Thursday, September 16, 2021

Two North Country properties make nominations for historic registers

Mountainside Free Library on history register

The state Board for Historic Preservation has recommended adding 19 properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. These nominations include a “castle” built by prominent Catskill Mountains photographer/aviator Otto Hillig; a Buffalo bakery that helped introduce Wonder Bread to America; an early Arabic-speaking Christian church in Brooklyn; and a community library in the Adirondacks.

A listing on the 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. Over the past 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. 

“Part of our mission here at State Parks is to help preserve and promote the incredible range of history present in the state,” Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. “Securing recognition for such places provides resources that will help keep this history alive and vibrant.”

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 2015 and 2019, the credits generated 67,578 jobs nationally and more than $195 million 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’s historic preservation officer, the properties are listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and then nominated, reviewed, and once approved, entered into to the National Register of Historic Places.

More information, with photos of the nominations, is available on the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website.

church history register

North Country listings

In the Adirondacks the properties are:

Mountainside Free Library, Warren County – In operation since its construction in 1904, this simple wood-frame community library in the Adirondacks, in the town of Queensbury, in the Lake George/Dunham Bay region, was founded by regional author, historian, and educator Edward Eggleston. Donating some of his personal books to the library project, the author was a regional novelist who wrote about the American frontier experience. His nearby home, Owl’s Nest, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1971. The library has long been run by volunteers and has no paid staff.

Church of the Ascension Chapel and Rectory, Franklin County – Located in the Adirondack hamlet of Saranac Inn, this rustic log church was completed in 1884 and reflects the Gothic Revival style. The church was a response to the popularity of tourism to the nearby Saranac Inn, originally called the Prospect House Resort, which no longer exists. Expanded in 1903, it includes stained-glass windows donated by visiting families who had spent their summers in the area. A modest wood-frame Craftsman-style bungalow serves as the rectory.

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