Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) is one of this year’s Preserve New York (PNY) grantees. Their grant of $4,208 will enable JRC to continue working with Bero Architecture to complete a State and National Register Nomination for the Forest Heights neighborhood. As a result of this historic designation, owners of approximately 200 properties in Jamestown will have access to State and Federal Historic Tax Credits. JRC hopes that this incentive will continue to assist in the revitalization of this important neighborhood and prevent additional buildings from falling into disrepair or becoming vacant.
The Preservation League of NYS and their program partners at the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) are thrilled to help fund this important work.
The Forest Heights residential neighborhood is important to the historic development of Jamestown and contains a distinct mix of buildings in various architectural styles. Some properties in the neighborhood are individually listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, including the former home of Governor Reuben E. Fenton. Architectural styles in Forest Heights include Greek Revival, Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, and other vernacular types of structures. Over time, Forest Heights has experienced disinvestment, deferred maintenance, and insensitive rental conversion. Some properties have even been condemned or demolished.
“Since 2011, the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation has assisted city residents by providing matching grants for outside beautification projects and community development activities. In 2012, 2014 and again in 2018, the JRC granted funds for neighborhood improvements to sections of the Forest Heights area,” says Mary Maxwell, JRC’s Neighborhood Projects Manager. “After securing an historic designation for Downtown Jamestown and the Lakeview Ave. area, the JRC felt the Forest Heights area should be developed next.”
In 2018, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation received a Preserve New York grant to complete an intensive level survey of the Forest Heights neighborhood in preparation for a nomination to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Survey work and boundary determination for a historic district was completed in early 2019.
The 2019 PNY grant cycle was the most competitive in the program’s 26-year history. An independent jury met in June to review over 70 applications. After two days of deliberations, $262,498 was awarded to 31 projects across 25 counties.
Preserve New York is a regrant partnership between the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the Preservation League of NYS. PNY enables the Preservation League to support projects in all of New York’s 62 counties.
Since 1993, the Preserve New York grant program has been providing funds to municipalities and nonprofit organizations that need technical, professional assistance to guide a variety of preservation projects. The historic structure reports, building condition reports, cultural landscape reports, and cultural resource surveys that are funded through this program can have profound impacts on the sites they are studying.
With the announcement of the 2019 awards, support provided by PNY since its launch totals more than $2.8 million to 438 projects statewide.
2019 PNY Grant Recipients:
Bronx County: Historic Districts Council – $14,000; Cayuga County: Seward House Museum – $10,000; Chautauqua County: Jamestown Renaissance Corporation – $4,208; Clinton County: Town of Schuyler Falls – $10,000; Columbia County: Philmont Beautification, Inc. – $10,000 & Columbia County Historical Society – $10,000; Delaware County: West Kortright Centre – $4,764; Dutchess County: Village of Rhinebeck – $7,875 & Red Hook Public Library – $2,600; Erie County: Preservation Buffalo Niagara – $20,000; Essex County: The Depot Theatre, Inc. – $4,712; Greene County: Zadock Pratt Museum, Inc. – $6,400 & Greene County Council on the Arts – $13,191; Lewis County: Lewis County Historical Society – $10,000; Madison County: Smithfield Community Association – $13,017; Montgomery County: Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank – $5,200 & Historic Amsterdam League – $14,560; Nassau County: North Shore Land Alliance – $12,000; New York County: Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation – $10,000; Rensselaer County: Village of Castleton-on-Hudson – $3,000; Rockland County: John Green Preservation Coalition – $8,000; Saratoga County: Town of Corinth – $10,000; Schoharie County: Jefferson Historical Society – $6,883 & County of Schoharie – $3,968; Suffolk County: Preservation Long Island – $7,900 & Yaphank Historical Society – $9,200; Tioga County: Village of Owego – $8,000; Warren County: Richards Library – $4,000; Wayne County: Baptist Rural Cemetery Association of Sodus Center – $1,700; Westchester County: Village of Larchmont – $10,000; Yates County: Village of Penn Yan – $7,320
“NYSCA is proud to support the vitality and character of our communities through our Preserve New York partnership, which provides key resources to historic sites, buildings, and cultural centers statewide and underscores the importance of architecture and landscape design in community revitalization and economic development,” said NYSCA Executive Director Mara Manus.
“Thanks to the League’s record of making effective preservation grants through Preserve New York and TAG, our program partner, the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), has increased regrant funding significantly over the past several years,” said Erin Tobin, Vice President for Policy and Preservation and the Preservation League. “At the same time, in response to growing demand, the League has successfully lined up additional support to leverage NYSCA funding and League resources. NYSCA and the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation make these grants possible through their program partnership and financial support.”
The Preserve New York grant program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation has provided additional support for projects in Nassau, Suffolk and Bronx Counties.
About the Preservation League of New York State
Since its founding in 1974, the Preservation League has built a reputation for action and effectiveness. Our goal has been to preserve our historic buildings, districts and landscapes and to build a better New York, one community at a time. The Preservation League of New York State invests in people and projects that champion the essential role of preservation in community revitalization, sustainable economic growth and the protection of our historic buildings and landscapes. We lead advocacy, economic development and education programs across the state. Connect with us at facebook.com/preservenys, twitter.com/preservenys, and instagram.com/preservenys.