Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

March 16, 2018

New York State Announces 20 Properties Recommended To State and National Registers of Historic Places

Long Island's Wading River Radio Station, Used as a Covert FBI Radio Transmission Station Between 1942-1945, Designated as an Historic Site

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended adding 20 properties, resources and districts to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The nominations reflect the striking diversity of New York's history and include a covert FBI radio transmission station, a landmark in aviation history now used as a community college, and a facility used in the transmission of electricity from Niagara Falls to Buffalo in the early 1900s.

"This administration is committed to helping communities preserve the storied history of this great state," Governor Cuomo said. "By designating these landmarks, New York is encouraging economic and community development, while supporting local businesses and preserving the rich character of the Empire State."

State and National Registers listing can assist property owners in revitalizing buildings, making them eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as matching state grants and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits. Since the Governor signed legislation to bolster the state's use of rehabilitation tax credits in 2013, the state and federal program has spurred more than $3 billion of investment in historic commercial properties.

"Listing on the State and National Historic Registers is an important step in helping to preserve and improve these assets," said Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. "Protecting these distinctive places can help bolster economic growth and quality of life across New York State."

The State and National Registers are the official lists of buildings, structures, districts, landscapes, objects and sites significant in the history, architecture, archeology and culture of New York State and the nation. There are more than 120,000 historic buildings, structures and sites 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.

Capital Region

  • Copeland Carriage Shop, Edinburg - The remarkable survivor of a small-scale rural manufacturing building was likely built around 1830 for brothers Arad and Leonard Copeland.
  • Spencertown Historic District, Spencertown - The Columbia County hamlet is an exceptionally intact example of a 19th-century rural town center which originated along a Colonial highway linking Hartford, Connecticut, with Albany and organized around small grist- and saw-mill sites on the Punsit Creek.
  • Austerlitz Historic District, Austerlitz - The district of 37 properties includes homes from the late 18th century to 1870, as well as a church, hotel, schoolhouse, blacksmith shop and two cemeteries, which generally reflect the architecture of southwestern New England, from whence Austerlitz families came.

Finger Lakes

  • Edith B. Ford Memorial Library, Ovid - Constructed in 1961, the small, one-story building exemplifies the New Formalist trend in modern architecture and was a gift from Dr. Walter B. Ford, a philanthropist and retired mathematics professor, in memory of his wife.

Long Island

  • Hempstead Town Hall, Hempstead - The interconnected complex of Colonial Revival and Modern buildings and landscapes was built in 1918 with additions in 1929 and 1950, reflecting the growth of the town and changes in fashion for civic buildings over time.
  • Mitchel Field and Flight Line, Garden City - Built between 1929 and 1935, the complex, now used as Nassau Community College, was one of the largest and most important American military aviation bases from World War I through the early Cold War and the scene of numerous historic and record-setting flights.
  • Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse, Brentwood - The Catholic religious order of nuns acquired the former hotel property in 1896 and developed a convent, chapel, schools and a college. It is also associated with Mother Mary Louis (Catherine Crummey, 1848-1932), General Superior of the Congregation of the Sister of St. Joseph for forty years, an exceptional female leader of her generation who founded over 32 schools, two colleges, two hospitals, and guided the development of the 211-acre motherhouse property.
  • Wading River Radio Station, Wading River - The summer house is significant in military history for its covert use as an FBI radio transmission station between 1942 and 1945, where radio operators impersonated German agents to collect valuable information and counterintelligence to confuse and mislead the Nazi government.

Mid-Hudson Valley

  • Crane House, Middletown - Built in 1897, the Queen Anne-style home was built by the Crane family, which operated a prosperous dairy farm at the site into the 1930s.
  • Haines Family Cemetery, Haines Falls - The central feature of this cemetery is an obelisk erected in 1884 in honor of Aaron Haines (1802-1883), which identifies the burial ground as the final resting place of members of his immediate and extended family, who were pioneers in 19th-century Catskill tourism.
  • Pilgrim Furniture Factory, Kingston - Constructed 1946-48 after authorization from the federal government due to nation-wide material shortages, the modernist factory was the first to be built in the Kingston area after World War II.

Mohawk Valley

  • Daniel Webster Jenkins House, Central Bridge - Constructed in 1884 in a Queen Anne style for Jenkins, who was the station master for the Albany & Susquehanna Railroad from the opening of the line in 1868 to his death in 1901 as well as a town superintendent and chair of the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors.
  • St. Johnsville Village Historic District, St. Johnsville - Situated at the intersection of Zimmerman Creek's, with its abundant waterpower, and the transportation corridor afforded by the Mohawk Valley, the village developed over many phases from an 18th century Palatine community to a railroad village, steam-powered mill town, and post-war community.

New York City

  • The Wilbraham, Manhattan - Constructed 1888-1890, the eight-story Romanesque Revival style bachelor apartment hotel is a well-preserved example of an emergent housing type designed to serve the changing demographics of a rapidly urbanizing America in the late 19th century.

North Country

  • First Baptist Church, Ogdensburg - Built between 1830 and 1833 and remodeled numerous times, the church played a crucial role in the spiritual lives of Ogdensburg's citizens. The church is also distinctive for its collection of stained glass windows produced by Ogdensburg resident Harry James Horwood between 1931 and 1944.
  • Gooley Club, Essex and Hamilton Counties - This is an example of an Adirondack hunting and fishing club, which leased 15,000 acres around the Essex Chain Lakes from Finch Pruyn & Company from 1947 until recently.

Southern Tier

  • Tibbetts-Rumsey House, Ithaca - The 1880 home is associated with the lives of two important Ithaca families: The Tibbetts family, owners of a paint factory, were the first occupants of the house, before selling it in 1885 to the Rumsey family, owners of a hardware business, which held the house until 1966.

Western New York

  • Buffalo General Electric Company, Buffalo - Constructed overlooking the Niagara River and Canada between 1906 and 1923, the complex is associated with the early development and transmission of electricity from Niagara Falls to Buffalo - creating a lasting impact that would forever change the region and the nation.
  • New York Central Black Rock Freight House, Buffalo - Constructed in 1906 by the New York Central Railroad, the building was used for freight transfer until the early 1960s and is now a rare example of a once common building type demolished as other forms of transportation superseded rail.
  • Seippel Bakery and Richard Apartments, Niagara Falls - Built in two phases, the original bakery portion of the building dates to 1913 and housed the Seippel Bakery, which served Niagara Falls for almost fifty years. The Richard Apartments and two storefronts were added in 1926.

Once recommendations are approved by 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 and photos of the nominations are available on the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website.