as a floating museum as well as an auxiliary Coast Guard lifeboat.
Western New York
Bank of East Aurora, Erie County – Currently in use as an events venue, this former bank building was constructed in 1922 and anchored a developing Main Street corridor. After changing hands under several different financial institutions, the branch closed in 2016.
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.