Sites Represent a Variety of Historic Resources, Including a Nineteenth-Century Stone General Store, a Piano Player Factory in Syracuse, Historic Cemeteries in East Hampton and a Historic District in Lansingburgh
Listing on Registers Helps to Ensure Preservation through Public and Private Investments
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the New York State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended adding 11 properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The nominations include a twentieth-century piano player factory in Syracuse, a rare nineteenth-century stone general store in Millville, a historic cemetery in the Town of East Hampton and a historic district in Lansingburgh.
“These nominations showcase New York’s diverse history through preserving important places where New Yorkers have lived, learned, worked and built communities,” Governor Hochul said. “By adding these sites to our historic registers, we are recognizing the critical role that they play in telling our state’s story. I hope these landmarks will inspire, educate and entertain future generations and help connect New Yorkers to our past.”
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, “State Parks is committed to preserving and promoting the remarkable range of historic resources found throughout New York. Our historic resources can have an integral role in New York’s future, and the incentives that come with State and National Registers recognition, like state and federal tax credits, can help stabilize historic structures as well as encourage investments in our local communities.”
Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation at State Parks Daniel Mackay said, “We know that being listed on the State and National Registers helps raise a community’s appreciation of its past and enhances opportunities for preservation activities, and the variety of these nominations may encourage New Yorkers to consider the eligibility of their own local historic fabric. At the Division for Historic Preservation, we are committed to designating and supporting New York’s historic resources and are proud of that on-going work.”
Over the last decade, the state has approved the use of rehabilitation commercial tax credits for more than 1,000 historic properties, driving more than $12 billion in private investment.
A study by the National Park Service on the impact of the tax credit on jobs and tax revenue in New York State found that between 2016 and 2020, the credits generated 74,220 jobs nationally and more than $1.3 billion in local, state, and federal taxes.
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. More information, with photos of the nominations, is available on the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website.
Central Lansingburgh Historic District, Rensselaer County – The Central LansingburghHistoric District embraces an urban neighborhood on the east bank of the Hudson River in the northernmost part of the city of Troy. The district occupies a long shallow plateau terminated on the east by high bluffs and includes sixty-five blocks and portions of five others. Lansingburgh has roots to 1770, with early institutions including the First Presbyterian Church and Lansingburgh Academy. The district is significant for its late eighteenth-century grid plan and illustrates its subsequent growth and development into the early twentieth century through its broad and varied architectural catalog of types and styles reflected in houses, commercial and civic buildings, churches, and social halls.
Harder Knitting Mill, Columbia County – The Harder Knitting Mill in Hudson is significant for its association with textile manufacturing during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and its relationship to Union Mills, a major clothing production company in the Hudson Valley region. The Harder Knitting Mill was constructed by William A. Harder in 1882. William Harder initially partnered with his father, Philip M., on a knitting mill in the village of Philmont before relocating to Hudson and opening a number of his mills throughout the Hudson Valley. Harder, a successful inventor, was granted at least five U.S. Patents for improvements and inventions. Harder Knitting Mill is the last surviving knitting mill in Hudson and the only extant building among the eight factories in the region that made up Union Mills.
Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse, Columbia County – Located in the Town of Kinderhook and currently owned by the Columbia County Historical Society, the ca. 1850 one-room schoolhouse was active for almost one hundred years before briefly serving as a community center. Its design reflects the priorities of the Union Schools movement of the mid-nineteenth century, which sought to standardize educational experiences for students in New York State. In 1974, the building was moved approximately 600 feet from its original site and is an example of twentieth-century historic preservation efforts in the region.
Amphion Piano Player Factory, Onondaga County – This Syracuse resource is significant for its association with the Amphion Piano Player Factory, which flourished in the 1910s and 1920s when “piano player” machines were widely popular. The earliest section of the building was constructed in 1902 by the Syracuse Wallpaper Company; however, in 1910 it was acquired by the Amphion Piano Player Company. Led by Lewis Domin, Amphion developed several of the most popular and affordable examples of mass-produced player pianos during the 1910s and 1920s. The building also illustrates two different forms of mill construction. The original, 1902 section exemplifies common mill construction, featuring brick walls and a heavy-timber wood structural system, while the 1920 addition features structural steel framing and large, multi-pane steel factory windows.
George C. Hanford House, Onondaga County – The George C. Hanford House was built in 1910 for the owner of a prominent industrial company in Syracuse and sited on fashionable West Onondaga Street. The house is significant as a sophisticated and highly intact example of eclectic, Italian Renaissance design and as the work of two of Syracuse’s most prominent architects, Archimedes Russell and Melvin King. The residence is especially interesting for its exterior Renaissance-inspired design, which features asymmetrical massing and highly decorative spandrel panels, combined with an interior that relies on the handmade qualities and rich materials of the Craftsman style.
St. Paul’s Methodist Episcopal Church and Parsonage, Onondaga County – With its blend of Queen Anne/Eastlake and Stick features, the 1884 church building is an excellent example of Late Victorian religious architecture and is characteristic of prolific Syracuse architect Archimedes Russell’s experimental style. Like other Methodist churches of the period, the building includes both sacred and secular spaces for congregational use. The architectural significance of the church is enhanced by thirteen elaborate stained-glass windows that were installed in 1944 and 1945 and were designed by Stanley Worden, an acclaimed artisan from the nationally recognized Henry Keck Studios in Syracuse. The now-attached parsonage, a companion structure built in 1900, is a modest Queen Anne style building.
Pines of Perinton Apartments, Monroe County – The Pines of Perinton Apartments are significant at the state level for their association with the New York State Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and its role in the creation of affordable housing for low and moderate-income families and senior citizens in the late 1960s and early 1970s. New York’s UDC was the nation’s only major developer of affordable housing in suburban areas, constructing fifteen projects in the state, including six in the greater Rochester area. Of those, the Pines of Perinton was the most successful and the most intact. The complex, developed between 1972 and 1976, is also exceptionally significant as a rare and important example of the work of well-known New York City architects Gwathmey Siegal and Associates in Monroe County. While the UDC’s other suburban designs were largely based on traditional styles, the nominated resource represents Modern design and planning theories successfully applied to the same problem. As a low-rise, high-density housing prototype, the complex was one of UDC’s most architecturally distinguished suburban housing developments.
T.O. Castle and Son General Store, Orleans County – Built ca. 1849, the T.O. Castle and Son General Store is a two-story, three-bay commercial building constructed of locally quarried stone and sited at an important crossroads location. Under the operation of Thomas Oliver Castle, a prominent member of the community, the store served as the geographical and social center of the hamlet of Millville, providing for the needs of a growing farm community and the staff and students of the Millville Academy until the 1870s. The building is also significant as one of a small number of documented stone commercial buildings in New York State and as an example of a modest Greek Revival-style store and residence in Orleans County.
Historic Cemeteries of the Town of East Hampton, Suffolk County – A recently completed survey of historic burying grounds, cemeteries, and gravesites within the Town of East Hampton identified forty-five cemeteries dating to ca. 1750- ca. 1950. These sites reflect four property types, including communal burying grounds (ca. 1650-ca. 1950); cemeteries of religious organizations (ca. 1850-ca. 1950); private, association-owned cemeteries (ca.1880-ca.1950); and isolated family burying grounds and cemeteries (ca. 1700-ca. 1900). The location, variety, and survival of the town’s historic interment sites preserve the history and diversity of the people and generations of local burial practices. The Van Scoy Burying Ground is the first property nominated under this survey.
Van Scoy Burying Ground, Suffolk County, Historic Cemeteries of the Town of East Hampton – Located in the historic settlement of Northwest, a hamlet of the Town of East Hampton, the Van ScoyBurying Ground is a small, isolated family burial place dating from 1782-1884. Now part of the town’s Grassy Hollow Nature Preserve, the site is the most significant surviving evidence of the early East Hampton colony, a settlement that flourished as a commercial and shipping center in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The burying ground features sandstone, marble, and zinc markers typical of the nineteenth century and was recently identified in the Historic Cemeteries of the Town of East Hampton survey.
Avalon Knitting Mill, Oneida County – The Avalon Knitting Mill in Utica is significant as a distinctive example of early twentieth-century brick mill construction, which consisted of load-bearing brick walls and heavy timber framing to protect against possible fire damage. The building is also significant for its association with Utica’s important textile manufacturing industry. Designed by architect Frank B. Sheldon in 1903, the building was first occupied by the Avalon Knitting Company (1903-1926), followed by the Augusta Knitting Company (1954-1958). The building was enlarged twice, in 1905 and 1916, to meet demand and at its peak housed 400 machines and 600 workers, at least half of whom were women.
Western New York
Schoellkopf Hall, Niagara County – Dedicated in 1930 as a dormitory for the now-defunct DeVeauxSchool and situated within the bounds of DeVeauxWoods State Park on the edge of Niagara River, this stone and concrete building is a representative example of twentieth-century Collegiate Gothic institutional design that combines traditional Gothic design motifs with contemporary fireproofing and rational planning principles. Designed by prominent Rochester-based architect C. Storrs Barrows (who was a graduate of the DeVeaux School), its construction was funded by area philanthropist Paul A. Schoellkopf of the Buffalo, Niagara & Eastern Power Company.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by more than 78 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456. Also, connect on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.