Monday, December 29, 2014

Preservation Grants For Westport, Fort Ticonderoga

The Y-D House at Fort TiconderogaThe Preservation League of New York State recently made two grants to support preservation efforts in Essex County.

The Town of Westport received a Preserve New York grant of $7,000 to support the cost of completing a National Register Historic District nomination for the Hamlet of Westport.

The League also presented a Technical Assistance Grant of $3,000 to the Fort Ticonderoga Association to support the cost of a building condition survey of the circa 1912 “Y-D House”, a very rare example of a full size rustic building built for the use of children in America.

Westport was established in 1815 and sits on the shore of Lake Champlain within the Adirondack Park. The proposed historic district will include Main Street commercial and mixed-use buildings, churches, high-style resort houses, as well as vernacular 19th and 20th century homes. More than 250 properties have been declared eligible for inclusion in the Historic District by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.

All of the buildings in the nomination area fall within a New York State Rehabilitation Tax Credit-eligible census tract. Historic District designation would open doors for financial incentives for rehabilitation of commercial and residential properties. Preservation consultant Paula Dennis will complete the project.

Main Street Buildings in Westport“The Town of Westport considers itself fortunate to receive this grant,” Westport Supervisor Dan Connell said in a statement announcing the grant. “It will allow us to hopefully complete work on this project that was started many years ago. The timing of this project seems especially appropriate as Westport prepares to celebrate its bicentennial in 2015.”

The Y-D (Yes Do) House is a 1,230 square foot, two-story log cabin built as a playhouse by Fort Ticonderoga Museum founders Stephen and Sarah Pell for their sons, Robert and John Pell. The Y-D House was built in the Great Camp style of architecture and was long hidden from visitors to the fort by dense vegetation that had grown around the building. John G. Waite Associates, Architects is expected to complete the building condition survey.

“The Y-D House is considered to be one of America’s only known examples of a full-scale structure built exclusively for children in the Adirondack Great Camp style,” Beth Hill, President and CEO of Fort Ticonderoga, said. “It is a unique survivor that adds depth to Fort Ticonderoga’s centuries of stories. The grant enables Fort Ticonderoga to make a vital first step in the restoration and interpretation of this unique structure. We anticipate that the YD House will surely become a favorite place to visit for our more than 70,000 guests annually.”

The Preservation League of New York State launched the Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) program in 2012 to support discrete projects that preserve New York State’s cultural and historic resources. Grants of up to $3,000 are available to not-for-profit arts and cultural groups and municipalities managing historic sites, museums, arts facilities and other culturally important institutions that are located in historic buildings and structures open to the public. Each grant recipient must provide a $500 match and the cost of the project may not exceed $3,500.

For more information on the Preservation League’s grant programs, call 518-462-5658 or visit the League’s website at

Photos provided: Above, the Y-D House at Fort Ticonderoga (recently exposed from the underbrush); and below, Main Street in Westport.

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